Saturday, October 09, 2010

The Importance of both Martha and Mary

In reading Paths to Prayer: A Field Guide to Ten Catholic Traditions, I came across this wonderful quote by Aelrod of Rievaulx, a Cistercian monk. He speaks about the importance of both Mary and Martha in that famous Gospel story where Jesus visits their home in Bethany.

You see if Mary had been alone in the house, no one would have fed the Lord; if Martha had been alone, no one would have tasted his presence and his words. Martha thus represents the action, the labor accomplished for Christ, Mary the repose that frees from bodily labor, in order to taste the sweetness of the Lord in reading, prayer, and contemplation. . . .

Do not neglect Mary for Martha, nor Martha for Mary. If you neglect Martha, who will serve Jesus? And if you neglect Mary, what will be the use of the visit of Jesus, since you will not taste his sweetness? Know, my brothers, that in this life, it is necessary never to separate these two women.

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