Do you wear the brown scapular, or are you considering enrolling in the Confraternity of the Brown Scapular? Many people wear the brown scapular without realizing the full benefits or responsibilities that accompany it. Below you will find three things that are useful to know for anyone interested in the brown scapular devotion.
You can be Carmelite without joining a third order as a layperson.
If you wear the brown scapular and practice Carmelite spirituality, you are affiliated with the Carmelite order and will receive the graces of the scapular even if you never enrolled in the Scapular Confraternity.
The brown scapular is not a magic get-out-of-Hell charm.
The Blessed Mother assured St. Simon Stock that people who remain faithful to their Carmelite vocation until death will receive the grace they need for final perseverance.
Simply wearing the brown scapular, then, does not save you from Hell. You need to live a Christian life; you cannot die in the state of mortal sin. To receive the grace of final perseverance that the Blessed Mother promised for the Carmelites, you must fulfill your responsibilities as a Carmelite.
If you are committed to fulfilling these responsibilities, the brown scapular becomes a beautiful sign of the promise you can be confident will be fulfilled. When you look at the brown scapular, you are being reminded of the protection that Mary gives to the Carmelite order.
Wearing the brown scapular comes with responsibilities.
The brown scapular requires you to have some familiarity with Carmelite spirituality and its practices. For example, Carmelites live a life of prayer and penance, and they focus on building virtue. They also regularly attend Mass and receive communion, meditate on Scripture, and remain devoted to the Blessed Mother.
If you wear the brown scapular, which is a habit of the Carmelite order, even if you are not enrolled in the Scapular Confraternity, you still have these responsibilities.