Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The grace of graces for a Magdalene heart

I think if we saw our sins as God sees them we'd cry for days.

Think about it.

If our minds were opened to truly see the infinite (read infinite) love God has for us and the terribly inadequate response on our part we'd simply cry for not loving God the way He deserves.  We'd realize how unfair we are to God.  We'd know how delicate His heart is and how brutal our sins really are - even the lightest offenses.

Mary Magdalene was a Saint who knew her sins through and through and, because of such knowledge, was able to love God with tremendous ferocity.  In fact, after the initial Christian persecution in Jerusalem it led her to live the remainder of her life as a hermitess in southeastern France.

She only later reached such a point of desire for God because she had first realized God's desire for her - and how deeply her sins had betrayed the love which inflamed His desire.

All of us have hurt God.  More to the point our sins have hurt ourselves.  We're blind and insensitive to the truth of God's love.  If we accepted the whole reality of His love for us we'd be instantly transformed into a Saint.

There is a grace we must pray for.  It is, in essence, a great Wisdom which comes through a true sorrow for our sins.  We need to see our sins as God sees them.  The clear sightedness which will result from our tears of sorrow - tears which wash away spiritual blindness - will show us the way of love.  Repentance gives birth to the new life of love.

St. Mary Magdalene is a beautiful, powerful Saint for obtaining for us true sorrow for our sins (or perfect contrition.)  She's a model for complete repentance.  She held nothing back from God.  Her repentance (in fact, the repentance of all the Saints) was what made her such an ardent lover of God.  She saw reality - she saw what her sins really did to her God.

They crucified Him.

(Magdalene meditating upon a skull; a reminder that the wages of sin is death.)

This is why she weeps so bitterly in the depictions of the crucifixion which we've seen so many times.  She saw her responsibility for the Cross and Christ's loving acceptance of it - in order to bring her soul back to life.

"Woman, why are you weeping?" were Jesus' words to Magdalene after His resurrection.  She hadn't yet realized He was risen.  He was no longer dead because of her sins but was now alive -and she, too, was alive - because of His love.  May we find ourselves sorrowful for our sins and then allow ourselves to be found by Christ's love.

(Don't be disheartened or afraid at the thought of sorrow for sins.  When God grants such a bitter grace it is made sweet by His tenderness.  He holds us even as we crumble before Him.)