Memorial of Saint Mary Magdalene
Today the Church celebrates St. Mary Magdalene. She had a deep relationship with Jesus. She knew who she was to him. In our Gospel readings, she utters powerful words about being graced to experience the Risen Christ. We hear her claim an astounding truth: “I have seen the Lord.”
Can we not say the same? Surely we have seen the Lord in our lives. How so? Reflect upon when you have definitely seen the Lord, without any doubt. Just as Christ chose to reveal himself to St. Mary Magdalene, he wants you to experience his Risen presence of love, faith, freedom, joy, hope and strength—what St. Ignatius called consolation.
Grace: An intimate knowledge of the many blessings received, that filled with gratitude for all, I may in all things love and serve the Divine Majesty.
Reflection: In the meditation upon sin, we made reference to Dante’s vision of hell, a cold, desolate place where the fire of love has been extinguished and all lies in a spiritual torpor. This is the perfect image of the heart grown cold to the stirrings of love which God places within it. At the opposite end of Dante’s journey lies a vision that perfectly encapsulates the final meditation of the Spiritual Exercises, the Contemplation to Attain Divine Love. From the lowest reaches of the spiritual universe, Dante ascends to the heights of heaven, where he views “the love that moves the sun and the other stars.” At the heart of the universe lives the Trinitarian God, whose perfect love draws all being into an ordered symphony of praise. Dante feels himself drawn into this harmonic vision through the enflaming of his passions and desires. No one with eyes to see can sit impassively at the vision of God’s love. From the disordered state in which Dante had fallen at the beginning of the poem, he becomes progressively cleansed of his disordered affections through the grace of God and the intercession of Beatrice until finally he is able to pass through the heavens and stand in the presence of God. But notice that Dante only sees God’s depths after he has been interiorly transformed.