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HomeSpiritualDressing Like a Handmaid: The Brown Scapular

Dressing Like a Handmaid: The Brown Scapular



When information broke that the Supreme Court was planning on overturning Roe v. Wade, the protests started virtually instantly. In some, ladies confirmed up at Catholic Masses dressed within the well-known “Handmaid’s Tale” costumes in protest of what they noticed because the Catholic Church’s misogynistic meddling in American politics. What they missed is the truth that probably the most well-known lady referred to as a handmaid is described by that Church because the Queen of Heaven and Earth.

This irony was not misplaced on me, as I’m certain it was not misplaced on the numerous trustworthy Catholics who name themselves each pro-woman and pro-life. It gave me the chance to replicate on how I gown as a handmaid and the way clothes myself on this means doesn’t mark me as a suppressed slave to the patriarchy however, slightly, empowers me as a beloved daughter of God.

I’m talking not of a unusual white hat or a crimson cloak however a scapular that nobody may even see, two brown items of material that lie on my again and on my chest that remind me of the handmaid whose instance I comply with.

Scapulars are historically worn over the behavior of female and male non secular. Small scapulars have additionally turn out to be a standard devotion amongst laypeople. The hottest is the brown scapular affiliated with Our Lady of Mount Carmel, who promised the Carmelite St. Simon Stock in 1251 that anybody who dies whereas sporting the scapular “shall not suffer eternal fire.”

In the fallout of the Dobbs v. Jackson resolution on the finish of June, I grew to become much more satisfied that the scapular is precisely what I need to dress myself with. We all want the reminder that it was Mary’s motherhood that can crush the pinnacle of Satan (Genesis 3:15). The response to the courtroom’s resolution has been demonic—there is no such thing as a different phrase for this stage of violence and anger geared toward motherhood and kids—so all of us want the mom whose Son is the one one who can overcome it.

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord,” Mary advised Gabriel. “May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). Mary selected to be a handmaid. She selected to align her will with God’s, regardless of the price (and we all know it was excessive), and she or he obtained the present of motherhood—of the Son of God, no much less.

The world doesn’t perceive this type of submission. It doesn’t perceive this type of love. Mary’s life flies within the face of every part each men and women are advised about what it means to be robust and what it takes to achieve success. Yet, she is the Queen of Heaven and Earth. As Pope St. John Paul II wrote in his 1995 “Letter to Women”:

“Putting herself at God’s service, she also put herself at the service of others: a service of love. Precisely through this service, Mary was able to experience in her life a mysterious, but authentic ‘reign’. It is not by chance that she is invoked as ‘Queen of heaven and earth’. The entire community of believers thus invokes her; many nations and peoples call upon her as their ‘Queen’. For her, ‘to reign’ is to serve! Her service is ‘to reign’!”

The different day, I used to be having a difficult morning with my one-year-old daughter. We have been each cranky, I wasn’t feeling nicely, and simply once I thought I’d reached my restrict, I desperately prayed Mother Teresa’s well-known prayer: “Mary, Mother of Jesus, please be a mother to me now.” I didn’t assume it could change something, and on the floor, it didn’t. We have been each nonetheless cranky. I nonetheless wasn’t feeling nicely. But for a second, I felt like I used to be hugging my Mother. And her Son gave me the grace I wanted to get via the remainder of the morning.

It was a small second, a seemingly insignificant second, particularly as compared with the battles we’re preventing in our tradition. But constructing a tradition of life begins at house, and sanctification occurs in these small moments. Whether it’s the wrestle to get via a troublesome morning or the wrestle to create a pro-life tradition, one of the best advocate and assist we’ve got is the Mother of God.

And so, I dress myself with my scapular as a reminder that I belong to God; that he and his Mother shield me; and that removed from describing a slave, “handmaid” is the title I aspire to.

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

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