Literally Reruns, Short Fiction

Literally Reruns- Mary J Breen-The Bride of Christ

Whenever I reproach God I do so as a reproach of humankind. As far as I’m concerned, if there is God, then I figure that something I once heard is true, God placed us in charge of what we do and whatever happens isn’t by God’s hand, but is just stuff that happens. The “time and chance happeneth to them all” sort of thing; of course this is all due to our turning away from God–something well described in the Cohen song that goes “Lover Lover Lover Lover Lover Lover, Come Back to Me.”

Thus the observance of religion is a human thing–it can be as beautiful as art or as grasping as politics and making a buck. The Bride of Christ by Mary J. Breen takes a sharp look at the human side of religion. Mary’s quiet, elegant prose, and her way of only raising her voice just a touch now and again, drive this brilliant bit of work.

Q: One good thing about the first husband was he didn’t have a bitch for a mother and most likely was the sort of guy who remembered not to leave the toilet seat up. The quietly seething and reproachful voice the MC has for Mrs. Lynch is beautiful. She never flat out says anything mean about the women, but the message gets across. And how. Was it difficult to get her tone just right?

Q: A long ago wit once opined “Church is like baseball, many attend, few understand.” Although that is often flipped around, there’s truth in it. But there’s also an irony in there as well. I believe that the people who understand Church are those who have realized that the defects in Faith are human made. The concept of punishment for bad behavior is something developed by the ancient clergy to gain obedience and has nothing to do with God. But you can control frightened people more easily than those who think freely. Your thoughts? (Ha! If any angel comes around just send it to me)

Leila

***

The Bride of Christ

Mary’s responses:

Q: One good thing about the first husband was he didn’t have a bitch for a mother and most likely was the sort of guy who remembered not to leave the toilet seat up. The quietly seething and reproachful voice the MC has for Mrs. Lynch is beautiful. She never flat out says anything mean about the women, but the message gets across. And how. Was it difficult to get her tone just right?

1. I don’t see Mrs. Lynch as a “bitch.” (I also flinch when I hear women called “bitches.”) I see Mrs. Lynch as someone whose life has not worked out as she’d hoped, and she’s fastened the blame for her unhappiness on her daughter-in-law (someone apparently not worthy of the Lynch name). She doesn’t appear to have interrogated her own behaviour or her son’s, and, even worse, she wants to still be the most important person in her son’s life. Also, I know that many ex-nuns go on to have happy marriages, but I thought it was interesting to consider the challenge of marrying mere mortals, ex-priests or not, having once been Brides of Christ. As you can tell I was raised a Catholic so some of these complexities are familiar to me–tho no, I was never a nun.

Q: A long ago wit once opined “Church is like baseball, many attend, few understand.” Although that is often flipped around, there’s truth in it. But there’s also an irony in there as well. I believe that the people who understand Church are those who have realized that the defects in Faith are human made. The concept of punishment for bad behavior is something developed by the ancient clergy to gain obedience and has nothing to do with God. But you can control frightened people more easily than those who think freely. Your thoughts? (Ha! If any angel comes around just send it to me)

2. of course you can control frightened people, but I’m not sure how that applies to this story. Who do you see as afraid?

2 thoughts on “Literally Reruns- Mary J Breen-The Bride of Christ”

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