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.

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.

Mary Marrocco: How long O Lord?

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This New Year, perhaps more than most, stirs up awareness of time and its strange ways. Through the unsettling days of 2020 and 2021, some have found the time long and heavy, waiting for the lonely burdensome time to pass so they can regain their lives. For others, time has come to an end as effects of the coronavirus or other painful happenings claimed their lives. Still others have found time opening up for them, enabling them to do or explore new things. Some have spent more time in prayer.

Mary Marrocco: Gentleness is a power of its own

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I remember once hearing a speaker marvelling at the “gentleness of God.” My reaction was incredulity. Gentleness? Many in that very room were experiencing great anguish, while around us swirled life’s turbulence and trouble. Of all things one could assert about God, this one seemed the most indefensible. What good could gentleness do, anyway, in a harsh and chaotic world? What is needed is strength and power to assist people whose lives and dilemmas are anything but gentle.

Mary Marrocco: Love finds a way to deal with death

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Is love stronger than death? What an arduous, soul-changing task it is to test for ourselves the answer to this question.

Mary Marrocco: We need to learn to speak our faith

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Having seen many performances of Shakespeare’s play, I have heard many actors’ interpretations of Hamlet’s response to the seemingly-innocent question: “What do you read, my lord?” With dry irony, or with bitterness, weariness, humour or biting sarcasm, Hamlet replies: “Words, words, words.” Like his author, Hamlet had reason to be fed up with words, and reason to be entranced with them.  So have we all.