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.

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?

Her body is thin and tense. It carries the anguish, the hurts and false steps, of years. Her face does not as yet reveal the pain she’s known in her young life. She doesn’t cry. Alone, sometimes, she has bursts of uncontrollable stormy tears. Never the gentle kind and never for long. 

Our collective annual engagement in gifts at Christmas-time has wound up for the year. Consumer Christmas can be frustrating and painful, but still it recognizes and develops in us the power of gift. 

Stopping for lunch en route to a big city, my companion remarked:  “My grandmother grew up in this town. In those days, it was beautiful, a thriving and energetic community.”