"In the Virgin Mother is exemplified both the contemplative and the active life, of which same the Evangelist Luke has written in the passage concerning the sisters Martha and Mary. For what, do we imagine that Martha's serving was blamed, whom the cares of hospitality had engaged, who had received the Lord Himself into her house? How could she be rightly blamed, who was gladdened by so great a guest? If this be true, let men give over their ministrations to the needy; let them choose for themselvesthe better part, which shall not be taken fromthem; let them give themselves wholly to the word, let them long after the sweetness of doctrine; be occupied about the saving knowledge; let it be no care to them, what stranger is in the street, who there is that wants bread, or clothing, or to be visited, to beredeemed, to be buried; let works of mercy cease, earnest heed be given to knowledge only. If this bethe better part,why do not all do this, when we have the Lord Himself for our defender in this behalf? For we do not fear in this matter, lest we should offend His justice, when we have the support of His judgment.
And yet it is not so; but as the Lord spoke so it is. It is not as you understand, but it is as you ought to understand it. So mark;You are occupied about many things, when one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the better part.You have not chosen a bad part; but she a better. And how better? Because you areabout many things,she aboutone thing.One is preferred to many. For one does not come from many, but many from one."
- S. Augustine of hippo, sermon 27 de Verb.Dom.
"O holy Mary, help thou the suffering, strengthen the faint-hearted, comfort the sorrowful ; pray for the people, plead for the clergy, entreat for all women dedicated to God; let everyone that keepeth holy-day in thine honour know the benefit of thine intercession."-Magnificat antiphon, first vespers.