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HERE BEGINNETH THE TWENTIETH CHAPTER

How Almighty God will goodly answer for all those that for the excusing of themselves list not leave their business about the love of Him.

AND therefore me thinketh, that they that set them to be contemplatives should not only have active men excused of their complaining words, but also me thinketh that they should be so occupied in spirit that they should take little heed or none what men did or said about them. ...
                                              ........................................
"Surely ... God (should) be loved and praised by Himself, above all other business bodily or ghostly that man may do. And for this, that Martha should not think that she might both love God and praise Him above all other business bodily or ghostly, and also thereto to be busy about the necessaries of this life: therefore to deliver her of doubt that she might not both serve God in bodily business and ghostly together perfectly‑—imperfectly she may, but not perfectly—He added and said, that Mary had chosen the best part; the which should never be taken from her. For why, that perfect stirring of love that beginneth here is even in number with that that shall last without end in the bliss of heaven, for all it is but one.

Cloud of Unknowing - Christian Classics Ethereal Library


The monk does a lot of good/better/besting which he asks the prospective contemplative not to do for it is part of the world that is to be pushed under that cloud of forgetting.  So the first sentence seems to me to be the only necessary one in this chapter.

The sorting of people smacks of judging and presuming to know the will of God.  I know that for the Christian the Bible is holy and true, but the monk draws many inferrences from the five verses in Luke which tells us all we know about Martha and Mary.  Twentieth century scholarship would have wanted to know why the gospel author chose to include this story, for we cannot be sure that incident described actually occurred or that Jesus utterred the words the gospel has him say.  I agree that the contemplative life is, for me, the most necessary life and that Jesus probably thought so also.  I did notice that, in the story, it was Mary who invited Jesus into the house, so she shared some responsibility for neatening the place and showing kindness to a guest.  If Jesus had been talking to  Mary about what i think he was (the Sermon on the Mount?), they should have insisted that Martha join them.  Come and listen to this sister, it is strange and powerful stuff!

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bobby1933
bobby1933

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