Saturday, July 29, 2006
St. Martha, patron saint of worriers...
Feast day for the very, very nervous.
"Jeepers Richard! I'm nervous!" Madelaine Kahn's character, Victoria Brisbane, from "High Anxiety."
Everyone always likes to use Mary and Martha as examples for the so-called active and contemplative life. I cannot dispute the Fathers and all the other saints, if time allowed I would write how Teresa of Avila praised the so-called active life and called attention to its own unique contemplative qualities. Teresa of Calcutta and her sisters are marvelous examples of this. Enough said on that.
When it comes to Martha complaining about Mary not helping out when the Lord was at her house, I wouldn't be surprised if she wasn't incited to do so by the men in Our Lord's company who may have thought it unseemly for Mary to be sitting at the Teacher's feet - after all, it was the men Jesus was speaking to, a woman's place was indeed servile. Martha's exasperation may have been with this attitude, plus having to leave her work to call Mary. Of course we don't know that.
What we do know is that Martha was agitated, a bit anxious and nervous. Don't we all get like that? Today I am. Everything seems overwhelming for me today, I'm worried about many things, I need St. Martha's intercession to help me realize that "Only one thing is necessary." (Hard to understand sometimes when you're in the throes of anxiety.) Nevertheless, I think I should get some medication for panic attacks, while asking Martha for her help.