Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Immaculate Mary

If you've read this blog much, you can probably figure out that I have a deep devotion to Our Lady. She has been with me through all of the good and bad times of the last 10-15 years of my life. I am ashamed to say I was really missing her before that. God is so good that He led me to her in due time. I am so grateful for that. I shudder to think how many more years I would have gone without my Mother in heaven had I not had the trials I did that forced me to fly to Her.

So, always grateful for Her guidance, I am constantly looking for new ways to deepen my devotion to Our Lady. Part of this has been an ongoing curiosity with wearing a scapular. I have known about scapulars in the past (we all got them as our First Communion "kit" right?) but I never spent much time thinking about them until recently. After having a discussion with a reasonably devout young mother who assured me "wearing this will keep you from going to hell" (not an exact quote I'm sure), I knew I had to look further.

You see. I couldn't make sense of that statement. Perhaps it's been living with DH as long as I have but, frankly, it came off as a superstition of some kind...'if only I'm wearing my scapular, I'm safe'. I steer very clear of that kind of thinking because I usually end up either depending too much on it (to the point of being obsessive...what if I die when I'm running and don't have it on?) or forgetting about it altogether and relegating it to a drawer somewhere. Besides, if you live life in the way you should, do you really need a symbol?

So, I started searching. Did you know how many colors there are to choose from? I figured it was Our Lady of Mt. Carmel or nothing. Turns out that is very far from the truth. My dear friend today said, "isn't it wonderful that there are so many scapulars to fit our many different devotions and personalities?". Indeed, that is the case. Check out fisheaters for a quick introduction.

After reading a LOT about this subject, something kept coming up...
One must do more than "wear the scapular"; one must wear it worthily.
I still couldn't roll with the brown one simply because of my personality and what I knew would happen. The green was attractive to me at first (and I know of a person who used it with great success) but the logistics seemed troublesome. The black was also of interest to me because of my great attraction to Christ's Passion and my love of the Passionists. However, I can never seem to pull that off. I always hear Saint JP II in my head about "We are an Easter people..." and I feel like a fraud because I can get completely mired in Good Friday.
What to do? I prayed a lot and thought and read and eventually it became clear. What, for me, would be better than blue? To remember and celebrate Our Lady in her Immaculate Conception; to offer my penances for the souls in purgatory; to have an association with the MIC order...win, win, win. That and the fact that a priest named Fr. Casimir (which has always been in the running as a "boy" name in my mind) was the first MIC to ask for permission to bless and invest the faithful with this scapular. Well, that was enough for me.

You can read the entire story of the blue scapular here

The paperwork finally arrived on Saturday, when we were on our pilgrimage. Oh, do you remember where we went?

Yes. The National Shrine dedicated to the IMMACULATE CONCEPTION . I tell you, the Holy Spirit cracks me up sometimes. It's not that I didn't know the scapular was coming or that we were going to this specific place but on the same day? I love that. I am so blessed.
This morning, we all attended 8 AM Mass. My eldest served for her second time and we all rejoiced in the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. After Mass I was invested by my pastor while I knelt in front of the tabernacle. This afternoon I gratefully went to Adoration and prayed my rosary of thanksgiving to Our Lady.
How blessed I am! I know it's not a cure-all and that I, as a sinner, will still make many mistakes. Still, having a concrete reminder of Our Lady and the graces that flow through Her from Her Son is something that I pray will keep me on the right track. Our faith is so amazing. Wow.
Our Lady of the Rosary, Pray For Us! 

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