09 ‘The Lady in Brown’ - Sr. M. Kilda. CCR

posted Jul 14, 2017, 12:12 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 14, 2017, 12:13 AM ]
Once a pious mother went to a church accompanied by her four-year-old daughter. Entering the church, she went to pray near all the statues. The little girl was watching. She said to her mother. "Mummy, that lady is blue, the second one is white, and this one is brown. Who is she?" Mummy smiled and replied, "This one is Our Lady of Mount Carmel." This little girl is now a Carmelite nun.

As we celebrate this feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, let us ponder on it.

The Biblical roots lie in the saying of the Prophet Isaiah that God will send us His Spirit from above, and the desert will become Carmel. Everywhere in Carmel, righteousness and justice will be done, because everyone will do what is right, there will be peace and security in Carmel forever (Isaiah 32:15-18). He further adds, "The desert will rejoice, flowers will bloom in the wilderness. The desert will sing and shout for joy. It will be as beautiful as Lebanon. Mountains as fertile as the fields of Carmel and Sharon. Everyone will see the Lord's splendour and power; give strength to the hands that are tired and to knees that tremble with weakness. Tell everyone who is discouraged, be strong and do not be afraid. (Isaiah 35:1-4)

Earlier, Prophet Elijah, who dwelt on Mount Carmel, saw a vision of a small cloud coming from the sea towards the mountain bringing torrential rain, saving Israel from dryness and devastation. (1 Kings 18:44) In that small cloud, depicted like a human hand, Mary's devotees see a prophetic image of the Virgin Mary, who bore in her womb the Divine who gave His life for the world.

From distant antiquity, Mount Carmel was as a Holy Promontory sanctified by Prophet Elijah. The triumph was brought by Yahweh. The God of Israel and the unsung beauty of Mount Carmel grew as a symbol of peace and prosperity that God would restore at the end of time. Carmel is therefore one of most beautiful spots that the Good Lord created. We regard the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother, Queen and Splendour of that verdant spot. Therefore we call her Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

The first Christian community monks who were considered to be imitators and successors of Elijah and Eliseus, lived in hermitages and monasteries on the slope of Mount Carmel and took for their patronage Our Lady as their spiritual Mother, and called her the Lady of Mount Carmel.

Mary gifted a Scapular to St Simon Stock, maternal gift of a mantle round her children, gift of protection. At that time, a grave crisis existed in the Order of Carmel. With that gift of protection, the Carmelites were able to expand all over the world.

The Scapular is a promise of protection in life, and even after death. For those who wear it will be freed from Purgatory.