Scapular


#1

My younger brother (cradle Catholic turned Protestant, now attending a Pentecostal Bible college) said something last night and I hope some on this forum can give me some info on it. When he was Catholic he used to wear this scapular all the time. Yesterday he made the comment about how supposedly if you wear one you won’t go to hell. That sounded pretty rediculous to me, and I told him I’d never heard that…

This morning I looked some stuff up on the web and I found a couple poorly-made web sites that seemed to talk about that as if it’s true (if you do x y and z and die with a scapular on you won’t go to Hell). Basically, it seemed to be exactly the sort of thing Protestants accuse us of. I wonder if anyone here knows the truth about it (whether these appearences of Mary can be verified or not, what Rome has said on the matter) and if the matter is more complicated that it seems.

It can’t be that the scapular somehow… negates mortal sin. Is it supposed to prevent you from committing one or something?


#2

[quote=Catholic_Mike]My younger brother (cradle Catholic turned Protestant, now attending a Pentecostal Bible college) said something last night and I hope some on this forum can give me some info on it. When he was Catholic he used to wear this scapular all the time. Yesterday he made the comment about how supposedly if you wear one you won’t go to hell. That sounded pretty rediculous to me, and I told him I’d never heard that…

This morning I looked some stuff up on the web and I found a couple poorly-made web sites that seemed to talk about that as if it’s true (if you do x y and z and die with a scapular on you won’t go to Hell). Basically, it seemed to be exactly the sort of thing Protestants accuse us of. I wonder if anyone here knows the truth about it (whether these appearences of Mary can be verified or not, what Rome has said on the matter) and if the matter is more complicated that it seems.

It can’t be that the scapular somehow… negates mortal sin. Is it supposed to prevent you from committing one or something?
[/quote]

It is a little more complicated than your brother is saying. You aren’t gauranteed to go to Heaven by wearing a scapular. The idea is that by wearing a scapular you will avoid sin. If you sin while wearing a scapular it is like professing God while sinning. It is something that a person does not want to do. The scapular is like a reminder of God when you are in a position to sin. It puts your mind into the correct disposition.

I wear a scapular usually and when I am tempted to sin or go against God in any way, I an reminded of what I am wearing.


#3

Our Blessed Mother gave the brown scapular to St. Simon Stock on July 16, 1251 and promised “Whoever dies clothed in this scapular shall not suffer eternal fire”. What it means to me is that by wearing it faithfully, Mary will assist you during your lifetime to avoid the ocassions of sin. And to Catholics, no sin = seeing God. It is not a good luck charm!


#4

it would seem to be that being “clothed” in the scapular does not simply mean to wear it.
If one looks at all of the marian apparitions through time, Mary has always called us to frequent confession, continual prayer, acts of penance, frequent Mass, and fasting.

I think that that is what the scapular stands for, all of those things.
To be clothed in the scapular means to be clothed in Christ.

Romans 13:14 says this: But clothe yourselves with Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.

1 Cor 15:54 says this: ** When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
**
Explaining the scapular means to explain the symbolic language of clothing onesself in Christ. It is not, literally, a magical device. When we clothe ourselves with Christ, Christ delivers us from sin and temptation. The scapular is Christocentric. If we clothe ourselves with Christ, we will be saved from hell.

Wearing the scapular assumes that we are taking advantage of the means by which we accept Christ’s grace, through reconciliation, the eucharist of the Mass, and prayer.

Always be sure to explain things to evangelicals with a biblical response.


#5

As the post by Bob said, the scapular is not a good luck charm, or free pass into heaven. For those who wear the scapular and lead a devout life, Mary will help obtain additioanl graces for you.

One can wear the scapular and still have complete free will to lead a immoral life full of hair curling sins. It’s still your choice.

I did read a neat little story and I’ll paraphrase because I cannot remember where I read it. There was a lady who devoutly wore the brown scapular because she had heard of it’s saving graces and that she would avoid the pains of purgatory if she were to die wearing the scapular.
She was by no mean pious. She led a life chock full of sin and self indulgence - ever remaining faithful to wearing the scapular.
One day she was in a terrible accident and taken to the emergency room. While trying to save her life, the emergency room personnel removed her clothing and saw she was wearing a scapular. They left the scapular on.
She started screaming, “get it off, get it off, it burns!”, but the only thing touching her was the scapular. So someone removed the scapular, and she immediately died.

Nice story that I thought I would paraphrase and share. But for no particular purpose.


#6

Well… then why should people also literally wear scapulars?

What you’ve all said makes sense, and I imagined that the explination had to be something like that the scapular is just a symbol which helps us out…

I’m still not all that comfortable with the stuff about “additional graces” and such.

While we’re on this sort of topic… things like “holy water” kind of perplex me too…


#7

[quote=jrabs]As the post by Bob said, the scapular is not a good luck charm, or free pass into heaven. For those who wear the scapular and lead a devout life, Mary will help obtain additioanl graces for you.

One can wear the scapular and still have complete free will to lead a immoral life full of hair curling sins. It’s still your choice.

I did read a neat little story and I’ll paraphrase because I cannot remember where I read it. There was a lady who devoutly wore the brown scapular because she had heard of it’s saving graces and that she would avoid the pains of purgatory if she were to die wearing the scapular.
She was by no mean pious. She led a life chock full of sin and self indulgence - ever remaining faithful to wearing the scapular.
One day she was in a terrible accident and taken to the emergency room. While trying to save her life, the emergency room personnel removed her clothing and saw she was wearing a scapular. They left the scapular on.
She started screaming, “get it off, get it off, it burns!”, but the only thing touching her was the scapular. So someone removed the scapular, and she immediately died.

Nice story that I thought I would paraphrase and share. But for no particular purpose.
[/quote]

I heard the same story. :slight_smile:

In addition to wearing the scapular, one promises to pray the rosary daily – the scapular is merely the outward sign of being faithful.

If a person is doing everything they are suppose to with regards to the scapular, over time they will draw further and further away from sin and the chance of dying in a state of mortal sin will become more & more unlikely so they will be saved from the fires of hell.


#8

At first the scapular was only a Sabatine privilege, their habit was brown, later on it was extended to the Church.

It represents the habit of Mt, Carmel in minature, to wear it is an act of faith, there are many stories of it’s blessings.

Mary may have had to pray for a long time to obtain this gift for us.
catholicism.org/pages/brown.htm
Ven. Francis Ypes (brother of St. John of the Cross) tells us that one day my scapular fell off. As I replaced it, the devil howled, ‘take it off, take off the habit which snatches so many souls from us.’ Ven. Francis then made the devil admit that there are three things which the demons are most afraid of: the Holy name of Jesus, the Holy name of Mary and the Holy Scapular of Carmel. Yet in the 20th century people refuse to admit in the existence of the devil. If they do believe in his existence, then he is a mere imagery that can not bother us. We are our own devil so to speak. We hear of incidents like Padre Pio and Ven. Brother Andre being diabolically assaulted (in the 20th century) and it goes completely unnoticed. In books we read about strange noises, unseen blows, curtains catching fire; these all attest to the hatred of an unseen enemy attacking the holiness of the Cure of Ars. We believe, but totally ignore the fact that this unseen enemy is also our enemy!

unitypublishing.com/Apparitions/DoorBrownScapular.html


#9

[quote=Catholic_Mike]While we’re on this sort of topic… things like “holy water” kind of perplex me too…
[/quote]

Holy water is a sacramental of the Church. For a complete definition of sacramentals, look at the Catechism paragraphs 1667-1673. Sacramentals are sacred signs that resemble the Sacraments. Holy water is to remind us of our Baptism. But there is a lot more to it. The Catechism explains it in detail. I think you’ll feel better about it after reading those paragraphs.

Blessings


#10

Hi,

Holy Water, by the way, has been around since the Old Testament times:

Numbers 5:17
"and the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel, and take some of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle and put it into the water."

It’s never unusual for God to bless us through material things, especially ones which belong to his people. Take Paul’s handkerchief, for example:

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."

If God can work such miracles through things belonging to Paul (who was much less worthy), imagine what he could do through things given to us by Mary!


#11

[quote="Catholic_Mike, post:6, topic:11773"]
Well... then why should people also literally wear scapulars?

What you've all said makes sense, and I imagined that the explination had to be something like that the scapular is just a symbol which helps us out...

I'm still not all that comfortable with the stuff about "additional graces" and such.

While we're on this sort of topic... things like "holy water" kind of perplex me too...

[/quote]

all these things are sacramentals, and they are objects set aside for the use of the LORD, and the LORD allows graces to flow from them.


#12

From the Catechism...

SACRAMENTALS

1667 "Holy Mother Church has, moreover, instituted sacramentals. These are sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments. They signify effects, particularly of a spiritual nature, which are obtained through the intercession of the Church. By them men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions in life are rendered holy."173

The characteristics of sacramentals

1668 Sacramentals are instituted for the sanctification of certain ministries of the Church, certain states of life, a great variety of circumstances in Christian life, and the use of many things helpful to man. In accordance with bishops' pastoral decisions, they can also respond to the needs, culture, and special history of the Christian people of a particular region or time. They always include a prayer, often accompanied by a specific sign, such as the laying on of hands, the sign of the cross, or the sprinkling of holy water (which recalls Baptism).

1669 Sacramentals derive from the baptismal priesthood: every baptized person is called to be a "blessing," and to bless.174 Hence lay people may preside at certain blessings; the more a blessing concerns ecclesial and sacramental life, the more is its administration reserved to the ordained ministry (bishops, priests, or deacons).175

1670 Sacramentals do not confer the grace of the Holy Spirit in the way that the sacraments do, but by the Church's prayer, they prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it. "For well-disposed members of the faithful, the liturgy of the sacraments and sacramentals sanctifies almost every event of their lives with the divine grace which flows from the Paschal mystery of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ. From this source all sacraments and sacramentals draw their power. There is scarcely any proper use of material things which cannot be thus directed toward the sanctification of men and the praise of God."176

Various forms of sacramentals

1671 Among sacramentals blessings (of persons, meals, objects, and places) come first. Every blessing praises God and prays for his gifts. In Christ, Christians are blessed by God the Father "with every spiritual blessing."177 This is why the Church imparts blessings by invoking the name of Jesus, usually while making the holy sign of the cross of Christ.

More here scborromeo.org/ccc/p2s2c4a1.htm#1670


#13

the rest

1672 Certain blessings have a lasting importance because they consecrate persons to God, or reserve objects and places for liturgical use. Among those blessings which are intended for persons - not to be confused with sacramental ordination - are the blessing of the abbot or abbess of a monastery, the consecration of virgins and widows, the rite of religious profession and the blessing of certain ministries of the Church (readers, acolytes, catechists, etc.). The dedication or blessing of a church or an altar, the blessing of holy oils, vessels, and vestments, bells, etc., can be mentioned as examples of blessings that concern objects.

1673 When the Church asks publicly and authoritatively in the name of Jesus Christ that a person or object be protected against the power of the Evil One and withdrawn from his dominion, it is called exorcism. Jesus performed exorcisms and from him the Church has received the power and office of exorcizing.178 In a simple form, exorcism is performed at the celebration of Baptism. The solemn exorcism, called "a major exorcism," can be performed only by a priest and with the permission of the bishop. The priest must proceed with prudence, strictly observing the rules established by the Church. Exorcism is directed at the expulsion of demons or to the liberation from demonic possession through the spiritual authority which Jesus entrusted to his Church. Illness, especially psychological illness, is a very different matter; treating this is the concern of medical science. Therefore, before an exorcism is performed, it is important to ascertain that one is dealing with the presence of the Evil One, and not an illness.179

Popular piety

1674 Besides sacramental liturgy and sacramentals, catechesis must take into account the forms of piety and popular devotions among the faithful. The religious sense of the Christian people has always found expression in various forms of piety surrounding the Church's sacramental life, such as the veneration of relics, visits to sanctuaries, pilgrimages, processions, the stations of the cross, religious dances, the rosary, medals,180 etc.

1675 These expressions of piety extend the liturgical life of the Church, but do not replace it. They "should be so drawn up that they harmonize with the liturgical seasons, accord with the sacred liturgy, are in some way derived from it and lead the people to it, since in fact the liturgy by its very nature is far superior to any of them."181

1676 Pastoral discernment is needed to sustain and support popular piety and, if necessary, to purify and correct the religious sense which underlies these devotions so that the faithful may advance in knowledge of the mystery of Christ.182 Their exercise is subject to the care and judgment of the bishops and to the general norms of the Church.

At its core the piety of the people is a storehouse of values that offers answers of Christian wisdom to the great questions of life. The Catholic wisdom of the people is capable of fashioning a vital synthesis. . . . It creatively combines the divine and the human, Christ and Mary, spirit and body, communion and institution, person and community, faith and homeland, intelligence and emotion. This wisdom is a Christian humanism that radically affirms the dignity of every person as a child of God, establishes a basic fraternity, teaches people to encounter nature and understand work, provides reasons for joy and humor even in the midst of a very hard life. For the people this wisdom is also a principle of discernment and an evangelical instinct through which they spontaneously sense when the Gospel is served in the Church and when it is emptied of its content and stifled by other interests.181 

IN BRIEF

1677 Sacramentals are sacred signs instituted by the Church. They prepare men to receive the fruit of the sacraments and sanctify different circumstances of life.

1678 Among the sacramentals blessings occupy an important place. They include both praise of God for his works and gifts, and the Church's intercession for men that they may be able to use God's gifts according to the spirit of the Gospel.

1679 In addition to the liturgy, Christian life is nourished by various forms of popular piety, rooted in the different cultures. While carefully clarifying them in the light of faith, the Church fosters the forms of popular piety that express an evangelical instinct and a human wisdom and that enrich Christian life.


#14

Is it possible to become demonically oppressed, obsessed or possessed while wearing a Brown Scalpular and or Rosary? I became very mildly oppressed by demons back in 2007,years before I started wearing a Brown Scalpular or Rosary (I have the ability to speak in tounges and in my case it comes from one or more demons. Usually when I do so, I do so voluntarily. It was nothing I asked for though.) I was doing so today and got the thought that I could become possessed from doing that and that that's exactly what the demon/s gving me the ability was trying to do. As I was wearing a Brown Scalpular and a Rosary, I didn't think that was likely to happen, but also reasoned that because I was committing such a bad sin (all occultic sins break the first commandment,) God might allow such to happen to me regardless of my wearing sacramentals.

(I would've posted a new thread if I knew how, but I don't.)


#15

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