Saint Martha, sister to Mary and Lazarus, resided in Bethany, a small town close to Jerusalem. The trio is known as holy disciples for hosting Jesus Christ frequently during his public ministry. Martha, the apparent eldest, took the primary responsibility of managing their household. Their family was well-known in the region, as revealed by the story of Lazarus’s resurrection.

On Jesus’s first known visit, Martha demonstrated great diligence and hospitality. Neglecting her status and wealth, she personally attended to Jesus and his holy company. Meanwhile, Mary chose to remain at Jesus’s feet, deeply engrossed in his divine teachings. She found such profound joy and spiritual upliftment in his words that she disregarded worldly concerns. Her heart lit up with love for his divine wisdom, echoing the sentiment expressed in the Canticles: “My beloved to me, and I to him.”

St. Austin likens their house to the family of God on Earth, with every servant engaged in various tasks. Some were engaged in a contemplative life, while others led an active life through serving the poor or pursuing their professions, seeing them as their divine calling. St. Austin suggests that the true measure of a saint, regardless of their lifestyle, is the purity, intensity, and perfection of their love for God and fellow beings.

However, the question of whether a contemplative or an active life is more perfect has been debated. St. Thomas, drawing upon the lives of Christ and his apostles, suggested that a life that combines both – contemplation and action – is most excellent. This ‘mixed life’ involves the exterior functions of guiding, aiding, and comforting others, underpinned by a profound spirit of prayer and contemplation.

Those wishing to live this ‘mixed life’ should prepare themselves with a period of intense religious solitude. Like Christ, who frequently sought solitude in the mountains, individuals leading a mixed life should maintain a connection with solitude and spiritual recollection. To lose this connection, as St. Bonaventure expressed, is akin to carrying “a dead soul in a living body.” This interior spirit must also animate those in worldly occupations and those devoted to serving Christ’s most vulnerable and afflicted followers, just as Martha served Christ himself.

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  1. swt martha pls pray 4us all, esp my lil bro obinna so dat he wud get admission into a uni and also get his desired dept, pls.

  2. martha was right in tryng to get her guests entertained but on the second thought, she should have been able to know that Jesus was not the kind of person who always wanted something to eat n had less of the spiritual, to wrk with.

  3. Saint Martha I’m your newly devoted patron. Please please answer my prayers and bring Pat back to me. Please let our love conquer what we have been through. I thank you in advance for listening to my prayers and trying your hardest to help me with my requests. I love you for being so grateful. Thank you !

  4. Saints Martha and Mary and Lazarus, pray for us. Let my earlier years be service, my latter years be contemplation. A balanced spiritual life, for the glory of God. Amen.

  5. Lord Jesus Christ, may your word take deep root in our hearts and transform our way of thinking, discerning, and acting. May your Spirit open our ears to hear and understand the word of God in the Scriptures that we may revere and treasure both the Old and the New Testaments which God has prepared for all who desire to enter his kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy. Help us to be a diligent student and faithful disciple of your word. Amen.


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