Today is the Feast Day of Saint Mary Magdalen, model for pentients.
Of Mary Magdalen, Lacordaire said,
“Mary Magdalene touches both sides of our life: the Sinner anoints us with her tears, the Saint with her tenderness, the one soothes our wounds at the feet of Christ, the other tries to exalt us to the ravishment of her ascension.”
We often see Magdalen at the feet of Christ. Luke tells us that Mary sat at the feet of Christ, listening to Him, while Martha complained. When Jesus returned to Bethany to raise Mary’s brother, Lazarus, she ran to Him and cast herself at His feet. Before His Passion, she knelt at His feet and anointed them. At the Crucifixion, she stood at His feet, beside Our Lord’s most Blessed Mother, comforting Mary and adoring her Master. Each time, Our Lord defended her. “Mary has chosen the better part.” After the anointing, “Let her alone. That which she has done will be told in memory of her.” But note this change: on that glorious Easter Sunday, when she discovered her Risen Lord, she threw herself at His feet once again, but this time Our Lord pointed her to their heavenly Father, “I ascend to my Father and to your Father, to my God and your God.” Thus, we see Our Lord urging Mary to aspire to a higher union, dying with Christ in contemplation to rise with Him in eternal glory.
Penitent to Contemplative
Father Alban Butler’s Life of Mary Magdalen tells us that the Magdalen is the first in a “new order of souls”, which he describes as a school of love by the martyrdom of the heart which by learning to die to the world and to inordinate self-love, lives to God and His pure love. This happiness we attain to, by being united in spirit to Jesus crucified, as Magdalen was at the foot of His cross. She suffered by love what He suffered in His body by the hands of the Jews. The same cross crucified Jesus and Magdalen in Him and with Him. … so that she could say in a twofold sense; “My love is crucified.”