Thursday, July 31, 2008

St Martha - II

Perusing Guéranger, I came upon what I must reproduce here: his apt and arresting application of Holy Writ to the praiseworthy acts of St Martha, the Hostess of the Lord:

Our Lord said, Into whatever city or town you shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and there abide. (St Matt. x, 11)

But behold! [Our Lord] entered into a certain town, and a certain woman named Martha received Him into her house. (St Luke x, 38)

Therefore, He Who is Truth adjudged her worthy. Many, extending hospitality to strangers, have entertained angels unawares; but she was graced to give shelter to the Lord Himself. And whoso receives Him, receives also the Father Who sent Him: Martha, surely graced by the Holy Ghost, was hospitable to the whole Trinity. The peace of Christ came to rest on that blessed house in Bethany.

What her reward?

He that ministers to Me shall follow Me, and where I am, there shall also My minister be, and My Father will honour him.

For they that have ministered well shall purchase to themselves a good degree, and much confidence in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. (I Tim. iii, 13)

God is not unjust, that He should forget your work and the love which you have shown in His name, you who have ministered and do minister to the saints [let alone to the Saint of Saints]. (I Tim. iii, 13)

Yet more - As many as received Him, He gave them power to be made the sons of God. (St John i, 12)

She now as it were sits at table with the Lord, He serving her, by giving her to drink of the abundance of the delights of the Beatific Vision, and the joyful company of all the saints in heaven.

Blessed is that servant whom when his Lord shall come, He shall find so doing. Amen, I say to you, He shall place him over all His goods. (I Tim. iii, 13)

From heaven her eternal home, she, as all the saints, is at perfect rest, and yet, in a manner purified from all earthly care, is ever sollicitous for us, interceding for man's salvation.

The epitaph upon her reputed burial place in Tarascon: Sollicita non turbatur - "Ever zealous, she is no longer troubled".

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