One Minute Reflection – 29 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Memorial of St Martha – Readings: Exodus 40: 16-21, 34-38; Psalms 84: 3, 4, 5-6a and 8a, 11; John 11: 19-27
“Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus” – John 11:5
REFLECTION – “Love everyone with a great, charitable love but have no friendship except for those that communicate with you in the things of virtue. … If this communication be in the sciences, the friendship is certainly very commendable but still more so, if it be in virtues, in prudence, discretion, fortitude and justice. Should your mutual and reciprocal communications relate to charity, devotion and Christian perfection, O God, how precious will this friendship be! It will be excellent because it comes from God; excellent, because it tends to God; excellent because its very bond is God; excellent, because it shall last eternally in God. Oh, how good it is to love on earth as they love in heaven;and to learn to cherish one another in this world, as we shall do eternally in the next!
I speak not here of that simple love of charity which we must have for all but, of that spiritual friendship, by which two, three or more souls communicate one to another their devotion and spiritual affections and make themselves have but one spirit. (Cf. Acts 4:32) Such happy souls may justly sing: “Behold how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Ps 132:1). … I consider all other friendships as but so many shadows in comparison with this one … For Christians who live in the world and desire to embrace true virtue, it is necessary to unite themselves together by a holy and sacred friendship. By this means, they encourage, assist and conduct one another to good deeds … Surely no-one can deny, that our Lord loved Saint John, Lazarus, Martha and Magdalen with a more sweet and most special friendship, for Scripture tells us so.” – St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Bishop of Geneva and Doctor of Charity the Church – Introduction to the Devout Life, III, 19 (trans. John Ryan)
PRAYER – Almighty ever-living God, Your Son graciously came as a guest to the home of St Martha and was the friend of her family. Martha in her sorrow was moved to declare her total faith in Him, grant we pray, that in our trials and sorrows, we too may prove our love for You. By her prayers give us grace to serve Christ faithfully in our brethren and bring us to Your home in heaven. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, amen.