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Friday, 22 April 2011

Divine Mercy on the Subway

     The drunk had a Scottish accent, and he wore a woolen cap that was slanted to the side as if to say, "I'm rough and tough." I knew he hadn't been partaking of the Black Fast for Good Friday because that part of the car smelled of stale beer. I was reciting the Chaplet of Divine Mercy as I sat on my subway slab, returning from the Good Friday service at St. Thomas Aquinas Church (Newman Centre) on the campus of the University of Toronto.
     There were three scrappy kids standing at the door, and when the drunk pushed past them, he turned around on a dime and with a red face and pointing finger growled, "I show you, runt!" The kid with the bill of his baseball cap turned to the side stood quietly and waited for the subway door to shut. Then he said, "Old drunk," to his friends and they all guffawed.
     "For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world," I sang to myself as my thumb pushed the beads. Perhaps the kids are seeking redemption, I thought. They could have pushed the drunk over and onto the hard tiles of the platform but they just stood there and waited for him to leave.
     Then they sat down and quietly terrorized the people around them until they got off a few stations down the line. When they had left, a lady who looked like a tired angel took their place and stared blankly into the Good Friday afternoon subway light. Below us, hell rumbled with fear at the knowledge that Jesus had really done what he said he would do, and the devil was on the run.

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