Chasing Grace: Reflections of a Catholic Girl, Grown Up by Martha Manning

By Martha Manning

From the writer of the "absolutely soaking up" (USA this present day) memoir Undercurrents comes an unforgettable portrait of youth, relatives and group. The eldest baby of a religious Irish-American Catholic relatives, Martha Manning weaves her tale round the seven holy sacraments: baptism, penance, communion, affirmation, holy orders, marriage and final rites. She recollects her adolescence pratfalls, adolescent yearnings and front into motherhood with knowledge, wit and memorable honesty. immediately poignant and laugh-out-loud humorous, Chasing Grace is a totally unique story of friends and family, chuffed instances and tough ones -- and thepainful, joyous trip from adolescence to maturity.

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Extra info for Chasing Grace: Reflections of a Catholic Girl, Grown Up

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You performed the indulgences and earned a specific number of days or years off your sentence to Purgatory. No one ever specified whether our time dimensions were the same as God’s or different, like the way we measure human years and dog years. But it was a chance for time off, so who cared? Chasing Grace / 39 You got time off from Purgatory by making the sign of the cross, which earned you three years—seven years if you used holy water. Repeating holy phrases (ejaculations) qualified for all kinds of reprieves, although it was hard for me to imagine that when my mother yelled, “JE-sus, Ma-RY, and JO-seph!

But I wasn’t alone anymore and that was what mattered. Maureen encouraged me to join the choir, to which almost every girl belonged. Choir was fun. Sister Margaret Joseph was one of the best nuns, let alone women, that I had ever known. Because I was a second soprano, I was placed next to two of the cool girls, Ann Marie and Caroline. Maureen, being an alto, was a few rows back. As was my tendency in situations I enjoyed, I began to make smartass remarks that were, to my great pleasure, thoroughly enjoyed by Ann Marie and Caroline.

On and on I went. It was almost over. I would never have to go through a first confession again. I got to the part where you promise to stay away from the “near occasion of sin,” but I must have heard Sister wrong because I thought it was supposed to be the “dear occasion of sin” and said so, loud and clear. ” he bellowed. ” he demanded. ” “Oh, you go to public school. That explains a lot,” he said disdainfully, as if public school were a den of thieves or a house of prostitution. ” I responded weakly.

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