Ours is a “mixed” household:
- One (1) Catholic husband (me);
- One (1) agnostic-Jewish wife (Beth, a.k.a. the C. S. O.);
- Three dogs (Sophie, Precious, and Joy);
- Four cats (Uriel, Fluffy, Chloe, and Zoe).
The consequences have included some humorous moments, especially since the onset of the “pandemic.” (If you haven’t yet tumbled to the essential falsity of this farce, check your pulse: you may have died and not noticed.) My parish, St. Louis de Montfort of Sound Beach, panicked as completely as most such. What followed included mask mandates, “social distancing” rules, an awful lot of awkwardness at Mass, and the elimination of holy water from the holy-water fonts, which are now filled with…brace yourself…hand sanitizer.
This has irritated many members of the parish. A couple of weeks ago, in response to the rising tide of requests, our pastor, Monsignor Christopher Heller, made holy water available in an unprecedented form:
Not exactly a conventional way of dispensing it, as the Catholics among our Gentle Readers will surely agree. But any port in a storm, as they say, and St. Louis’s parishioners were generally glad that holy water was available again, even in such an unorthodox container.
Beth caught sight of the little bottle on my desk and asked about it. I told her that I was in search of a more appropriate container into which to decant the holy water, so that embarrassing mistakes might be obviated. She nodded and returned to her previous activity.
I did acquire a more conventional bottle for holy water:
…and poured it full from the little plastic bottle provided by the parish. Beth, who was a step behind this development, saw the new bottle and made a long face.
CSO: Aw, that’s pretty.
FWP: Thanks. I thought so myself.
CSO: I guess you won’t be using the bottle I made for you, then?
FWP: Hm? You made a holy water bottle?
CSO: Oh yeah. One second…
Beth hurried away and returned a couple of minutes later with this:
Words failed me. Truly, Gentle Reader, words failed me.