Today starts our Novena to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Everyone should know that the Brown Scapular is the great gift that associates so many faithful to the Carmelite Order. By being enrolled (and one should be enrolled by a priest before wearing one) one shares in all the good works of the Carmelite Order. How beautiful. Why would anyone refuse so much protection and so many gifts?
I will be posting something each day of the Novena on the Scapular at this site. We will start out with important reasons of why anyone would want to feel a need to wear one. The main reason - She wants us to wear it! Are we not called to be obedient to The Mother of God and Mother of us all!
I have some homeschooled adult children who have chosen not to wear it. I feel bad because I see the refused graces and I know we covered the fragility of our souls when they lived with us. I realize many Americans have a false sense of security and that unfortunately is about to end. But God in His infinite wisdom knows how to bring His children back to Him. We need to realize that we carry our treasure of divine grace in earthen vessels of a fallen human nature which is easily broken. In our redeemed human nature, there is an inherent weakness which places sanctifying grace in CONSTANT DANGER of being lost! This moral weakness has led to the formation of bad habits and inclinations to sin which have their roots deep in our nature. Bad habits are not easily rooted out and while they remain, the state of grace is in peril.
We also do not know when the state of death will come upon us. We are not sure we will die in the state of grace unless we are diligent with our confessions and continually guarding our senses from falling into sin; but we can not do that on our own. God is good and He knows that the clay of which we are formed and He has promised us that if we rely on Him - we will not be tempted above our strength. Moreover, He has given His word that if we use the means of salvation which He has left, the crowning grace of final perseverance will be ours. We are not always diligent enough to pray - especially during times of temptation. God the Father is so good in giving us a great aid - Our Mother and Jesus' Mother - Mary.
It is the constant teaching of the Church that devotion to God's Mother is not only a means but a pledge of eternal salvation. Her Heart is a tower of strength for the weak. St. Bernard says, "The Eternal Father made Her "full of grace" that her love might bestow it where justice would deny it. She is our Mother of Mercy."
"The men of the world," says St. Ambrose, "have as many masters as they have passions. Immodesty comes and says to them, you are mine, because you covet sensual pleasures. Covetousness says, you are mine; for the gold and silver you possess are the price of your liberty. All the vices come and say, you are mine." Every man born into this world serves some master and offers his life on some altar. And if our master is not God it is bound to be some low passion that makes us its slave.
By wearing the Scapular, we are renouncing Satan and all his ways. It is a way of giving ourselves to the Mother of God for Her care of our soul. We must be conscious of that and not just wear it as we intend to remain in sin. St. Paul says, "If any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is not His". Romans 8:9. The same applies to Mary: if we have not her spirit in us, which is to live in union with Her Son Jesus Christ; then we have no part with Her and our Consecration to Her loses its meaning.
By wearing our Scapular, Our Lady watches over our soul and helps us when we may not even be aware of it because by putting it on, we are ASKING HER - "Mother, help me!" She is the Mother of us all. She witnessed the death of Jesus for US! She wants our salvation because it was bought with the price of Her Son! SHE LONGS TO HELP US AND SHE WILL HELP US! We must have confidence in this - especially now!
In this life of tempestuous seas, let us put on the life jacket of salvation -- the Brown Scapular that will help us get to the port of Heaven. May we choose safety and not to chance getting lost at sea! The next life is eternal which means it will never end.
Let us humble ourselves to put on the garment of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel to ask Her for protection during this time when Satan is unleashed and seeking the ruin of many many souls. There is no better refuge right now than the Immaculate Heart of Mary so that She Herself may place us constantly into the Heart of Her Son Jesus - never to be lost!
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel - Pray for us!
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 42 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 6 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!