Monday, July 22, 2013

St. Mary Magdalene

The feast of St. Mary Magdalene is one of my favorites.  I've always wanted to model my life after this beautiful and holy woman; that is, I want to love much.  I recently learned that during the course of the last seventy years, it was realized that the seven demons that Jesus cast out from St. Mary Magdalene was actually referring to His curing her depression and anxiety, not the prostitution that is usually attributed to her. As one who has deeply struggled with those same mental illnesses, the knowledge that we have this commonality makes me love her even more.

Here's a treat from my favorite local poet, Jessica Powers, aka Sr. Miriam of the Holy Spirit, OCD, in honor of this special Feast Day:

God is a Strange Lover

God is the strangest of all lovers;
His ways are past explaining.
He sets His heart on a soul:  He says to Himself, “Here will I rest my love.”

But he does not woo her with flowers or jewels or words that are set to music,
No names endearing, no kindled praise His heart, direction prove.
His jealousy is an infinite thing, He stalks the soul with sorrow;
He tramples the bloom; He blots the sun that could make her vision dim.
He robs and breaks and destroys-there is nothing at last but her own shame, her own affliction,
And then He comes and there is nothing in the vast world but Him and her love of Him.

Not till the great rebellions die and her will is safe in His hands forever
Does He open the door of light and His tenderness fall,
And then for what is seen in the soul’s virgin places,
For what is heard in the heart, there is no speech at all.

God is a strange lover; the story of His love is most surprising,
There is no proud queen in her cloth of gold; over and over again.
There is only, deep in the soul, a poor dishelved woman weeping….

For those who have need of a picture and words:  the Magdalen.

And something I've shared before from Fr. Gerald Fitzgerald, sP, the founder of the Handmaids of the Precious Blood, and my spiritual father:

To Saint Mary Magdalene

You claimed
the false
until you found
the True;
your beauty
until Beauty
wounded you,
and plunged your soul
into a spring so sweet
your tears
fell as chaste pearls
at Mercy's


  1. These are beautiful Anne!! I find it interesting what all Jesus cured in Mary Magdalene. The poetry "your beauty wounded until Beauty wounded you" is wonderful...Thank you...

  2. I love special treats like these :) Thanks, Anne!