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Treasure/“Duet, Mary and Martha”

small metal statueEvery issue, we invite one member of the college community to share their delight in an object found on campus. 

Here, Bridget Burke Ravizza (Theology & RS) celebrates her joy in the Cassandra Voss Center on campus, in its gallery space set aside for reflection and, in particular, in the bronze statuette that is its focal point. 

This small statue beautifully speaks to vocation and specifically, to me as a Catholic woman, to the two sides of what a good human life looks like. On the one side, Martha: She’s got a basket, vegetables, and she’s concerned with tasks that need to get done to take care of herself and others. On the other side, Mary: She’s got a book in her hand, she’s seeking knowledge, contemplation … . This depiction shows a real balance. It doesn’t show one vocation as superior to the other. Together, these two women form a whole picture of what we’re called to do.

There’s a beautiful spirit here in the Cassandra Voss Center and, in particular, in the space where this piece is set. It’s a quiet corner, reserved for reflection. Mary, in the Biblical story, is inspirational as she sits at Jesus’s feet and he accepts her there. It’s a strong statement that women were called to discipleship as well as to the work of hospitality – one that really speaks, too, to the Norbertine idea about being contemplatives: contemplatives in action. Contemplation is part of the good life, also.

Oct. 31, 2022