Away Flew Mary

Come to the edge.
We might fall.
Come to the edge.
It’s too high!
And they came
And he pushed
And they flew.

-Christopher Logue

Suzy Grybas, a Regnum Christi member from the Chicago area, shares her experience of a friendship brought to the edge of life in the new RC Essay, Away Flew Mary. Using this poem as a metaphor for the deep spiritual friendship she had with her friend and fellow RC member Mary Alwan in the weeks before she passed away from pancreatic cancer, Suzy shows us the beauty of a courageous friendship that learns to follow God’s will in spite of the human cost.

Away Flew Mary is not a typical RC essay addressing a specific virtue or offering instruction to members. Suzy’s story is simply a personal testimony of walking through daily life to death with her Regnum Christi sister, Mary Alwan. It is a reflection of a faith-based friendship, started in the RC Movement, that was deepened and strengthened through the carrying of the cross.

Suzy Grybas shares, “We each know that God works in our lives daily, but in His way and in His time. It is our responsibility to enter the silence, be in His presence, and listen to Him as he speaks. The Holy Spirit gave me the graces to write this story for my own spiritual and emotional healing. It has been shared only with Mary’s daughters and a few others. It has laid undisturbed, on my bookshelf, for six years now, until now.”

Reading Suzy’s essay, one feels as if you are sitting across from a close friend over a cup of coffee as she shares this treasured experience with you.  Her writing exposes her inherent faith, and her ability to share her experiences with vulnerability and an underlying joy make her story relatable to all who have experienced the loss of a loved one.

In life Christians are called to die to ourselves many times before we leave this world:

“Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him.” Romans 6:6-8

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” Gal 2:20

Away Flew Mary is about more than the passing of an extraordinary woman. It shares the lessons Suzy and Mary learned about dying to themselves, giving up control and following the will of God. This is wisdom that is applicable in everyone’s life, as God calls us all to the “edge” in countless different ways before the day he will ask us to finally fly away.

Available here in paperback and kindle editions, the essay also contains a group study guide, making it a powerful way for friends to explore the themes of spiritual friendship, following the will of God, and accompanying each other on our journeys to heaven.

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