In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, appearances are kept up but the undercurrent beneath those appearances is that something is indeed rotten in Denmark. There is some lurking "thing" beneath the appearances of my life too. I know what it is and its ugliness repels me. It’s hypocrisy: pharisaical, whited-sepulcher, hypocrisy! It’s the knowledge that not only am I far from being what I should be, but sometimes I’m the exact opposite. Case in point:: my neatly, highly organized daily spiritual regime is so sacred that I’m twisted totally out of shape when it’s interrupted. I can’t, for the life of me, picture You not lovingly and patiently bearing all interruptions. It may occasionally be necessary to dwell on the fact that while Mary may have had the better part, You still loved and bore with Martha.
In myself, what I really get angry with is my own acceptance of the hypocrisy that surfaces when other people push or pull me in directions away from You. I am often so blind as to not see that these people (whom You love as much or more than me) and these interruptions (which You Yourself experienced) should be embraced in the present moment as equal or greater opportunities to love You than any spiritual "exercises" I am doing at the time. I cannot help but recall Fr. Keating’s story of the bartender and the present moment. He says: "Far better to be present to your duty if you are a bartender than to be present in church and to be thinking about being present in the bar." Within this context of being fully present to the present moment must come the understanding that the needs of the present moment can change and that they are often governed by the needs of others. It is this that daily provides me with the opportunity for hypocrisy. Being able to be present for others in a different way than one may wish to be present for oneself is the essence of Your example of service - and You are the measure! I cannot claim to love You and be put off by the needs of others.