The better part

Today is the feast day of St Bruno, founder of the very contemplative Carthusian order. He was born in Cologne and was ordained a priest in 1055. He taught for many years at a prestigious school in Reims, and taught the future Pope Urban II. Meanwhile, he held many posts in the diocese, too. He was a busy man, just like the Martha we see running around in the Gospel today, “burdened with much service.” Bruno was a Martha, and that was good, but he knew that Mary had the better part. And he wanted that part. We all should, to some degree. So he left his posts and joined the Cistercians, but soon he wanted something stricter, so he founded the Carthusians. Today, while we read the story of Mary and Martha, we also read the same theme lived out in the life of this man Bruno, a man whose busyness had once taken quite a toll on his relationship with God and who traded it all in for Mary’s part. Today, let’s seek to do the same in some smaller way. I am convinced that were it not for the prayers of the monks and nuns and Brunos and Marys of the world, and ours as well, the church, the world would fall apart, no matter how many Marthas were scurrying about trying to hold things together.