“The story of Mary of Magdala reminds us all of a fundamental truth,” Pope Benedict said. “A disciple of Christ is one who, in the experience of human weakness, has had the humility to ask for his help, has been healed by him and has set out following closely after him, becoming a witness of the power of his merciful love that is stronger than sin and death.”
I love this quote from Pope Benedict XVI on St Mary Magdalene. He seems to have captured her very essence. Yes, she was one of Christ's disciples, but it took great humility and courage on her part to ask for the healing only Christ could give her.
From the very first days of my return to my faith, I felt a strong desire to pray to this saint. While we don't know too much about her, I could identify with much of why and how she came to Christ.
The sin of abortion causes a terribly deep wound, and it is only one that the mercy and love of God can heal. When I realized that this awful sin was what stood between Christ and me, I was compelled by sheer desire to find Him and ask for His forgiveness. Like Mary Magdalene, I had my own demons that needed driving out.
I often wonder what it was like for her to follow Jesus on a day to day basis. Did she ever find herself falling into sinful habits again? She was human after all. Or being in the constant presence of Christ, was she able to truly "sin no more"?
This thought brought me back to my own life. I know that there are times in most of my days when I seem to fall away from Christ's presence within me, and that's usually when things start to unravel. If I could simply remember to call on Jesus when I feel that start to happen, perhaps I could remain in His presence and keep from falling into sin.
That seems to be a simple but tall order, but I think that that is what the path to holiness is all about~remaining in Christ's presence and bringing that presence to those around us.
This is not to say that I am never able to do this. There are the times when I am called to do it quite formally as when I am asked to give my post~abortion healing witness. During those talks I know that I am a witness to Christ's mercy and love. Those who hear me speak, hear where I have been and see where I am now.
Mary Magdalene also had her strong defining moments as a witness to Christ; she was at the foot of the cross and she was the first to see Him after His Resurrection. But there were also the day to day moments~ in the house at Bethany and in the places she may have been when Christ preached and taught.
We don't know much about her life after the Ascension until her death, but from the little we do know, it is probably safe to say that she continued to bear witness to Christ no matter where her life led her.
I am privileged to have this saint as one of my patrons this year, so I continue to ask her intercession in my life so that I may remain in Christ's presence and bear witness to the mercy and love He has shown me.