The Veil

Veil Nebula, Star Cluster, Starry, Dust

Have you ever stood in a sanctuary at night after the lights are out?  Have you ever been in a cemetery close to dusk? Have you ever spent time in an adoration chapel by yourself?  Were you ever in a Catholic Church in the earliest of mornings when everyone else was gone?   If the answer to any of the above is yes, then you know that there are places on the earth that actually have a feel that is different than other spaces.  I know a priest who openly talks about the times of the year when the division between our tangible earth and other realms is especially “thin”. Some of those that he points to are Christmas Eve, All Saints Day and Good Friday. I might add, as a personal observation, that I also get this sense of the tangible eternal during Lent.

The idea of being close enough to perceive other realms has nothing to do with spiritualism or the occult. It does have to do with the idea that there are some times when we are closer to the eternal than at other times. Did you ever notice that occasions described in scripture when people were in especially serious situations were all times that were “up” somewhere: Mt. Sinai,  Mt. Tabor,  Mt Moriah, the Top of the Temple, the Mount of Transfiguration, Golgotha.  Whether metaphorical or actual these locations were archetypes for places that were closer to God than ordinary terrain.  Closer to heaven, so to speak.

As you grow in the Spiritual Life you develop skills.  Your sensitivity for the prompting of the Spirit improves, prayer becomes easier, the ability to become quiet in your soul changes and your knowledge that this isn’t the only dimension improves.  It’s part of spiritual maturity.   The Church teaches that as far as our concept of time and place are concerned, these are really artificial parameters. God is the eternal now and the moment is all that we actually have. So the opportunity to be next to the veil and closer than usual to the eternal is a rare opportunity to get a little closer, hear a little clearer, follow a little more intimately.  Lent is a time to take advantage of the thin veil and improve our skills in a way that we are unable to do at any other time of the year.  It’s kind of like being invited to a Master Class by the greatest Diva who has ever sung.

So whether you understand it or not, take it on the experience and authority of others that Holy Week and Lent are times that could give you opportunities for spiritual growth and magnified prayer that you cannot get any other time of the year.  If your Lent has not been especially deep as far as you are concerned, take heart.  Good Friday and Holy Week are coming, the Veil is rending.  Re think the idea of being closer to the Divine than you have been before.  Do something that takes advantage of this idea.  That might be something simple like finding some total silence and prayer time in your life or attending the complete Triduum or venerating the Cross for the first time in years.  Whatever you choose, remember and live the idea that, for people of faith, this time of the year is different than any other time.  The Veil is parting, just a little!  Be brave enough to peek in!


Copyright© 2016, Kathryn M. Cunningham

About KathrynCunningham

Kathryn is a retired junior high teacher. A convert with a love for the Church she believes that its teachings have a more than viable application for today's world. She writes practical theological for the people in the pews believing that they have as much right to good catechesis as our youth and converts. Her writings appear on Catholic web sites and local Church publications. She has even been published in the diocese of Australia and most recemtly Zenit. Kathryn holds a Master's in Theology and is a certified spiritual director. Learn more about Kathryn at:
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7 Responses to The Veil

  1. Kathryn, thank you for sharing this truth about our connection with the other realms. Many times I have experienced this and am careful about whom I share the experience with as it is misconstrued as dabbling with the occult. It has always been a gift, not something pursued, given through prayer, silence, sacrament, or a communal time of prayer and worship. I love to peek in and have found that as my spiritual maturity grows I am given more opportunities to get a glimpse of what hopefully lies ahead. God bless your writings.

  2. Ann says:

    Yes! I used to do Adoration between 3 and 5 am– fabulous prayer time! At one point I delivered flowers for a shop who did arrangements for several churches. I noticed a distinct difference in the feel of the spaces. Where the sanctuary was also a gym for the youth during the week– there was very little feel of eternity. Where the space was a dedicated worship space– you could feel the spiritual cleanness and the presence. But when you entered the Catholic Church with Jesus in the Tabernacle, it FELT like entering a place where the divine dwelt. The aliveness of the presence and the nearness of eternity were palpable. Nothing like going in and out of churches on Saturday morning early when it is totally empty of people to show you who else is there and to what degree you can feel him.

  3. What beautiful insights into contemplative prayer. This is exactly what our God offers us.

  4. Kathryn
    I look forward to your posts – each always provides much for contemplation. Thank you.

  5. Thanks group of colleagues. Every once and a while you get that “twiggle” that it’s a good one. Pray for me as I try to convince Liguori that they want my collection of 60 of these type of essays, all mine. I call the book: Craving God! Easter blessings and joy!

  6. I really enjoyed this article.