August 13, 2013

Griptape And Old Cloaks

(Note to readers: this is another half-silly post, so I apologize to anyone so unfortunate as to live in a spiritual landscape so barren as to have to seek serious, devout doctrine from this silly blog and has found it so quiet lately. What can I say? I'm on vacation, you know.)

I am a small but long-standing theological dubium for which I would like a definitive answer. I last mentioned it on this blog five (!) years ago. The question is this: does, or does not investiture in the religious habit of a (non-Carmelite) religious institute dissolve a previous investiture in the Brown Scapular?

On some evening in the years between my first and current time in religious life, I went to some kind of Catholic youth event at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Hamden, CT. It might have been 1997 or 1998. The event was organized and led by some Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. In the course of things, I accepted investiture in the Brown Scapular.

Now, since the Brown Scapular is a form of the Carmelite habit, my best guess is that my (re-) investiture in the Franciscan habit in 2001 dissolved my investiture in the Brown Scapular, as it would certainly seem unfitting for someone to wear the habit of two religious orders at one time. Therefore, since then I have not bothered to wear the Brown Scapular nor carry it in any other way about my person.

However, I remain open to correction on this point. I was reminded of all this when I saw this video which has been making the rounds. As you can see around 1:15, the friar, a Franciscan Friar of the Immaculate even, seems to have embraced the contrary position.


Louis M said...

This is my understanding. I believe that the same would hold true for an OFS. We are invested with a "habit" (the Tau), so we can not, in theory, wear the Brown Scapular.

If a non-OFS wanted to wear the Tau and the Brown Scapular, I would imagine that that would be OK.


Anonymous said...

Dear fr please do wear our Lady's brown scapular no matter what the circumstance. what benefits our Lady promises its wearers. God bless u and ur holiday.

Anonymous said...

Since the brown scapular is a sacramental, my guess would be that wearing one would not be in conflict with the habit of another order. It is the not a habit of another order, but simply a swatch of cloth that had its origins based on the habit of a particular order. Of course wearing it on the outside, or attaching it to the habit of a differing order might violate the rules of that order. My question though concerns the friar that is wearing the rosary around his neck. Isn't that a common sign that he is a member of a gang?

Judy Kallmeyer said...

I believe that Our Lady meant this scapular to be a gift to everyone and so I agree with "Anonymous" #3 and with "Anonymous" #2 regarding the promises of Our Lady. Surely she would have meant them for everyone and would not exclude members of other religious orders. It is also a sign of your devotion to the Mother of God. I can't imagine that your investiture in the Franciscan habit would nullify your investiture in the Brown Scapular.

Hope you are enjoying your vacation. Any chance that you will visit "The Heart" while you are home? Would love to see you.

Brother Charles said...

@Judy I was by 'The Heart' the other day for Br. Chris Varley's funeral, but unfortunately I wasn't able to stay too long. It was good to see the old place!

Manny Perez said...

I was taught by the Felician Sisters when I was in elementary school. Their order is Francisan and named after a Capuchin saint, St. Felix of Cantalice. In the 1960s, the sisters wore a traditional habit consisting of a brown tunic with a Franciscan cord around their waist and a large brown monastic scapular. I'm now wondering if the monastic brown scapular they wore was somehow related to the Carmelite scapular.

Lee Gilbert said...

Well, if it is any help, my daughter is a solemnly professed, cloistered, fully habited Carmelite nun and they (at least in her monastery) wear in addition the smaller scapular that everyone else does. In other words, if the Carmelites themselves do not think that the habit of their religious profession renders the wearing of the smaller scapular redundant, contradictory or unnecessary, it would seem that members of other religious orders should feel equally free to wear the little scapular as well as their own religious habit. It is a sign of the protection of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, is it not? And even if it is somehow a participation in the blessings on the Carmelite order, surely it does not rise to the level of profession in the order, so it is not a contradiction to wear it, is it? By that logic, I should feel uneasy wearing it as a married man, since there would surely be a contradiction between my vows and those of a Carmelite.