THE GARMENT OF GRACE
The Garment of Grace is our Most Blessed Mother’s gift of the brown scapular. The brown scapular was given to St. Simon Stock in Aylesford, England, in 1251. Our Lady herself said, “Take this scapular. Whoever dies wearing it shall not suffer fire. It shall be a sign of salvation, protection from danger, and a pledge of peace.”
One of the great mysteries of our time, is that the majority of Catholics either ignore, or have entirely forgotten, this heavenly promise of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Our Lady had also commanded,“Wear the scapular devotedly and perseveringly. It is my garment. To be clothed in it means you are continually thinking of me, and I in turn, am always thinking of you and helping you to secure eternal life.”
The Carmelite religious order was founded in Aylesford England, in 1241. Twelve years later, Our Lady again appeared to St. Simon Stock, holding the Baby Jesus in her arms, she handed him the brown scapular and spoke these words, “This shall be the privilege for you and all Carmelites, that anyone dying in this habit shall not suffer eternal fire.”
In time, the church extended this magnificent privilege to all laity who are willing to be invested in the brown scapular of the Carmelites and promise to wear it perpetually. Throughout the ages, Our Lady continues to remind the faithful of the importance of the brown scapular, thus, showing Heaven’s approval that is made of the entire Church, including laity. This invitation to wear Our Lady’s garment was even spoken by her to the children of Fatima.
Many people will ask, “How does a piece of cloth that is worn around the neck have such great power?”
The answer is that it is not through the material of the cloth but through following Our Lady’s command and the blessings received by wearing this sacramental that God is able to give extraordinary gifts through the faith in His power and that of our Blessed Mother. The scapular has been the source of many miracles in the lives of those who are enrolled in it for life. Our Lady has said through the saints and approved apparitions that the rosary and the scapular are inseparable and go in hand in hand. St. Dominic himself was told by Our Lady that one day, through the rosary and the scapular, she would save the world.
I would like to invite all Catholics to respond to Our Lady’s call to wear her scapular by staying after Mass on the Holy Day of Obligation of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Tuesday, August 15 at 5:30pm, or after the Vigil Mass, which is on Monday, August 14, 5:30 pm. I will enroll everyone after these Masses, which takes approximately 15 minutes, and you will receive a free scapular and book on this devotion.
May God give you Peace,
Just recently we began our Sundays in Ordinary Time. If you noticed we have not had “green” in quite a while. First, there was a little over 40 days of Lent, and then we had Holy Week. We also had the Easter Season lasting 8 weeks, which ended on Pentecost, followed by two more weeks of solemnities. Now we are back into the Green Season, known as Ordinary Time. But in fact, I always tell parishioners that there is nothing ordinary about Ordinary Time.
In this season, we focus on the Life and Ministry of Jesus’ public mission. Jesus is known as The Christ, which translates to mean “The Anointed One.” Jesus coming into this world is based on His anointing as Priest, Prophet, and King. He is a priest because He offers Himself on the cross for our salvation.
As Priest, He is the one who offers sacrifice and provides that which is sacrificed along with the altar, which is Calvary.
Jesus is Prophet. The role of a prophet is not one who predicts the future as we think of it today, but the true role of the prophet is to call people to turn away from sin and follow God’s commandments. The prophets speak the Word of God which oftentimes contain messages of what would happen to the people if they do not repent in the future, or messages of what would happen though their prayers and obedience.
Jesus is also King. As the Anointed One, Jesus proclaims, by His coming and through His ministry, that we are to live for His Kingdom, which is brought about by loyalty to Him and love for thy neighbor.
And so in Ordinary Time we now take a close look on the beautiful public ministry of Jesus. We learn of His many lessons on how to follow His will and obey Our Heavenly Father’s commandments. We are encouraged by His kind words of compassion and tender empathy towards our broken humanity. And we are called to believe in His Power by the great miracles that He performs, which is also a sign of His great love for us by the many people He healed and fed.
To know Jesus and His teachings, we have the gift of the rest of the Sundays until we return to Advent. And so let us continue on our journey towards Christ in our liturgical year by giving thanks and listening to His public ministry.
May God give you peace,