No one writes like Dom Prosper Guèranger anymore, and more’s the pity. Today marks the commemoration of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and here’s part of what he had to say about it:
“In the day of my love, I brought thee out of the land of Egypt into the land of Carmel,” said the Lord to the daughter of Sion, taking the name of Carmel to represent all the blessings of the Promised Land; and when the crimes of the chosen people were about to bring Judaea to ruin, the prophet cried out: “I looked, and behold Carmel was a wilderness: and all its cities were destroyed at the presence of the Lord, and at the presence of the wrath of his indignation.” But from the midst of the Gentile world a new Sion arose, more loved than the first; eight centuries beforehand Isaias recognised her by the glory of Libanus, and the beauty of Carmel and Saron which were given her. In the sacred Canticle, also, the attendants of the Bride sing to the Spouse concerning his well-beloved, that her head is like Carmel, and her hair is like the precious threads of royal purple carefully woven and dyed.“
I wear the Brown Scapular, and am particularly sensitive to misconceptions regarding its use.
It is not a “good luck charm.” It does not automatically save the wearer. It’s not even enough to be properly enrolled and then put it around one’s neck; you have to live out the devotion in order to receive the promises. I quote from Fisheaters.com, which succinctly has it:
Warning: Some falsely believe that wearing the Brown Scapular offers some sort of guarantee of salvation because of the legendary words attributed to Our Lady. This is against Church teaching, is superstitious and a grave error. Sacramentals are not magical ways to manipulate God; they are Church-instituted rituals/objects that remind us of what we are supposed to be doing/thinking of, that depend on the faith, hope and love of the user, and which help prepare us to receive God’s saving grace. One must do more than “wear the scapular”; one must wear it worthily.
Fisheaters is always a good starting point for all things Catholic; I recommend it highly. You can also check with Free Brown Scapular for more information about its history, and Google out from there; just be careful of your sources.