Friday, July 22, 2011
Looking at That Giant Wound Caused by Sin...
Feast of St. Mary Magdalene, penitent - III Class
Epistle: Cant. 3:2-5; 8:6-7 [Love of the sinner for God.]
Gospel: Lk. 7:36-50 [Mary anoint's Christ's feet.]
Full Latin-English propers here.
Our Lord loved St. Mary Magdalene. He gave her the privilege of being the first person to see Him risen from the dead, in His glorious state which He holds forever. While she was a sinner, living a life of harlotry, Our Lord wanted to see her risen from her death of sin, in her glorious state. Our Lord created her to know and love Him and to love her neighbor with a love that mirrors Our Lord's love for her. Christ, as God, knew her sins and was greatly grieved by them. Here was this body, which He, as the Divine Word, created, designed to show forth God's glory through it's beauty and it's use in service of Him, being thrown to the dogs. Ravenous wild beasts, rendered human by their DNA, not their behavior, used her body for their own pleasure, degrading God's creation to something to be used for sexual pleasure and to express whatever emotions existed between her and the dog with whom she lay. She herself ran after this life, degrading herself to an instrument of pleasure.
She built up a reputation of living this life. She was known for living such a life and no other life existed. The problem is that God called her to live a life of sanctity, living in union with Him and whatever people He would decide to give her. She ran off into an illegitimate life. She had been living a lie and those around her, especially her (many?) lovers, believed and knew nothing about her except the lies that she was living. None of them knew her true self. Only Christ knew her true self. Christ could not stand her life of sin as that life is contrary to her purpose as His creation. He wanted her entire life to be a reflection of His Divine Love for her and all humanity.
Eventually, there came the time when she realized that the life she was living was just empty and passing pleasure. She realized that this whole time, God wanted to be with her. God's love is the extreme opposite of the human emotion in which she was living. God's love is a desire to give yourself completely for the ultimate good of another. It comes within the context of loving a spouse, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and many other contexts. In the context of marriage, love pushes you to give your entire life to someone to take care of them and lead them to heaven. Sex effects that union and expresses that Divine Love. When that Divine Love pushes you to have sex, He pushes you to want to give your self to the other person, that you might be united to your spouse, soul, heart, and even body, giving everything, even your body, even the most private part of your body to your beloved spouse. [EDIT: God then uses that union to create new life, which is why God promoted that union in the first place: so He can use it to create new life.] Divine Love pushes one to see the body as beautiful, in and of itself, just because God created it that way. However, the secular world contradicts each of these things. It says that marriage is just an agreement between two people about how they will live their lives or just the progression of human emotions. It says that sex is not about giving yourself, but about receiving pleasure. It sees the body as something to be used for sexual pleasure and that it is beautiful based on the body's capacity for giving pleasure. Sex is seen as an expression of human emotions, when it is really an expression about Divine Love, which is a grace given freely by God when He chooses and never deserved of worked for by humanity.
St. Mary Magdalene eventually realized this. She realized that her life was a misuse and perversion of what God gave her, degrading herself to a lower level. She also realized that the married life was not hers to have. Christ never intended to give her a life of marital love, sex, children, or anything else that's a part of the marital vocation. She, in her own pride had been taking aspects of that life and those things were not hers to have. God intended another life for her. St. Mary Magdalene retired to a cave in a mountain near Marseilles, France, where her brother St. Lazarus was the first bishop. She lived the rest of her life in penance, offering reparation for her sins, to make up for the damage her life of sin caused her body, her soul, and her reputation. Sin wounds the soul and those wounds need to be treated by penance. Sin wounds the emotions, and those wounds need to be treated by offering oneself and one's broken life to God. Sin wounds the body, by leaving it worn out and used. Some of this damage is permanent. The body needs to be offered up to God to be healed after it was offered to dogs for their own pleasure and happiness. Sin wounds the reputation, and that needs to be healed by living a life united with God and whichever people He wishes to give you to say, "This is my life. This is my only real life. I was running away from it into a false life I made up in my own pride. This is the life I was supposed to be living all along, but instead I lived a lie."