Tomorrow is the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. How fast time flies! This article is about Mary hearing the plea of St. Simon and answering his prayer in time of great need and her faithfulness to Her Promise. This is taken from "Take This Scapular" pages. 17-19 and was written by Fr. Wilfrid A. Smith, O Carm.
"A holy Carmelite, St. Simon Stock, humbly knelt in prayer in the midst of the storm, with thunderous words of protest resounding in his ears, and lightening flashes of criticism striking about him.
O beautiful Flower of Carmel,
Most fruitful vine,
Splendor of Heaven,
Holy and singular
Who brought forth the Son of God,
Still ever remaining a pure virgin,
Assist us in this necessity.
O Star of the Sea,
Help and protect us.
Show us that You are our Mother.
Suddenly, the storm clouds parted. In the clearing, surrounded by a heavenly light and a host of angels, Mary, the Queen of Heaven, appeared. In the crook of her left arm the Divine Child rested. In her right hand she held a garment which she extended towards the kneeling monk. In tones of motherly tenderness she spoke: "Receive my beloved son, this habit of thy Order. It shall be to you and to all Carmelites a privilege, that whosoever dies clothed in this shall never suffer eternal fire." Gradually the vision grew dim and Simon Stock found himself again alone, holding in his own hand the pledge of Mary's protection and the sign of salvation, Heaven's own gift to Carmel - the Scapular.
As abruptly as they fell and inundated the Order, so abruptly did the waters of criticism subside, and once more the Order of Carmel prospered and grew. What the rainbow was to Noah, a sign of peace with God, that the Scapular became for Simon Stock and Carmel: a sign of eternal alliance between the Order and its Queen.
... No pact with men or nations will send Satan groveling in the dust. The weapons which will conquer him transcend the powers of man to make. They must be made in Heaven. God gave us the Commandments. His Divine Son gave us the Sacraments. With the Commandments as our guide and the Sacraments as our weapons, we fight the mighty battle of life. God, our Father, and Christ, our Brother, are with us in the great struggle.
The Scapular is Mary's own guarantee to us of Her protection against the darts of the evil one. It is the armoured mail which will turn aside evil's strongest weapons.
But, as earthly weapons are of no avail to him who will not use them, so the Scapular is of no avail to him who will not love it and appreciate its value. If we profess to love Mary and to value Her protection, we will love and treasure what She has given to us as a mark of Her love for us. We cannot think that Mary's alliance is unilateral. She loves us, and she expects us to love Her. We can best manifest that love by endeavoring to live as She would have us live, by fighting as She would have us fight. It is only thus that the Scapular which She has given and which we wear will prove itself as She, the giver, has promised: a sure Sign of Salvation. "Because of the alliance which Mary contracts with us and which we contract with Her," says Blessed Claude de la Colombiere, "no other devotion renders our salvation so certain!"
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 41 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 5 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!