Dr. Mary Marrocco is an associate secretary for the Canadian Council of Churches. She is also a teacher, writer and lay pastoral worker. Morrocco explores the lives and writings of the saints, spiritual writers and theologians‚ and how they relate to contemporary life.

Christianity divided is wounded peace

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A local parish held a small procession, which included standing on the corners of a busy downtown intersection holding signs for an hour. These were not rabble-rousing parishioners; quiet and unobtrusive, they were the most diffident, retiring sign-holders who ever pressed themselves against walls. Many passers-by called encouraging words or honked supportively if driving. Many others shouted derisively, called names or yelled recriminations, one even throwing a soda can at one of the sign-holders — who, as she later reported, simply stood still praying for the can-thrower.

In poverty we are with the Crucified Christ

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These are dangerously murky times. Passionate voices ring out all over; few listen to each other. We risk losing one another as forces pull and push us apart, like the sudden crush in a crowd, when people going different directions create forces by which some get suffocated and trampled. How can we find our way together amidst such forces?  

All is given, all is received

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“Our manuscript has gone safe to the Printer.” So wrote Sheldon Vanauken (“Van”) in A Severe Mercy, after his beloved wife’s painful and young death.

Our identity is serving others, like Christ

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It gives me pause to hear people say they “identify” as Christian, or see questionnaires and forms asking people to check if they “identify” with a particular religion or none.

Christ’s way will bring us to truth

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In the animated movie Up, a shy lonely man knows joy, married to the love of his life and delighting in their little home, even with its sorrows. After Ellie dies, Carl becomes increasingly sealed in by grief and pain, his frown deepening into fixed furrows, the beautiful nest becoming an airless bubble. Soon, booming industry and development surround and dwarf the little house, until Carl becomes a bewildered, angry prisoner within the world and within himself.

Seeking silence in our confused times

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It’s impossible to hold a real conversation when it’s peppered with mean, toxic words. The more our attempted conversation becomes thwarted by invective, the more we lose the ability to hear and speak at all. A silence creeps forth, not the sweet silence of life and growth but the terrible silence of contempt, disdain and denial.

There is mercy and it’s the Resurrection

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Alleluia! He is risen! The only real sin, says St. Isaac of Nineveh, is not paying attention to the Resurrection.

Where do you stand on Good Friday?

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On Good Fridays, I can find myself shivering in the night with Simon Peter, warming my hands at the charcoal fire.

Mary Marrocco: Surest way to peace lies in inward renewal

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One chilly morning, I boarded a city bus. All four linked cars were empty aside from me and the driver, who was making occasional cheery remarks over the loud-speaker. The usually-locked door between driver and passenger was propped open. 

Mary Marrocco: Masking our flaws before the Lord

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Back in high school, we students noticed when Mr. Q dropped his customary bow-tie, had his hair cut and started smiling more. We knew he was in love. Sure enough, he started appearing at school events with his fiancée in tow.