Embracing Both And…

Photo:  Sister Nancy A. Sell, OSF

Photo: Sister Nancy A. Sell, OSF

Thomas Merton, the well-known Trappist monk speaking of contemplation and  action, says:  “Contemplation cannot construct a new world by itself. Contemplation does not feed the hungry; it does not clothe the naked… and it does not return the sinner to peace, truth, and union with God. But without contemplation we cannot see what we do… Without contemplation we cannot understand the significance of the world in which we must act. Without contemplation we remain small, limited, divided, partial; we adhere to the insufficient, permanently united to our narrow group and its interests, losing sight of justice and charity, seized by the passions of the moments… Without contemplation, without the intimate, silent, secret pursuit of truth through love, our action loses itself in the world and becomes dangerous.”

And then there is Mary and Martha in the Christian scriptures Luke 10:38-42.   Jesus sits in the midst of Mary and Martha. Mary is talking with him, Martha is serving and complaining that she is doing all the work.”  Martha, thank you for all you are doing, yet doing is not the most important part, Jesus says.   Be still and know that the divine dwells within, then your actions will be out of love, not out of duty.  Be still within and you will know the bigger picture, the greater vision.

Contemplation or action?  Mary or Martha?  Actually contemplation and action.  Mary and Martha.  Feeding the hungry and being still and knowing that God is God, the Divine dwells within.

Our invitation is to embrace both and…

Blessings and peace.

About SisterNancy

I am a Catholic Sister, a member of the School Sisters of St. Francis from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I enjoy swimming and nature: hiking in the mountains and along rolling hills, sitting by water and walking through the various seasons of life. I am a spiritual director, spirituality consultant, chaplain and retreat director. You can contact me at sisternancyosf@gmail.com
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