My confirmation patroness. And anyone who knows me knows why. I had sort of a wild youth, and when I went through RCIA and we were all about two weeks from the Easter Vigil and our coming into the Church, the instructors had us think about who we might choose for our patrons. To assist us, they handed us these children's picture books, Saints for Girls and Saints for Boys. I went through the women saints and after each name I kept seeing, "virgin" or "martyr". Until I came to St. Mary Magdalen: after her name it said, "penitent". Bingo!
But what I have come to love most about her is that every time you read of her in the Bible, she is almost always at our Lord's feet. And that is where I want to be. Mostly at the foot of the cross, beside the beloved apostle and the Blessed Mother, embracing His feet, as is so often depicted in art.
She had indulged in earthly delights, and even after giving them up she reverted somewhat to the temptation of earthly attachments after her heart-breaking sorrow at the Passion of the Lord, and he rebukes her after his resurrection: "Noli tangere!" "Stop holding on to me." Thus he was telling her that she was becoming attached to Him in the wrong way, in a natural rather than supernatural way. The love He required of her was a spiritual love, a virginal love, the love of the contemplative for the Divine Lover. I have been guilty of that, clinging to brief periods of consolation and feeling despondent at their conclusion, not accepting that God was requiring me to love Him not for what He could give me, but for Who He is.
Dear St. Mary Magdalen, teach us to see clearly the vanity of earthly attachments, and help us to focus our sights and our hearts on the attainment of the eternal, the supernatural, the Divine.
St. Mary Magdalen, pray for us!