Martha, Mary, and the Meaning of Work

by David Baer


Silbermann organ, Hofkirche, Dresden

That leisure is better than work is not an idea with many supporters today.  To work diligently in one’s vocation, say Luther and Calvin, is an important way to love and serve the neighbor.  Yet Jesus tells Martha, who works, that Mary, who does not work, has chosen a good portion.  David Baer reflects on the puzzle of worship and work, Mary and Martha, and the lives of Johann Sebastian Bach and Albert Schweitzer.

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The Meaning of Marriage

by György Heidl

They are going to be disappointed, those who are hoping that, as concerns the theology of marriage and questions of sexual ethics, Pope Francis is going to soften the “strict” teaching of the church on the purity and sanctity of marriage.

catacombe_di_san_gennaro_fresco_Theotecnus_Hilaritas_Nonnosa_VIcEspecially as concerns the recognition of same sex marriage, we ought not to expect even a slight concession. Many have pinned great hope on the oft quoted, deeply humane, but thoroughly distorted comment by Pope Francis, “who am I to judge them if they’re seeking the Lord in good faith.” But these people overlook the pope’s first encyclical, where he emphatically affirms the clear teaching of the church. According to Francis, the union of man and woman in marriage “is born of their love, as a sign and presence of God’s own love, and of the acknowledgment and acceptance of the goodness of sexual differentiation, whereby spouses can become one flesh, and are enabled to give birth to a new life, a manifestation of the Creator’s goodness, wisdom and loving plan” (Lumen fidei 52).

György Heidl writes more about the meaning of marriage in the first issue of Principium.


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Coming Soon!


Principium is an independent, international journal dedicated to cultivating informed Christian debate about public life in Hungary and Europe.  The first issue will be published in fall 2014.


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