Nothing openly wrong with Martha, we are told, and we agree. However, it is clear that Mary, not Martha, was the one who had her priorities straight; and we might add that there might have been in good, hard-working Martha a hint of “look at me” attitude; something also in line with yours truly’s politically incorrect, but strongly held belief that women tend to compete for the attention of (manly) men; and he who has eyes to see notices it all the time.
However, yours truly couldn’t avoid thinking that a small Martha abides in him, too; trying, at least, and sometimes succeeding in causing him not to give to the things of God the attention they deserve.
The best remedy to this is, I think, something I have stressed out many times: habit.
If I did not have the habit of praying the Rosary every day, you can be sure my inner Martha would find plenty of things to do in preference to it; things of which I would easily persuade myself that they are – like writing for this blog, of course – just as important as praying the rosary. No, they aren’t. Like Mary, we must get our priorities straight first, and apportion our time according to them as a consequence of this. And this act of giving priority to what is most important, so beautifully spontaneous in Mary, is something that requires for most of us – and certainly for yours truly – a conscious effort.
It is only when I have recognised, when I have lucidly made the decision that praying the Rosary every day is more important than my sleep, that things fall into place. The habit comes out of a willed resolution, not out of there “being time” for it. We have to make time, not wait that there is time.
Time is what we have for what is important to us. Conversely, the way we employ our time says where our priorities lie. Even the act of not thinking this little truth to the end shows, in fact, that one’s first priority does not lie in deciding what is one’s first priority.
First things first.
Pray the rosary every day.
Sleep in the time that is left.