The real reason for Martha’s sorrow

For some reason, a little snippet from the daily reflection in the Magnificat really struck a chord with me this morning.  It’s the feast of St. Martha, who like St. Thomas, always seems to get a bad rap even know we know that we’d all do the exact same thing in that position.

St. Teresa of Avila has this gem as she writes her thoughts to Our Lord:

“I sometimes remember the complaint of that holy woman, Martha.  She did not complain only about her sister, rather, I hold it is certain that her greatest sorrow was the thought that you, Lord, did not feel sad about the trial she was undergoing and didn’t have as much love for her as for her sister.”

Such an honest, open confession to our Lord.  To be so real with Him and tell Him something that we know in our minds can’t be true- but to be real with Him about what’s in our heart. It leaves me kind of speechless with that feeling of recognition/sorrow/relief that hits you right in the stomach. The fear that the Lord doesn’t love us as much as our neighbor… So real, so human. He shows us He loves us everyday, but we are so weak and so in need of His mercy.  We need Him to show His love again and again.  Lord, help my unbelief.  Give me some little consolation of Your love.

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5 thoughts on “The real reason for Martha’s sorrow

  1. Beautiful observation Joannie. I have been thinking about St. Martha all day. I used to think I was more like Mary but it’s becoming more apparent that I am very much like Martha which isn’t so bad. To realize that I am like Martha is very humbling and it is a reminder of my deep need for God.

    • There’s nothing wrong with being like Martha! : ) Like I said, I think she gets a bad rap. I remember when Scott Hahn pointed out to me that in John 12:2 Jesus is at their house and John mentions quite nonchalantly “There they made him a supper; Martha served.” and she’s not chastised … why? because there’s nothing wrong with her choosing to worship Christ by serving Him dinner. It was her attitude in Luke 10 that was the problem. Apparently she learned her lesson by the 12th chapter of John. : )

      • Haha Joannie, I guess what I mean is that I used to think that I didn’t want to be like Martha at all! I hope someday to have the same kind of faith she had when she proclaimed – “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.”

  2. Jill says:

    I’m late in reading this post, but commenting anyway! I have thought about this same sentiment for women having trouble conceiving a child, when they hear children spoken of being blessings, or when those of us with many children use phrases like “Im so blessed’. Of course we ARE blessed, and we can’t understand God’s ways, because they’re not our ways, but it can SEEM like He blesses some people more than others and therefore He must love them more. It’s not true, but such a raw, human sentiment and totally understandable.

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