Are you afraid of the dark?

Published in Faith

Love your enemies, Jesus tells us. Apart from the direct command of God, it’s not obvious that loving enemies is a necessary or even desirable thing to do. They can and do hurt us, and hating them can motivate us in protecting ourselves.  

Published in Mary Marrocco

An article defending the widespread practice of abortion for babies with Down syndrome disturbed me.  

Published in Mary Marrocco
One Sunday morning in church, I wondered why the person beside me was breathing so loudly. Did he have some terrible lung ailment? Was he about to expire? It sounded almost like… snoring. 
Published in Faith
Oxford is a beautiful town, by nature and centuries of human living.  Exploring there once with friends, we saw a memorial, arrestingly inscribed: “To the Glory of God, and in grateful commemoration of His servants, Thomas Cranmer, Nicholas Ridley, Hugh Latimer, Prelates of the Church of England, who near this spot yielded their bodies to be burned, bearing witness to the sacred truths which they had affirmed and maintained against the errors of the Church of Rome.” 
Published in Mary Marrocco

“The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.”

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In an emergency ward, in another country, I lay on a table awaiting the physician. Lightning flashes of pain shot through my body, weak from days-long inability to take in water and food.

Published in Mary Marrocco

In our city, and throughout the world during this Year of Mercy, several churches have Holy Doors. They’re pilgrimage sites, just like the one at St. Peter’s in Rome, only much closer.

Published in Mary Marrocco

“I saw that everything within my view which ought to be white, had been white long ago, and had lost its lustre, and was faded and yellow. I saw that the bride within the bridal dress had withered like the dress, and like the flowers, and had no brightness left but the brightness of her sunken eyes.”

Published in Mary Marrocco

A woman was sitting with her spiritual director. Not quite “sitting”; collapsed like a rag doll, listlessly staring at the floor. He looked at her. He urged her to pray: stop doing, stop trying to get herself out of the dark place she was in. “What good will it do?” she bleated, equally unsurprisingly. She hadn’t read Richard Dawkins’ description of prayer as uselessly “murmuring in our heads,” but would have resonated. Then, bitterly: “Is God going to send me a rose?”

Published in Mary Marrocco

My mother and I have an annual tradition of spending a day together at the Canadian National Exhibition. This year, as we sat in sunny chairs near a shady gingko tree, listening to the approaching parade, a tall man folded himself into the neighbouring chair. Taking a break from his booth, he told us it was his 38th year exhibiting there. He showed us a smooth rounded stone with a hole in the middle: a cobblestone he’d reclaimed from the lake. They were dumped there because they were obsolete, but he finds beauty in them.

Published in Mary Marrocco

“Change is good!” So proclaimed a brightly smiling instructor to her dismayed class, who’d just learned their school was being moved to a different corner of the city. Somehow it didn’t feel quite as good as the neon smile and cheery voice pronounced it should.

Published in Mary Marrocco

My sister and I used to get season’s tickets to the ballet. They brought colour, beauty and music to long winters, and gave us an opportunity to visit. They also took us to performances we wouldn’t normally select, which is how we ended up at a performance of Swan Lake. We had tickets, so we went.

Published in Mary Marrocco

Why is everybody always rushing? 

Published in Mary Marrocco

What does the title “Divorce Busting” suggest to you? A law firm, perhaps? Actually, it’s a counselling service for couples on the brink of divorce. I attended a workshop by its founder, an enlightening tour through the labyrinth of betrayal. 

Published in Mary Marrocco
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