Props to Julie for that picture of poor wretched Mel Gibson that I cannot unsee.
|My well-worn crocheted scapular,|
and a dainty plastic one.
I never take mine swimming; I'm always afraid I'll lose it in the deep end. Neither does my scapular make appearances in the neckline of formal dresses. But my high school scapular certainly had souvenirs of its adventurous life, including paint from the trailer home I helped repair on a summer service trip. I prefer the sturdy, crocheted cords that moms at my high school make. Those dainty little plastic scapulars are cute but their strings seem fragile.
This week's topic got me thinking - why do I wear a scapular? Because I got enrolled in sixth grade at school? Because it's a handy holder for a Miraculous Medal? Or is it because I'm afraid of dying in a car crash and going to hell?
When I was a young teen, there was definitely some attachment to the "get into heaven free" card. At worst, this is superstition, but at best the scapular promise is peaceful assurance. If you're going to bother to wear the Mother of God around your neck, there's a pretty good chance that faith is important to you, and that you'll make peace with her Son in your final moments. So stop fretting about salvation and live a holy life.
Today, I don't think about my scapular much, except when it flops out and some well-meaning colleague gets confused when she offers to tuck in "the tag from my blouse." I should think about it more often. When I do, those little wool tags feel like a badge of honor, part of my uniform as a soldier of Christ. It's just a little way to show my allegiance to Our Lord and His Mother. It also gives a feeling of solidarity with the many religious orders who wear the full-sized version. I don't go around telling people they should wear one too; I'm very hesitant to market anything as the magic bullet of sanctity. For me, though, my scapular is a comforting, familiar reminder of the type of person I want to be.