Regarding Mary Sitting at Christ’s Feet- By: St. Macarius the Great

Icon of St. Mary of Bethany (Sister of Ss. Lazarus & Martha) By: Nicholas Papas

Question: What is the meaning of Martha saying to the Lord about Mary: “I am busy about many things and here she sits at your feet” (Lk 10:41)?

Answer: What Mary ought to have said to Martha, the Lord, anticipating her remark, said to her- that Mary had left everything to sit at the feet of the Lord and to bless God throughout the whole day. You see, the value of her sitting came from her love. To understand more clearly God’s Word, listen. If anyone loves Jesus and really gives oneself attentively to him and not in a superficial way, but also perseveres in love, God is already planning to reward that soul for that love, even though the person does not know what he is about to receive or what portion God is about to bestow on him. Indeed, when Mary loved Jesus and sat at his feet, Jesus did not merely place himself alongside her, but he endowed her with a certain hidden power from his very own being. For the words which God spoke to Mary in peace were in-breathing and of a certain power. And these words penetrated her heart and brought his soul to her soul, his Spirit to her spirit, and a divine power filled her heart. That power necessarily, wherever it is released, remains there as a possession which cannot be taken away. For this reason the Lord, who knew what he had given to Mary, said: “Mary has chosen the good part” (Lk 10:42). But not long after, the works of service, that Martha kindly performed, brought her also to that gift of grace. She also received the divine power in her soul.

Excerpt taken from the book: Pseudo-Macarius, The Fifty Spiritual Homilies & the Great Letter.


1 Response to “Regarding Mary Sitting at Christ’s Feet- By: St. Macarius the Great”

  1. 1 lona mary mueller August 17, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    I chose St. Mary of Bethany for my patron saint when I entered the Orthodox Church in 2003. She is very precious to me and this is my favorite site about her!
    Thank you! Mary Lona Mueller

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St. Poemen the Great

"A man may seem to be silent, but if his heart is condemning others, he is babbling ceaselessly. But there may be another who talks from morning till night and yet he is truly silent, that is, he says nothing that is not profitable."

St. Gregory the Great

"Every day you provide your bodies with good to keep them from failing. In the same way your good works should be the daily nourishment of your hearts. Your bodies are fed with food and your spirits with good works. You aren't to deny your soul, which is going to live forever, what you grant to your body, which is going to die."

St. Paisius Velichkovsky

"Remember, O my soul, the terrible and frightful wonder: that your Creator for your sake became Man, and deigned to suffer for the sake of your salvation. His angels tremble, the Cherubim are terrified, the Seraphim are in fear, and all the heavenly powers ceaselessly give praise; and you, unfortunate soul, remain in laziness. At least from this time forth arise and do not put off, my beloved soul, holy repentance, contrition of heart and penance for your sins."

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

“Prayer does not consist merely in standing and bowing your body or in reading written prayers….it is possible to pray at all times, in all places, with mind and spirit. You can lift up your mind and heart to God while walking, sitting, working, in a crowd and in solitude. His door is always open, unlike man’s. We can always say to Him in our hearts Lord , Lord have mercy.”

St. John of Kronstadt

The candles lit before the icons of the Theotokos are a symbol of the fact that She is the Mother of the Unapproachable Light, and also of Her most pure and burning love for God and Her love for mankind.

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