- Good: the active works of mercy and charity (active life)
- Better: spiritual meditations on subjects such as the joy of heaven and the Passion (active/contemplative)
- Best: the dark cloud of unknowing of God's love experienced through true contemplation (contemplative)
It's the overlap between active and contemplative expressions that is intriguing me here. The Author states that the active life is represented by Martha and the contemplative by Mary of Bethany, in the story in John's Gospel.
I am finally beginning to grasp the edges of a quote from John Wesley I remember reading when I was at theological college: "I am so busy that I must spend my first two hours in prayer". That sounds like such an oxymoron, yet I am finding myself that if I do not make time for God, giving God space to speak and myself to hear, my day falls over. The more I am with God, the more I can be for people. It sounds so unlikely, but seems to be true.
Time to put my "theory" - or more accurately, my very limited comprehension of ancient knowledge! - into practice.