Mass Readings: Isaiah 10:5-7,13b-16/Matthew 11:25-27

Objecting to Objects

In John Irving’s book, A Prayer for Owen Meany, the title character has a morbid fascination with the Catholic Church. He takes issue with the Church’s interest in objects—the ones we call sacramentals. And Owen Meany is correct. We’re very interested in, and fond of, sacramentals. They’re tangible reminders of the holy.

One of them, the brown scapular, is associated with today’s feast and brings comfort and peace to millions of people. As is true with many of our traditions, there’s controversy surrounding its history and origin. Those debates are immaterial. The mindful wearing of the brown scapular increases devotion to Mary and thus to Jesus Christ. Yes, Owen, we’re very interested in objects.

Prayer: Our Lady of Mount Carmel, please pray for me.