A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The better portion

Today’s Gospel account of the sisters Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42) is often used to illustrate two different paths that followers of our Lord may take: the path of active service demonstrated by Martha and the path of active contemplation demonstrated by Mary.

Coincidentally, this reading falls of the day when, in the United States and elsewhere, the memorials of two very different holy people are celebrated: the memorial of Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher, foundress of the service-oriented Sisters of the Holy Names, and the memorial of Saint Bruno, founder of the super-contemplative Carthusian order.

Is contemplation “the better portion” as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ implies in today’s Gospel? On many levels, yes. True contemplation of God on earth through Christ foreshadows contemplation of God in heaven, raises us above the clutter of earthly life, and focuses us on Eternity: where joy and love reigns.

Yet while we should each pursue contemplation in some way, not all are called to the kind of contemplative lives exemplified by people such as Mary and the Carthusians.

Most of us – celibate, married, or single – are called to be more like Martha: to serve God and His people faithfully through practical actions.

The bottom line is this: faithfully fulfilling the life in Christ to which you and I are truly called is the better portion.