Is wearing a brown scapular really Christian?


#1

I was watching Mother Angelica selling scapulars on EWTN today, with the promise that whoever would wear these scapulars upon their death, would be safeguarded from an eternity of purgatorial fire? Is this teaching really biblical, let alone found in the practice of the early church for say 500 years? I say it isn’t and is contrary to all that the church once believed. What do you say?


#2

[quote=justcatholic]I say it isn’t and is contrary to all that the church once believed.
[/quote]

Why do you say this? Can you please give more information?

Thanks


#3

Please see: catholic.com/thisrock/1992/9211qq.asp

You will find a question about the scapular there the answer to which provides some good information.

Also, see a follow up question here: catholic.com/thisrock/1993/9301ltrs.asp


#4

I can find no church traditional evidence for at least 500 years that this practice was done in the Catholic church. Neither is there any mention of such a practice in the New Testament. If this is indeed the case, then this certainly cannot be of apostolic origin or sanctioned by the early Catholic church? That was my point.


#5

[quote=justcatholic]I can find no church traditional evidence for at least 500 years that this practice was done in the Catholic church. Neither is there any mention of such a practice in the New Testament. If this is indeed the case, then this certainly cannot be of apostolic origin or sanctioned by the early Catholic church? That was my point.
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You could say similar (though certainly different in some ways) things about the Rosary. Would you contest the use of the Rosary?

Certainly, the Scapular when misused, and viewed in the wrong context, can be contrary to Church teaching and to the truth of God. So can the veneration of Mary and many other Catholic teachings. It is the misuse, misunderstanding, and abuse of things that must be contested, not that which is appropriate about them.


#6

[quote=justcatholic]I can find no church traditional evidence for at least 500 years that this practice was done in the Catholic church. Neither is there any mention of such a practice in the New Testament. If this is indeed the case, then this certainly cannot be of apostolic origin or sanctioned by the early Catholic church? That was my point.
[/quote]

No you will not find any.

I see that you list yourself as Catholic but you seems to misunderstand some things.

We do not just have the Bible, we also have Tradition.

The Scapular is a minature version of the monastic scapular which is part of a monks habit.

The brown scapular is a minature version of what the Carmelite Friars where.

There are many sacramentas that the Church has acknowledged. If you you do not care for them, then do not use them.

How do you feel about the rosary or devotion to Mary in general?

You have been given links here at the forum to go read and I also suggest that you do a search on the internet for scapular or brown scapular and you will find a lot of information that iwll include the history of it.

I also want to ask you one more thing, why do you just look to the first 500 years of the Church?


#7

[quote=justcatholic]I can find no church traditional evidence for at least 500 years that this practice was done in the Catholic church. Neither is there any mention of such a practice in the New Testament. If this is indeed the case, then this certainly cannot be of apostolic origin or sanctioned by the early Catholic church? That was my point.
[/quote]

You’re absolutely right. The wearing of the brown scapular and promises associated with it is not church teaching, never has been, and never will be. Rather, this devotion is the result of private revelation, in which the blessed mother appeared to St. Simon Stock at Mt. Carmel in 1251.

As such, the laws of private revelation apply to this case as well. The private revelation contains no new doctrinal teaching, and is fully in line with the magisterium of the church. However, being a private revelation, the faithful are not required to believe in it.

However, once again, note that the promises associated with the brown scapular ARE NOT contrary to the teachings of the church, otherwise the church would never have approved of the apparition. Also, the scapular does not promise the wearer will not suffer purgatorial fire. It promises the wearer will not suffer eternal fire (hell.)

Lemme know if you have any more questions.
Josh


#8

[quote=threej_lc]You’re absolutely right. The wearing of the brown scapular and promises associated with it is not church teaching, never has been, and never will be. Rather, this devotion is the result of private revelation, in which the blessed mother appeared to St. Simon Stock at Mt. Carmel in 1251.

As such, the laws of private revelation apply to this case as well. The private revelation contains no new doctrinal teaching, and is fully in line with the magisterium of the church. However, being a private revelation, the faithful are not required to believe in it.

However, once again, note that the promises associated with the brown scapular ARE NOT contrary to the teachings of the church, otherwise the church would never have approved of the apparition. Also, the scapular does not promise the wearer will not suffer purgatorial fire. It promises the wearer will not suffer eternal fire (hell.)

Lemme know if you have any more questions.
Josh
[/quote]

Josh,
Well said.

It is also important to note that the brown scapular, or any sacramental, is not a magic charm. Just wearing it does nothing.


#9

The Magisterium speaks:

“But not for this reason, however, may they who wear the Scapular think that they can gain eternal salvation while remaining sinful and negligent of spirit, for the Apostle warns us: ‘In fear and trembling shall you work out your salvation.’”

  • Pope Pius XII

Wearing the Scapular is an act of faith in Christ, through the promises and intercessions of Mary. It, however, requires every other element of saving faith (trust, obedience, repentance, grace, etc.) to be effective.


ewtn.com/library/SCRIPTUR/SCAPULAR.TXT


#10

I believe that trusting in Christ and living a faithful Christian life does much more than the wearing of a brown scapular and trusting in Mary to keep you from the fires of hell. Mary has no power to save anyone in this life or the life to come. Only God can do that.


#11

[quote=justcatholic]I believe that trusting in Christ and living a faithful Christian life does much more than the wearing of a brown scapular and trusting in Mary to keep you from the fires of hell. Mary has no power to save anyone in this life or the life to come. Only God can do that.
[/quote]

I don’t understand.

How does the enrollment of the scapular imply a belief that Mary can save you or that anyone but Christ/God/Holy Spirit can do that?

As I read it, enrollment in the scapular is deeper and more constant awareness of Christ?

The meaning of the scapular was revealed by an apparition of Mary - but as far as I know, she never claimed that she was going to save anyone. If the apparition had made such a claim, it would not have ever been approved by the church for personal devotion.

And I haven’t seen any responses to your questions that indicate that anyone here believes that Mary saves by her own power.

Mary, herself, gives all power and glory to God. :confused:

If you don’t want to believe in the apparition and follow a way that leads to a deeper and more constant awareness of God, then you are not obliged to do so, right?

Or have I gotten something wrong, here?

Elizabeth


#12

[quote=justcatholic]I believe that trusting in Christ and living a faithful Christian life does much more than the wearing of a brown scapular and trusting in Mary to keep you from the fires of hell. Mary has no power to save anyone in this life or the life to come. Only God can do that.
[/quote]

Christ alone is salvation.

Understand the context of Mary’s statement concerning “wearing” the scapular. The scapular is the article of clothing given to a religious brother upon making final vows to a community. Upon wearing the scapular, you state your membership to the community, and your fulfillment of all its requirements in worship and service to God.

We as Catholics can hope in Mary, because being concieved without Original Sin (throught he power of Christ alone), she is the first sign of Christ’s salvation specifically given to us by God as an example. She alone provides us the example how we as non-divine humans can follow the will of God to completion. It is to this end the carmelite order devoted itself to the example of Mary, and through this example given to us by God that Mary has the authority to state, “Wearing of this scapular shall save you from eternal fire.”

We non-carmelites who wear the scapular do so as an outward sign of our devotion to Christ, in the hopes of living in the example of Mary: Sinless and completely devoted to Him. God, in his eternal wisdom, chose that Jesus be formed through the power of the Holy Spirit working IN MARY. God is unchanging. Only working in Mary can the Holy Spirit full bring about the presence of Christ in us as well.

Josh


#13

[quote=justcatholic]I believe that trusting in Christ and living a faithful Christian life does much more than the wearing of a brown scapular and trusting in Mary to keep you from the fires of hell. Mary has no power to save anyone in this life or the life to come. Only God can do that.
[/quote]

Calm down now. No one said that.
You are correct. Wearing a scapular and trusting in Mary won’t do much good at all if you don’t first trust in Christ and follow His Church. However, it doesn’t hurt to do those things either. Here are two analogies:

  1. Think of it as souping up your spiritual ride. You can’t go anywhere without an engine or tires, but shocks and a spoiler help make it a little better and easier. At least, that’s how I see it. I mean, why not do it? It sure doesn’t hurt to have Mary praying for you.
  2. Think about getting married. You don’t have to get along with your mother-in-law to make it a valid marriage, but it makes it much easier if you do.

So there you have it. Not necessary, but not detrimental either. I believe it actually helps.


#14

I believe that justcatholic is suffering from what I consider a very unfortunate aspect of the Catholic faith. Of course justcatholic’s understanding of the true nature of the scapular, and it seems possibly Mary as well, is mistaken. This belief however is the result of a group of people, whom I actually consider Mother Angelica to be at least bordering on belonging to, who herald these aspects of the faith with language that is much too strong, and in some ways just stress them too much in general. I saw the show that he(?) is talking about, and Mother Angelica did very much make it seem like the scapular was a free ticket into heaven. Af you read the second link I posted below, you would see a letter which does muh the same think, practically denying the need for Christ. Marian devotion and veneration is a key aspect of the faith, but (and Vatican II tried to address this a bit) there are some Catholics who own 52 portraits of Mary and not one of Christ! I’ve been to the houses of some of these people. They are misguided, or mistaught, or mis-something in their faith and need to be addressed, for their own sake, for the sake of other Catholics who may be led astray or lose faith, and for the sake of non-Catholics who won’t come to the true faith because they think that Mary is our own personal god.


#15

I have been wearing it since I was enroled on July 16th 2002. it has been a huge vehicle of grace and miracles. There is absolutley no reason to fear it. It is of God. I would encourage you all to embrace it.

It is a sign of our consecration to Jesus, through Mary.

Do a little research on the topic and see for yourself. People may misinterpret these sacramentals so DO SOME HOMEWORK YOURSELF!!!


#16

The idea that God sometimes gives graces through blessed clothes has been part of Christianity from the beginning. Consider Acts 19:11-12:

And God did extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them.


#17

“I was watching Mother Angelica selling scapulars on EWTN today”

I find this statement very disturbing. I have not seen mother Angelica on TV for a while, but I would doubt if she would be stong enough to peddle scapulars on TV. could someone please clarify.?As it stands, it sounds like a medieval friar selling fake relics.


#18

[quote=justcatholic]I was watching Mother Angelica selling scapulars on EWTN today, with the promise that whoever would wear these scapulars upon their death, would be safeguarded from an eternity of purgatorial fire? Is this teaching really biblical, let alone found in the practice of the early church for say 500 years? I say it isn’t and is contrary to all that the church once believed. What do you say?
[/quote]

The Sabbatine Privilege: those who wear the scapular, pray the Rosary or Little Office every day, and remain chaste according to their station, will be rescued from Purgatory the Saturday after their death by Our Ladies intercession.
[left]For, on March 3rd, 1322, Pope John XXII had issued the following Bull :
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[left]

[left]<>“John, Bishop and servant of the servants of God, to the faithful of Christ, collectively and individually: As though in the most sacred heights of paradise, the so sweet and charming harmony of the Angels is heard while the sense of sight is also delighted and Jesus is seen adorned with the glory of His Father. For He saith: I and the Father are one . . . He who seeth Me, seeth also the Father . . . and the choir of the Angels ceaseth not to say: Holy, Holy, Holy. Even so, the Assembly ceaseth not to pour forth praise to the Virgin on high, O Virgin, Virgin, Virgin, be thou our mirror alike and example . . . For she is adorned with the gift of Grace, as holy Church singeth . . . Mary, full of Grace and Mother of Mercy . . . So that hill which is reputed of the Order of Carmel, praising with song and extolling and telling of this Mother of Grace . . . Hail, Queen of Mercy and our hope . . . So, as I prayed with bended knees, the Virgin of Carmel seemed to speak to me these words: O John, Vicar of my well-beloved Son, I shall snatch thee, as it were, from thy foe. Thee who art Pope, I make my Vicar for the solemn gift which I sought from My Son and have obtained by my prayers. So, it behooveth thee to grant a favor and confirmation to my holy and devout Order of Carmel, which took its rise with Elias and Eliseus on the mountain of that name. Whoso maketh profession, whoso observeth the Rule drawn up by my servant Albert the Patriarch, whoso unfailingly sheweth obedience thereunto and to that which has been approved by my dear son Innocent, so that thou mayest accept through the Vicar of my Son on earth what my Son hath ordained in Heaven: that he who shall have persevered in holy obedience, poverty and chastity, or shall enter the Holy Order, shall be saved. And if others for the sake of devotion shall enter holy religion, hearing the sign of the Sacred Habit and calling themselves associates of either sex of my aforesaid Order, they shall be freed and absolved from a third part of their sins on what day they enter. . . So let the professed members of the said Order be freed from punishment and from guilt on what day they go from this world,” so that with hastened step they shall pass over Purgatory, I, THE MOTHER OF GRACE, SHALL DESCEND INTO PURGATORY ON THE SATURDAY AFTER THEIR DEATH AND WHOMSOEVER I SHALL FIND IN PURGATORY I SHALL FREE, so that I may lead them unto the holy mountain of life everlasting. 'Tis true that you brothers and sisters are bound to recite the Canonical Hours, as it behooveth according to the Rule given by Albert. Those who are ignorant must lead a life of fasting on those days on which Holy Church doth so ordain. Moreover, unless through some necessity they be involved in some difficulty, they must abstain from flesh meat on Wednesday and Saturday, except on the Birthday of my Son. Now, when these words had been uttered, the sacred vision departed . . ."[/left]

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#19

I’m pretty sure that “justcatholic” is not a Roman Catholic (or Eastern Catholic). His profile lists his religion as catholic (notice the lower-case “c”?).

He appears to have already made his mind up so don’t spend too much time on a response.

If I’m wrong, I apologise.


#20

[quote=maklavan]As it stands, it sounds like a medieval friar selling fake relics.
[/quote]

This is a ridiculous statement. Sacramentals have always been sold. They are not relics. How else are they going to be made? Wool isn’t free.


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