Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mary Magdalene - A Model of Faith

Christian writers and saints have viewed Mary Magdalene throughout Church history. St. Anselm says in a prayer to St. Mary Magdalene that she "came with springing tears to the spring of mercy, Christ; from him [her] burning thirst was abundantly refreshed; through him [her] sins were forgiven; by him [her] bitter sorrow was consoled." Anselm also calls her a "dear friend of God, to whom were many sins forgiven, because she loved much." Anselm highlights the connection between Mary Magdalene, present at the tomb, with the sinner who anoints Christ's feet. Likewise, St. Bonaventure wrote a homily beautifully describing the great love Mary Magdalene, the repentant sinner, had for Jesus. Another tradition holds that Mary was also the woman caught in adultery (cf. Jn. 8:2-11), but this is not as well supported in the writings of the Church Fathers. They did however present her as a model disciple and important witness to Our Risen Lord. You can find her also in the writings of Tertullian, Hippolitus, Origen, Dionysius, Ambros, Augustine and Gregory the Great, who wrote " The soul is inflamed as if it were gold, because gold loses its beauty through use but fire restores its brightness. So Mary loved, who turned a second time to the sepulcher (tomb)she had already looked into...Her search had been redoubled by the power of love."

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