Saturday, October 19, 2013

Catechesis on the Scapular by Fr. Ronald Check

Last week, someone submitted a question about the Scapular of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  "Is it not a superstitious custom to wear the scapular, believing it a sure charm against evil?"  This is a great question.  The Scapular is a Sacramental.  We should be careful to avoid attaching any superstitious sentiments to religious objects.  All salvation comes not through objects, but through Christ.  As Catholics we do not consider the scapular to be a charm against evil.  It is rather an external manifestation of an internal desire to be a faithful disciple of Christ and a faithful son or daughter of the Blessed Mother.  The wearing of the scapular reflects either a formal or informal association with the Carmelite Order.   Other orders also have different versions of the Scapular, such as the Mercedarians, the Trinitarians, the Dominicans and others.  Those formal members of these Orders wear a monastic scapular, which is very long in the front and back and has both practical and spiritual elements.  The faithful who wear the Brown Scapular and share in the good works of the Carmelite Order gain special indulgences, and pledge themselves to be faithful disciples of our Lord, the Blessed Virgin and the Saints.  The Scapular promise is based on the two elements of Mary’s spiritual maternity and her mediation of grace, that she is our "spiritual" mother, and also the "channel" through which all grace comes to us, understood in the sense that she too is dependent on the sole mediation of Christ, her son.  Our Lady’s promise: "Those who die wearing the Scapular will not suffer eternal fire."  In this Month of the Holy Rosary, may God grant is a life devoted to our Spiritual Mother.


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