Harrigan's petition


So here comes Harrigan wanting to talk about the faith. Harrigan comes in with ball cap and way-past-faded jeans that tend to favor plumber’s bottom. Left to his own devices, he’d sleep overnight in the truck.

"You know the part in the Nicene Creed at Mass when we bow at the words, “Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man?”

I say, ‘Yeah, what about it?’

“Do you remember at the feast of the Holy Family they had the second reading where it says wives being subordinate to husbands?”

Here, he pops open his beer and swigs twice.

“Yes, I do,” the hairs on the back of my neck start to prickle.

“Well,” he says, “they oughta start a petition and send it in to the bishops conference [burpshh]. That every time that verse is read at Mass, every married man in attendance should sharply nod his head once as a double sign of affirmation. One, to show belief in the Bible and secondly, to show support for the traditional marriage.”

I’m stunned and manage to say that we shouldn’t take verses out of context and that maybe the ladies at Mass wouldn’t take too kindly to such a gesture. Harrigan doesn’t talk too much about his marriage. Sometimes he goes to Mass with his family–sometimes he goes alone.

Sweet Jiminy Cricket!



"We can be sure that we have understood the Bible if it produces love in us and the fruits of the Spirit. It is equally certain that alienation from others, disunity and a tendency to condemn come from ourselves; they do not derive from God's word."

Sacred Reading by Michael Casey


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