A reflection for the feast of St. Mary Magdalene, (July 22), by Mother Maria-Michael Newe, OSB.
The name of St. Mary Magdalene signifies by its very self conversion and love. In St.Mary Magdalene, it’s not her words that speak of love, it’s her actions. Everything about her actions show love. When she meets Christ without recognizing Him, He calls her, and she turns to Him. This is that coversion, that constant turning to Christ, which we are to imitate and which cleanses us. He keeps calling forth our desires which we don’t even know, and through that draws us ever closer to Himself.
So too for us as Benedictines, our life is not about what all we say but what we do. St. Benedict says that the abbot, “is to lead his disciples by a two-fold teaching. He must point out to them all that is good and holy more by example than by words.” The abbot is called first to do that, but it’s also the role of every sister. We lead by example. Your words really don’t mean anything if they don’t match your deeds.
We can thank St. Mary Magdalene for her wonderful and example and for this feast as she goes before us and shows us exactly what it means to love. Once she had Christ in her life, I don’t think she ever looked back at what she was and said, “O, woe is me, look at what I was!” Instead, I think she always said, “Look who I have!” Her love was so powerful that it overrode anything in her past. And she was possessed by Christ.