Mary Marrocco

Mary Marrocco

Dr. Mary Marrocco is an associate secretary for the Canadian Council of Churches. She is also a teacher, writer and lay pastoral worker. Her column, Questioning Faith, features topics about the teachings of our church, scriptures, the lives and writings of the saints and spiritual writers and theologians. She can be reached at marrocco7@sympatico.ca.

On a visit with my mother, who is bedridden now, diminished in sight and hearing as well as mental and physical mobility, we were not getting through to each other.  She couldn’t understand me, and I couldn’t understand her.  Each of us wanted to break through into the other’s world, but were prevented by intractable walls we couldn’t see, like glass, hard and smooth. She cried aloud to God for help.

Amusingly, and confusingly, two signs were posted, one above the other, on the charming wrought-iron gate leading to a country estate: “Welcome” and “No trespassing.” The place seemed to say simultaneously, “Come in, we want you,” and “Stay away, we’re afraid of you.”

How do we become fertile earth?

Showing a young French couple our summer youth camp, we chatted about our part of the world and theirs. André, an intense observer of human nature, lamented the lost connection with nature he sees everywhere. His greatest sorrow was not that people are distant from nature, but that they are not sad about it.

Religion, an essay in a major news service declaimed recently, is a sociological phenomenon that exists as a psychological need-fulfillment. It is a never-ending series of (similar) movements that are born and die when their usefulness to social groups has passed. 

Sitting on a patio having coffee, Fr. George was watching people rush along in the shadow of the big bank towers. He was silent, contemplating them. 

Is it getting harder for us to listen?

Do you remember a pop song called “The Power of Love,” from a popular movie called Back to the Future? Fun, lively and danceable, the song is just what it ought to be for its purpose: “With a little help from above, you feel the power of love.” 

A friend was reflecting on a remark she’d made that morning to someone, which she didn’t feel good about. “Sometimes I think about things after I say them,” she mused, “and wonder why I did.”

How do we not become violent in an age of violence? How can we find another way when in our world, and even in our Church, violence seems to have made such terrible inroads?