When I was growing up, the father of one of my friends was just about the least profane man that I knew. When he confronted some circumstance that very much surprised, confounded, or angered him, he would say, “Sweet Mother of Jesus!” Although e used the phrase so selectively and uttered it with such intensity that it carried some of the same weight as the much more profane exclamations that came out of the mouths of the rest of the men in our neighborhood, it wasn’t quite the same.
And yet, in a strange way, I sensed, even if I could not then have articulated it, that when he uttered that phrase he was expressing a profound disappointment with the world that was beyond the emotional reach of most of the other men in our neighborhood.
I cannot remember the last time that I ever uttered that phrase. In fact…
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