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Kissing My Scapular

alec vanderboom

At this point, it’s a pretty fair bet that any Catholic devotion that I turned my nose up during RICA as being “too weird”, is now on my “must have-- can’t live without it” list. NFP, Daily Mass, the Rosary, First Saturday devotions, Our Lady of Fatima, all of these have won their way into my heart. My latest, “How did I live without it” item is my Brown Scapular.

I cannot tell you how much this small piece of brown wool has changed my prayer life. I love that the back feels scratchy, like the camel hair clothes of John the Baptist. I love that mine comes with a St. Benedict medal that reminds me to pray for the pope. I love that it’s unfashionable and sticks out of my hip black tee shirts. I love that I can kiss it every time that I sin as a concrete act of penance. When I’m going into a tense situation (especially when I have to make difficult phone calls), I clutch a cloth picture of Our Lady in my hand. I love that wearing Our Lady of Mount Carmel makes me feel so close to St. Theresa of Avila (my patron saint) and her namesake St. Theresa of the Child Jesus.

Wearing a scapular is a reminder of the maternal hug that Our Lady extends to each of us. I’m so grateful that Our Lady extended this kindness to St. Simon Stock.

PS: Don’t forget to read about the Ugandan Martyrs Feast Day today and discover an inspiring example of male chastity.