It was a blessing for me to find out that wearing the scapular is like having the hands of Our Lady enfolding me. I was comforted with that idea when I was dating.
In my late 20s, I was dating a man who did not understand what I meant when I told him that “I wanted to be friends first” in a relationship. He did not understand a pure and chaste relationship. The more I said that I wanted to be friends first, the more he touched me in ways I didn’t want. Even though we had just started dating, he kissed me when I didn’t want to be kissed. I felt that he didn’t really want to take the time to know who I was.
It took me a very long time to heal from that relationship. In church one day, I prayed the Memorare because I needed Mother Mary’s aid, and I was so discouraged with dating.
I was led to the Handmaiden’s Prayer Group, which is a faith formation group offered by the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles. I felt peace at the meetings learning more about my Catholic faith, deepening my relationship with God as a daughter of God, spending time with Jesus in Eucharistic adoration, and spending time with women who desired to do God’s will in their life. A few of the women were discerning the vocation of being a religious sister, and others desired the vocation of marriage. It was good to know that there were women who loved God and wanted to live a chaste life whether they were called to be a religious sister or to be married.
The Handmaiden’s Prayer meetings were near a street referred by many as Carmelite Row in Alhambra, California, I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live near here?”
It was just a thought. I didn’t even say it out loud. I thought it was wonderful that there was a Carmelite Monastery, the Sacred Heart Retreat House and Saint Therese Church all on one street.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel heard me. Several years later, I did come to live within 1.5 miles of “Carmelite Row.” And several more years later, I also got married to my true love at Saint Therese Church! The man I married truly understood my desire to have a pure and chaste relationship. I had told him that I had read an article where a couple had their first kiss on their wedding day. My husband did give me pecks on the cheek when we were dating, and it was on our wedding day that we had our first passionate kiss.
Remember, when you are discouraged, Our Lady hears us. When you are wearing a scapular, believe that our Lady is lovingly hugging you.
This article was included in the July 2021 Lily Subscription Box of Seeds for Sainthood. To find out more about Seeds for Sainthood, go to SeedsforSainthood.com
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