Thursday, 16 July 2009

Regina Decor Carmeli

The image of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on Mount Carmel
St Simon Stock receiving the scapular

I was once present at a scene of great devastation, cruelty and pain. There are images which I would pay good money if somone can rid me off them, though I think I have learnt how to live and engage with them now. There are other scenes that give me comfort and show me that the "milk of human kindness" is far more superior to hatred and cruelty.
One of these positive scenes is of a young boy, maybe four or five, who was screaming in fear as he saw what was going on around him. Next to him his mother who in that scene, went to a side and enveloped her son with her skirt. He quickly went quiet, that flimsy material offered him enough protection to tell him that all is well. Obviously it was not the cloth, but the cloth reassured him of the presence of the mother.
Is it not the same with the brown scapular of Mount Carmel?
Today we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Originating in the place of the spring and cave of Elijah (see photos below) the followers of the prophet were Christianised at some stage. By the 12th century the brothers of Our Lady of Carmel had to flee their mount. They found refuge in England at Aylesford. There St Simon Stock (from Kent) had a vision of Our Lady giving him the brown scapular as a pledge of her affection and protection, for him and for us.
Think about it, it is just like that mother and her skirt!

The carmelite monastery on Mount Carmel

Above: The monument to Our Lady on Mt Carmel. Below: The end(!?) of the Mediterranean Sea

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