Learning From Mary Magdalene 

July 22 is the feast day of this group's first patroness St. Mary Magdalene. Fr Mark, a Franciscan Friar of the Eternal Word, offered teaching on three things the life of St Mary Magdalene give us, in our journey toward purity and renewal of mind and heart.

Do not lose heart


A high degree of union with God through a rich prayer life

The words from Fr. Mark accompanying these three goals are that they are each difficult.

The first reading of the feast day was from The Song of Songs, a dialogue between the soul and God. We must look for God, who as we know sometimes seems missing, especially when the memory or the chaos of lust is edging toward our doorstep. To pine for God like a dry land thirsting for water, is to love God with passion. Our God cannot fail to respond to fervor, and desperation.

Mary Magdalene was passionate enough to be at the tomb at sunrise on Easter morning, and after finding the tomb empty, weeping with urgency, set about in search of her Savior. Her search is in such fever that she does not recognize the gardener who finds her. How often do we miss God's helping hand, in our hour of need? The family cat meowing frantically as we settle down into the Internet sin chair, or the phone call out of the blue, all at the same time?

Mary Magdalene is the first soul to see the Risen Christ. This is a symbol of the fact that God has truly come to save the sickest of the sick. To those who can be truly humble, grateful and obedient, He will show favor. God is gracious and generous and full of love to all those who call upon Him.

Our problem is making the wrong prayer. Addicts can make prayers of global convenience. "Lord take away this affliction forever" or "Lord, just make this all go away." But God wants to empower us, giving us the strength to overcome our adversary. He doesn't take away our thorn, He puts a sword in our hand so that we can use it valiantly. The sword is a spiritual warfare prayer, which calls upon the blood of Jesus, the pure holiness of Christ to send the enemy away trembling and spoiled. We do not save ourselves with our own strength, we are saved by Christ's strength, whom we invoke with faith with sincere and imploring solicitation.

This is why the Cross is "lifted high", why the power of the Cross is revered and extolled. We think of St Paul in his many effusions in Scripture. The Cross is everything, it is what conquers evil, temptation, sin. The sword is given to us, the sword is the prayer before lust is ramping up, not after it is already over our head. Timing of prayer is everything, the essence of delivery. With confidence we wield it, with grace God comes and protects. We do not win the battle, God does; which is why he keeps telling us to just be still and only cast our need before Him.

Finally, following Christ relentlessly is difficult. A rich prayer life is difficult. Both build over time. One cannot see the secure castle one is building with faith. The fruit of a tree is seen only very late, toward the end of the season. Perseverance in faith, despite all outward appearance and constant prayer shall bring us to the day we will see the fruit of safety, to take custody of lust totally, by the grace of Jesus, Who alone can make it thus.

Thank you Father Thank you Jesus Thank you Holy Spirit. Grant us the grace to be ever fixed upon you, Blessed Triune God.

St Mary Magdalene. Pray for us.