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.

One day, my brother put a book in my hand. The book, a biography called Chiara Corbella Petrillo: A Witness to Joy, appealed to me. I read it into the small hours of that same night.

The loneliest moment leads to a revelation

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One of the loneliest moments of my life happened on an Easter Sunday morning.

Living water of Jesus will satisfy our thirst

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Growing up by the shores of one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, I never thought of water as a resource needing to be conserved, or an essential commodity over which people would fight wars.

Lent shines a light on our path to renewal

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Andrew and Martha sat glumly. They were stuck in the same argument they’d had so many times before in their life together as a couple. One stabbed using sharp words, the other stonewalled using the silent treatment.

There is light even in darkest of places

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These winter days, in the “ordinary” time from Christmas to Lent, can be tough.

Reconciliation is harder than we think

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How difficult is human relationship! How glorious, how deeply and universally sought-after it is! Our hunger for relationship can draw out the best and the worst in us. The deepest wrestling is with one another, in relationship — be it person to person, nation to nation, or Church to Church.  

Mary and child is an enduring image of wonder

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At a major-league baseball playoff game in Toronto last year, after a questionable umpiring call, disgruntled spectators started throwing beer cans onto the field of play.

Great things can come from depths of pain

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Towards the end of the summer, I met my friend John for coffee. A recurring event, not nearly frequent enough, but invariably enriching to heart and mind.

Called to be painfully Christian

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On a rainy Saturday, I joined a unique gathering. In Grimsby Museum, an exhibition long in the making opened — “Sweat Equity: Grimsby Co-operative Homebuilders 1953-1956.” It documents and displays the story of 80 families who co-operatively financed and built their homes. Sixty years later, those houses still grace several lakeside blocks in this Ontario town in the Niagara Peninsula.

Bridging power and vulnerability

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Walking home from the grocery store, I heard a wild cry on the street behind me. A young man had ripped open his car door, slammed it again with a thundering metallic crash, then simply stood and roared like a lion. Seeing that no one was in danger, I walked on. Another roar came, with a richly voiced four-letter epithet, and another crash-slammed door. The counterpoint of raw emotion continued for a while — door-slamming, wordless roaring, life-searing oaths. Even at a distance, I felt it. Whatever that young man was expelling into the atmosphere, something in me resonated.

God’s investment in humanity brings us to the fullness of life

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On summer evenings, without intending it, one hears interesting conversations.