When did you first hear about the Brown Scapular?
When I was in 2nd grade, about to make my 1st Holy Communion, our parents were almost required to buy a kit through the school that had a roasry, a purse, a rosary case, a prayer book, a pin, and a scapular in it. We were given the scapulars on a certain day and the priest came in to “invest” us. We read a pamphlet about it. Thankfully, our teacer wasn’t as strict as the others and didn’t check for it like they did.
Why did you start wearing it?
I had one in 2nd grade, and wore one occasionally until I was about 19. I started wearing it again about 2 years ago, although I haven’t worn it as much as I should. I wear it when I’m feeling really low, and try to wear it when I leave the house. I try to take it off and put it on without my husband noticing.
What is it like wearing the Scapular?
It’s an intensely private feeling. I don’t feel “holier than thou,” but it’s like having a little secret, like a gold coin in your pocket or diamond earrings under long hair. Mind you, when I start to sweat (a lot, lately), it gets a little uncomfortable. It reminds me to watch my mouth, pull up my shirt, and to be attentive to those in charge, because it’s a “yoke.”
What reactions does the Brown Scapular provoke?
I feel a little ashamed having to explain to my rommate and husband that Catholics don’t think it’s a “get into heaven free” pass, and they think that Catholicism is too full of rules when I explain it. ::sigh::
Someone at my old job saw it and once remarked, “You’re a pretty religious person, aren’t you?” I wasn’t too happy with that, because it’s a negative connotation, and I’m not very strict with my discipline. I try to be knowledgeable in the Faith, but I’m not constantly in prayer and let’s face it, the scapular isn’t a hair shirt!
I’ve had that happen a few times. Once, I quietly told a lady that the back “flap” was sticking out of her shirt at the mall. It was no biggie, but she was as embarrassed as if she had gum on her clothes.