Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Day Late.

(I had intended to write this yesterday, but I had to get things in order so that I could come down to Salt Lake and help the maternal unit after she had some minor surgery: she is doing fine. And it is fun to tell her that she has to take a nap.)

Yesterday, we celebrated a feast that is near and dear to my heart; that of St. Mary Magdalene. You see, she is the patroness of my diocese and also my home parish, the Cathedral of the Madeleine. Also, as is right and proper for any Christian, she is also dear to me for the role she plays in our salvation. She prophesied the death of the Lord with her anointing of His feet, the stood with Him as He died upon the Holy Cross, and she was chosen to bring the news of His Glorious Resurrection to His Apostles.

I had the privileged of celebrating the feast according to both the Ordinary and Extra-ordinary form. One focus on her role as the herald of the Resurrection, the other as a penitent. There is no conflict between these roles. She was a sinner, repented, was a disciple of the Lord, and played a crucial role in our salvation.

Now, I know there is a conflict about the traditional identification of the Magdalene with the woman taken in adultery as well as the sister of Martha and Lazarus or as a reformed whore. And not just in the mind of Dan Brown and assorted radical feminists. I realize that the identification is not explicit in Sacred Scripture, but neither is it excluded. I tend (understatement) to trust the Fathers more than Scripture scholars who have drunk too deeply from the well of the Historical Critical method.

Furthermore, I strongly object to those somehow think that this denigrates St. Mary. Scripture itself say that she was a demoniac from whom the Lord cast seven demons. She was a reformed sinner, like St. Matthew, like St. Paul, like St. Augustine, etc.... What matters is that she turned from sin and followed the Lord. It is far more remarkable and comforting that God used a reformed sinner for such an important role in salvation.
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