4. [She] many times met with men of that district who said to her, “Woman, give up this life that you lead and go and spin, and card wool, as other women do, and do not suffer so much shame and so much unhappiness. We would not suffer so much for any money on earth.”
Then she said to them, “I do not suffer as much sorrow as I would do for our Lord’s love, for I only suffer cutting words, and our merciful Lord Christ Jesus. . . . suffered hard strokes, bitter scourgings, and shameful death at the last, for me and for all mankind, blessed may he be.”
When Margery is arrested for the second time in Yorkshire, in Book One, section 53, she faces ridicule for making such an unfeminine spectacle of herself and is urged to return home and take up her wifely duties once again. Margery’s answer ignores the content of the men’s remarks, focusing instead on the unspiritual small-mindedness revealed by their attitude toward suffering. In response to their assertion that living as she does is simply not worth the trouble, Margery invokes the crucified Jesus to ask, in effect, do you wish he had chosen the easy path instead of the way that leads to suffering? Seen in this light, Margery says, her own suffering is nothing, and she can even gladly accept it as part of her devotion to Christ.