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.

A rather superficial movie, a murder mystery, struck a deeper note with me. The movie was about a group of people on an island holiday. Every so often, one of them would disappear, never to be seen again. They didn’t know who would be taken next, or when, how, why or where the person went; but they knew they were all subject to the mysterious phenomenon. Not so different from real life, except that in the movie, the mystery got solved.

Humanity, nature go hand-in-hand

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{mosimage} My old friend Julia was describing her battle with her body. Conflict between body and spirit is often part of physical illness. Sometimes it seems the body is attacking us, as though it were the enemy.

The Spirit shows us reality in ways we never dreamed

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On a trip to France I had a weekend in Paris, which meant serious decisions about what to visit and what to leave out. After Notre Dame, I went to nearby Sainte Chapelle, advertised as having the best stained glass in the country. Stained glass was not a particular interest of mine, but the day was sunny and the destination close.

There’s nothing ordinary about the Trinity

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“I would die without the Trinity,” my friend Fr. Peter said once. How many of us would echo Fr. Peter? Does the Trinity make much difference to our lives or our faith?  Yet it’s one of our key doctrines, distinguishing Christianity from all world religions.   

Lighting the fire of our faith

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The church was in darkness when I came in, the Easter vigil just beginning. The paschal candle was lit. Its fire was passed around the church, until many tiny candles together became a mass of light. 

Go to the emptiness to be raised up

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Did He, or didn’t He? What difference does it make? During Lent, we’re being prepared for the question that will be put to us next: Did He, or didn’t He, rise from the dead? 

What is truth?

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Myra was suffering profoundly. Some people blame themselves when life gets tough, taking everything inside. Some, like Myra, take everything outside, blaming everybody but themselves.

Healing is always possible

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When Dave waved hello I thought, as usual, what a strong, friendly face he has. Today, those good looks were obscured by haggard gray gauntness, somewhat incongruous under the curly hair and jaunty boyish cap. He asked me how I was, flicked his cigarette, and nodded: "I'm OK. I'm back on drugs, but it's all good."

Our vocation is to bear God

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Some questions seem to be our companions for life. I used to think they would get answered and go away. Now I'm less surprised to hear people of 25, 35, 45, 75, asking what I'd thought was the proper concern of the 15-year-old: "What am I supposed to do with my life?"

Intimacy is no dream, it’s flesh-and-blood reality

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After intensive soul-searching and searing heartache, a person I know has divorced. She aches for her children and for herself as a Catholic facing lonely solitude. A faithful person, she thought she was following the voice of love, both in getting married and in the way she tried to live her marriage. How could love have led her to divorce?