Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Brown Scapular: True Wisdom


A wish to speak today of a huge absurdity that exists in the Church today regarding salvation.  That so much effort is made to not even suggest that people are going to hell, while at the same time the snobbish condescension against the Brown Scapular of our Lady of Mt Carmel and the great promise of salvation to those who die wearing it. I pray that I am alone in having seen it, and that your ears have not had to suffer the irritation that mine have when suffering through the often times odious intellectual attacks against it.

I personally know of two priests, one who some might consider traditional and another who among his peers might be considered orthodox who have come far short from offering the esteem that this powerful sacramental deserves.   One likes to think it is superstitious the other likes to refer to it as a "thingy".

I must say that their are seldom found defenders of this great sacramental from the charge of superstition. There are so called “friends” of the scapular who give it only faint praise, who fall over themselves in their effort to downplay the promise of the brown scapular by pointing out that the scapular only works if you are not in mortal sin.  These statements injure the faith and confidence one can have in the brown scapular and injure its propagation. 

Lets us first consider a few things about the brown scapular.
1.  It is a sign of devotion and consecration to the Mother of God.
2.  It is ancient, going back at least 800 years and if you accept the annals of the order of Mt Carmel their devotion to Mary extends back to her even while she still walked the earth.
3.  It has received numerous blessings from the Church.
4.  Many Saints of the Church have worn it and recommended its use.
5.  Many miracles of the brown scapular are historical facts, attested to by numerous witnesses and they have occurred without ceasing sense the institution of the confraternity of the brown scapular. 

These should be reason enough for everyone to want to participate in the devotion to the brown scapular by devoutly wearing it even if it did not have the promise, that anyone who died wearing the brown scapular shall not suffer eternal fire.

What are some of its benefits, excluding the promise of salvation and the special protection of Mary.

1.  It is an act of religion when one wears it for the sake of devotion to the Mother of God.
2.  It is an act of humility to the Church and her Saints that recommended its use to grow in grace. 
3.  It is an outward sign of devotion to the Mother of God.
4.  The Church has decreed that the devout use of a devotional object merits a partial indulgence.
5. Its wearing is a constant reminder of the presence of God and our childlike intimacy with Mary. 

These repeated acts help us grown in virtue, honoring the Virgin Mary in front of men will lead to God honoring us in front of men, the partial indulgences help alleviate the sufferings of the holy soul or pay our debt due to sin and the reminder of Gods presence deters us from committing sin.  Even if people choose to be doubters of the great promise of salvation of the brown scapular, they cannot deny these facts.

However, the promises of the brown scapular are true: that of a good and holy death, and of our Lady’s protection.  How do we know? Because they have been proven many times by miracles.  If you are interested in hearing many historical and semi modern miracles please check out our Audiobook on miracles of the brown scapular.

You will find among the numerous stories of the brown scapular not stories of canonized Saints,  but stories of sinners often times people who lived very evil lives, but through the power of the brown scapular where either saved from unexpected deaths or given the grace of repentance.  

It would be superstitious to believe that the cloth in and of itself will save one from hell.  It would be presumptuous to believe that one will be allowed to die wearing the brown scapular.  But, it is neither superstition or presumption to put ones confidence and hope in Our Lady of the Brown Scapular even when one is in mortal sin, even when one is living a reprobate life.  When we sin against charity we may lose sanctifying grace, but we do not necessarily lose the theological virtue of hope.  Dearest reader, no matter what sin or sins you find yourself committing, never ever take off your brown scapular.  

Every day we wear the brown scapular we renew our plea to Our Lady, “I need your special help to be saved!”. How can such a plea be worthless even when we are in sin!  No one with unrepented mortal sin will enter heaven, but to hope that our lady by wearing her garment will provide the grace for repentance is true wisdom.

The sinner and the saint  who wear the brown scapular only are able to do it through the grace of God, since to wear the brown scapular with devotion is a good work and only God can do good.  And while I do accept that no one must believe in the brown scapular (being a private revelation) or that wearing it is not mandatory, I have sometimes pondered that those who hold it in scorn have not received the grace to wear it because they are currently on their way to hell.

But we do not want them to go to hell, and we do not want for anyone to lose out on the numerous graces that are available by the devout daily wearing of the brown scapular.  Last year Alleluia Audiobooks published an Audiobook devoted to only miracles of the brown scapular from the founding of the confraternity up till the early 20th century. To date it is our second most popular audiobook after the torments of hell, but we have received feedback that it was a great aid in increasing devotion to the brown scapular and people showed greater fidelity in wearing it daily.

In anticipation for the next feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel we are hoping to receive enough user submissions of miraculous stories of the brown scapular from readers in order to put together a new Audiobook of miracles of the Brown Scapular in modern times.  To strengthen peoples confidence in the brown scapular and to confound its enemies. It is a great opportunity to help induce others to love and reverence our Lady of Mt Carmel.  I most earnestly implore you to submit your stories, to share this plea, and if you are a blogger to please also consider sharing this post on your blog so that we are able to collect enough stories to make another Audiobook to the Glory of God and Our Lady of Mt Carmel.

Our Lady of Mt Carmel, Thou has promise St Simon Stock that anyone who died wearing thy brown scapular shall not suffer eternal fire. Grant then me the grace to die wearing it, and protect me at the hour of my death with the last sacraments.  O Mother, pray for me that when I go before the judgement seat of God that your merits might be applied to the penalty due to my sins and that I escape the punishments of purgatory. Amen.


Anonymous said...

I was at the hardware store today, in Soledad, CA and ran into a Mexican Carmelite in full habit. She is visiting, trying to raise funds for the construction of the Carmel in Guanajuato, MX.

The Carmelites are a contemplative order who do not actively solicit funds. Instead, they rely on God's providence to provide their needs. This is why this nun is not visiting parishes like the missionaries do. Carmelites do not hold collections at the masses at their convents, either. The only active fundraising that they do is by providing a product, such as the Carmelites in San Diego, CA, make altar bread and distribute it to the various parishes around southern California.

If the Moderator has no objection, and if people would like to donate for the construction of the Carmel in Guanajuato, they may contact them here:

Herminia Arreola Martinez
A.P. 56,
Jerecuaro, Guanajuato. Mexico.

Tel. 01(421)4761416

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel,
Pray for us!


Truthseeker said...

Great article. Congrats.

Doragoon said...

What bothers me is that no one I've met who wears it is aware that you need to be initiated into it by a priest (any priest can do it) before you start wearing it and that it obligates you to say certain prayers (easily added to nightly or morning prayers, assuming you already have a routine of daily prayers). It's not just a piece of jewelry with magic powers, it is a way of life. But, when I inform people of this, they admit that it's just fashion for them. (only one person went ahead and got a priest to vest them) Somehow I doubt that by profaning the scapular, they will receive its benefits.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you do have to be vested in the brown scapular. I'm unaware of any specific prayers that you have to say to gain the basic benefits, though you have to be chaste according to your state in life.

However, in order to gain the sabbatine privilege (release from purgatory on the first Saturday after your death) you must pray the Divine Office, or the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin - these can be commuted to the daily rosary by any priest.


Karl said...

"But, it is neither superstition or presumption to put ones confidence and hope in Our Lady of the Brown Scapular even when one is in mortal sin, even when one is living a reprobate life."

I feel often that it is as if I am being obstinate in my sin, as if I am balancing and making a game of my salvation in front of , standing on the edge of a cliff, refusing to step off to safety and rather edging closer to the fall. But I will try to get a new brown scapular after this post.

Anonymous said...

I do not recall this myself but as I understand it, it used to be a common ritual at ones First Communion (?) to be initiated into this, if I'm not mistaken. If correct, chances are most have forgotten the privilege of wearing with devotion this Brown Scapular. If not sure, I imagine we should be "re-invested".

Anonymous said...

Once you are vested, there is no need to do it again. Just get a brown scapular and start wearing it.

On the other hand, there is no sacrilege in doing so again. It might help, if one wishes to take the scapular, the promises associated with it, and Our Lady, as part of one's daily devotions.