Dressing Like a Handmaid: The Brown Scapular

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When information broke that the Supreme Courtroom was planning on overturning Roe v. Wade, the protests started virtually instantly. In some, girls confirmed up at Catholic Lots dressed within the well-known “Handmaid’s Story” 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 known 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 various devoted 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, quite, empowers me as a beloved daughter of God.

I’m talking not of a wierd white hat or a pink cloak however a scapular that nobody may even see, two brown items of cloth that lie on my again and on my chest that remind me of the handmaid whose instance I observe.

Scapulars are historically worn over the behavior of female and male non secular. Small scapulars have additionally turn into a well-liked devotion amongst laypeople. The most well-liked is the brown scapular affiliated with Our Woman of Mount Carmel, who promised the Carmelite St. Simon Inventory in 1251 that anybody who dies whereas carrying the scapular “shall not endure everlasting fireplace.”

Within the fallout of the Dobbs v. Jackson choice on the finish of June, I grew to become much more satisfied that the scapular is strictly what I need to dress myself with. All of us want the reminder that it was Mary’s motherhood that can crush the pinnacle of Devil (Genesis 3:15). The response to the court docket’s choice has been demonic—there isn’t a different phrase for this degree 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’m the handmaid of the Lord,” Mary instructed Gabriel. “Could it’s accomplished to me in line with your phrase” (Luke 1:38). Mary selected to be a handmaid. She selected to align her will with God’s, regardless of the associated fee (and we all know it was excessive), and she or he acquired 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 all the things each ladies and men are instructed about what it means to be sturdy and what it takes to achieve success. But, she is the Queen of Heaven and Earth. As Pope St. John Paul II wrote in his 1995 “Letter to Girls”:

“Placing herself at God’s service, she additionally put herself on the service of others: a service of affection. Exactly by this service, Mary was in a position to expertise in her life a mysterious, however genuine ‘reign’. It isn’t by probability that she is invoked as ‘Queen of heaven and earth’. All the neighborhood of believers thus invokes her; many countries and peoples name upon her as their ‘Queen’. For her, ‘to reign’ is to serve! Her service is ‘to reign’!”

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

It was a small second, a seemingly insignificant second, particularly as compared with the battles we’re combating in our tradition. However constructing a tradition of life begins at dwelling, and sanctification occurs in these small moments. Whether or not it’s the wrestle to get by a troublesome morning or the wrestle to create a pro-life tradition, the very best advocate and assist we’ve is the Mom of God.

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

Picture courtesy of Unsplash.



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