Update Feast of St Mary Magdalene 2012

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Previous post on the Feast Of St Mary Magdalene is here

Who Was Mary Magdalene ?: Excellent and in depth article from here 

which concludes

 "Thus Mary of Magdala, who began as a powerful woman at Jesus’ side, “became,” in Haskins’ summary, “the redeemed whore and Christianity’s model of repentance, a manageable, controllable figure, and effective weapon and instrument of propaganda against her own sex.” 

There were reasons of narrative form for which this happened. There was a harnessing of sexual restlessness to this image. 

There was the humane appeal of a story that emphasized the possibility of forgiveness and redemption.

 But what most drove the anti-sexual sexualizing of Mary Magdalene was the male need to dominate women. 

In the Catholic Church, as elsewhere, that need is still being met."

A reflection here from Phyllis Zogano from the NCR 
titled  " What Would Mary Magdalene Do ?

For a  series of RTE four free podcasts on Mary Magdalene done in 2007 from here: entitled "Woman With the Wild Thing's Heart."

Description :

"The life and legends of Mary Magdalene. "O woman with the wild thing's heart, Old sin hath set a snare for thee: In the forest ways forspent thou art But the hunter Christ shall pity thee." 
Those lines, from "Song For Mary Magdalene" by Patrick Pearse, form the starting point for Gerry McArdle's new four-part series about a saint who seems, only recently, to be coming into her own.

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 Long lumbered, thanks to the machinations of some early Christian Church fathers, with the reputation of being either a prostitute or a repentant sinner, Mary is known either as the "tart with the heart" of Jesus Christ Superstar by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, or the glamorous seductress of many a Hollywood celluloid fable.

Nowadays, thanks to a popular pulp novel, she is also seen by some as the wife/consort and mother of the children of Jesus Christ; and though the programmes don't wish to go the "Da Vinci Code" route,  ( for some "debunking" of that read more here), Dan Brown is a little bit like the elephant in the living room that can't be ignored. 
She was, in fact, one of the most important characters in the Gospel stories, mentioned by two of the evangelists as the first person granted the privilege of seeing the risen Christ. 

To all who would downgrade the role of women in Christianity, the figure of Mary says a very firm "No"! "Woman With The Wild Thing's Heart" explores Mary Magdalene in reality and myth, and enlists the aid of some very eminent scholars of theology and history to achieve its goals.   

 Along the way, we'll hear contributions from Sean Freyne, Anne Thurston, Mary T Malone, Prof. Mary Grey and Marc Patrick Hederman, to name but a few. Even though these luminaries give us the benefit of their vast learning, the programmes aim to be popular and populist, entertaining as well as educational."

Appearance of Jesus to Mary Magdalene after re...
Appearance of Jesus to Mary Magdalene after resurrection, Alexander Ivanov, 1835 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


 A Morning Offering

 I bless the night that nourished my heart
To set the ghosts of longing free
Into the flow and figure of dream
That went to harvest from the dark
Bread for the hunger no one sees.

All that is eternal in me
Welcomes the wonder of this day,
The field of brightness it creates
Offering time for each thing
To arise and illuminate.

I place on the altar of dawn:
The quiet loyalty of breath,
The tent of thought where I shelter,
Waves of desire I am shore to
And all beauty drawn to the eye.

May my mind come alive today
To the invisible geography
That invites me to new frontiers,
To break the dead shell of yesterdays,
To risk being disturbed and changed.

May I have the courage today
To live the life that I would love,
To postpone my dream no longer
But do at last what I came here for
And waste my heart on fear no more

John O 'Donohue from To Bless The Space Between Us. 

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