THERE IS STILL LOVE by Malachi Martin


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Holy Implausibility: the polymath, polyglot, polymorphously eloquent ex-Jesuit and biblical scholar does an inspirational number so tired and treacly he could be putting us on. Martin tells five stories (all ""true, to a point"") of troubled modern souls whose lives are turned around (or could be, if they opened up to grace) by visionary encounters with New Testament characters (John the Baptist, Mary Magdalene, the couple married at Cana, etc.), who introduce them to Love Incarnate. A suicidal coed, for example, has a mystical brush with Jesus: ""It was so quiet and tranquil, so undisturbing, so gentle. For one brief moment, the invisible hand of Jesus touched her soul. She saw. She understood."" And so on. Other chapters fashion comparable scenes with Laura M., a small-town girl become a not-entirely-happy-hooker in the big city; Karen and Michael, the perfect couple on the verge of divorce; a Rock-of-Gibraltar priest known simply as ""Chaplain""; and others still less interesting. Martin's lush orchestration of ""Jesus is the answer"" wouldn't be so objectionable if it weren't for all the false notes. Why does he take the New Testament as literal history? Why does he welcome cliche's (""There is no substitute for love':) so unblushingly? Why do his unctuous tones sound like something out of the Bob and Ray Show? (""Ed was already a valued member of the Lovely Retail family--that's the way everyone thought about Lovely's, as a family."") A funny-peculiar performance.

Pub Date: April 19th, 1984
Publisher: Macmillan