So Pastor Inqvist gave up scotch for Lent…

(A story by Garrison Keillor from Lake Wobegon)

So Pastor Inqvist gave up scotch for Lent…

It happened one evening when Fr Wilmer called him from Our Lady of Perpetual Responsibility and called him up to come over. He said: “I need a little professional consultation.”

So Pastor Inqvist went down to see his friend, the priest, who was feeling so down, just feeling utterly abandoned and alone in this world, as if he didn’t have a single friend, just a whole lot of parishioners, who expected him to be holy and wise and reverent and everything that they wanted, but not a real human being.

He went back to the kitchen in the rectory and Fr Wilmer brought out a bottle of Pastor Inqvist’s favourite scotch. It’s one and half malt scotch. It’s called “Mackay” and its made from water that’s in the Hazel river in Scotland and that flows through sheep meadows and it flows through potato fields and it flows through pine forest and through this salt marsh, and it picks up the essence of juniper, and of starch and of lanolin, and of salt, and they pump it out of the ground and they mix it with malted barley and with yeast and then it sits there in the mash and the barrels. It’s a beautiful, beautiful thing. It’s a golden colour, and Fr Wilmer brought out the bottle and two glasses.

And he said: “Would you like a glass of it?”

Well, it was a complicated theological decision to make right there on the spot. I mean the wisdom of sacrifice and giving up something for Lent and the rightness of righteousness versus the goodness of fellowship and Fr Wilmer here in need, coming to assist a fellow pastor in his moment of need, the humility of giving up the pride of sacrifice. It was a very complicated theological calculation. And Pastor Inqvist made it in an instant, he is a trained theologian.

He said: “Yes. Yes.”

I just thought that might add something to the discussion on fasting and abstinence I have been having with my friend Pastor Weedon!

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