Frthom's Blog

“Please insert the square peg into the round hole…”

Posted in God, religion, theology by frthom on October 20, 2011

From time to time we all get unsolicited gifts in the mail from various religious organizations in their attempts to raise funds.  The gift could be as simple as personalized mailing labels, rosary beads, a miraculous medal, bingo chips, pope soap-on-a-roap, etc. 

A while back I received in the mail something from a Catholic religious order that still has me a bit puzzled.  It was a crucifix but it appeared to have been made by Furn-A-Kit or Bush or Sauder because it required some assembly. 

Included in the envelope was a finished wood crucifix that bore a relatively ornate plastic body of Jesus, along with a separate wood stand. Sauder would have labeled the crucifix “A” and the stand “B” and the directions would have read, “Insert crucifix A into stand B.” 

Seems simple enough, except for the fact that the part of the crucifix that is supposed to fit into the stand is square.  The hole in the stand is round. Literally a square peg into a round hole.

I didn’t save any of the literature that came along with my gift, although I did say a prayer of thanks for their generosity, hoping that they didn’t actually expect me to send them a donation.

Without knowing the source of the crucifix, I guess I’ll never truly understand whether the square peg/round hole was someone’s mistake; someone’s idea of a joke;  a divinely inspired parable; or punishment for my venial sin of accepting the gift without sending back a donation. 

Regardless of the intent, I can’t help but regard that gift as a profound statement about religion in the modern world.

One Response

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  1. Kin Robles said, on April 28, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Great symbolism here. So often we face the challenge of living our faith in a society that doesn’t do faith, and when it does, you’d better be aligned with the RIGHT one. I often feel like the square peg.


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