A Lay Association?
Over a long period now people have been asking me what provision we are going to make for lay-people.
I have been praying and thinking about this. It has always seemed a work of Divine Providence that we made our first commitments on the feast of the Seven Holy Founders of the Servants of Mary and we did so at the Shrine of St Simon Stock, where we have renewed them. Even more providentially we seem to have arrived at a time including his feast day as the best for our retreat.
Last week I was able to spend some time praying about this (and other matters) at the Shrine of St Simon in Aylesford. Again, an act of Providence, because of a cancelled school visit, when I was in the area.
I had a very strong sense that a way forward for us might be found in the Carmelite Brown Scapular which was originally presented to St Simon by Our Lady.
In the photos below you will find a picture of the book on the Brown Scapular that is obtainable at Aylesford. Also a picture of the black scapular that was given to Oblates at Nashdom and finally a picture of a devotional brown Scapular of OL of Mt Carmel which are available cheaply at many Catholic book shops (and even on Amazon). We could have blue mini-scapulars made by J and M along the lines of the Nashdom model, for lay people to be enrolled with, and which they could either wear or keep, and wear a devotional badge instead.
We would need to devise a very simple Rule of Life. In time this might develop into parish cells.
All of the literature and devotions around the Brown Scapular could be a source of inspiration for this devotion.
What would we call this group?
I thought first of the Blue Scapular Association or some such. But the recent announcement of the new Memoria of Mary as Mother of the Church also seemed Providential. How about :
Confraternity of Mary, Mother of the Church
Oblates of Mary, Mother of the Church?
A badge could be made in the same design as our existing badge but with the appropriate letters for the name we choose.
The booklet by Fr Clarke is very beautiful and contains many profound meditations on the meaning of the Scapular.
Well, it is an idea, I will be interested in your thoughts!
In the Two Hearts,
12 March, 2018