Oops. Busted. “It’s a brown scapular,” I admitted.
“That’s pretty hard-core, isn’t it?” he asked. “When did you take that up?”
As prejudiced as the question sounds, he was only being curious. My husband is a tolerant sort; if someone wants to practice devotions that he doesn’t feel particularly called to, that’s all right by him. In this case, however, I sensed a tinge of leeriness. After all, just prior to the appearance of the scapular, I had built an oratory, and had been exploring the use of head coverings at Mass. Now, suddenly, a brown scapular?
I confessed that I’d begun wearing the scapular, as a discipline; for penance and correction. “It’s my hair shirt,” I explained.
And why had I taken to wearing a hair shirt?