I can’t presume to write a novel about the life and love of Mary Magdalene (learn more about the book HERE.) without first giving credit to the 35 year journey that led me to this place. Here is part 2 of my journey with the Magdalene. (Read Part 1 HERE.)
Fast forward fifteen years, past high school, college, work in the corporate world, and to where I was standing in the choir at the Newman Center at UW Oshkosh. The homily that particular Sunday was about “call.” I heard the priest say, “If there is something you have always wanted to do, but haven’t done it yet….get off your butt and do it now.” I will swear to this day that at the utterance of these words, a brick flew through the air and hit be square between the eyes. I called a meeting with the priest, “I hate what I’m doing. I’ve never been happy in corporate work. I know I’m supposed to be doing something else. I think it has to do with God, but I don’t know what that means.” I consider this encounter my “call to active ministry” which began seven years of education and training as a Pastoral Minister and Spiritual Director and ten years of employment within the Catholic Church. Not only did this encounter change the trajectory of my life, but through the class Integrative Spirituality with Sr. Marie Schwan, I discovered Christian Contemplative Prayer through which I found the intimate, personal, fulfilling, informing, guiding relationship with Jesus that I first glimpsed through Jesus Christ Superstar. I discovered not only validation, but support for my inherently intuitive and contemplative nature and through these practices found tools for discernment, comfort, healing and guidance. What I did not know in all of this was that not only would Jesus become deeply important to me, so too would Mary Magdalene.
Mary Magdalene presented herself to me through my course in Christology. I wrote my final paper on Mary Magdalene and discovered centuries of misinformation that maligned Mary Magdalene and placed her in the role of repentant whore. What I discovered in this research (though I think I already intuitively knew this), was that there is NO SCRIPTURAL SUPPORT for Mary as a prostitute or even as an adulterous woman. Instead, every single scriptural reference regarding the Magdalene places her in intimate proximity to Jesus as devoted student, companion and supporter. Even more important than all of her supporting roles, it is to Mary that the resurrected Christ appears and SHE is the one first commissioned to share the good news of the resurrection. (read John’s gospel account of the resurrection closely and you will see where the text was altered to give Peter a more prominent role in the discovery of the resurrected Christ). Also in this research, I discovered that even the early church gave credit to Mary Magdalene as the first witness to the resurrection and honored this truth by referring to her as “the Apostle to the Apostles.”
Stay tuned for parts 3-4.
Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene, the novel, is coming soon! Watch this blog, or subscribe to my email newsletter HERE for updates!