Posted in Mary Magdalene, order of the magdalene

How Mary Magdalene Saves the World

Christian doctrine tells us that Jesus saved us through his dying and rising, transmuting the “sin” of humanity through his sacrifice, thereby eliminating the separation between humanity and God. Whether or not we literally believe this to be true (personally, I have another idea of how Jesus “saves”), it is a metaphor that has informed and formed the development of Western civilization and that of any other culture touched by its influence. As a culture that has embraced sacrifice and death as the way to salvation, we have entirely missed the point of the human experience – the point being the human experience itself.  In focusing only on sacrifice and death, we have forgotten how to live.

If Jesus saved us through his sacrifice, death and resurrection,

Mary Magdalene saves us through her living.

Enter Mary Magdalene. If Jesus saved us through his sacrifice, death and resurrection, Mary Magdalene saves us through her living. She lived the fullness of the human experience and unlike Jesus, was not released from her suffering by death.  She suffered the pain of abuse, rejection, condemnation, ridicule, trauma, loss, homelessness, expulsion, banishment, and every other form of human pain.  Death did not relief her of her suffering.  Instead, she had to find a path through the suffering and to the liberation that was waiting on the other side of the challenge.  In finding her way through the suffering, Mary was healed and transformed, growing in strength and courage because of her ability to find her way through the suffering.  Mary Magdalene provides for us an example of human resilience.  We do not worship her for her martyrdom, for she did not die for anyone’s sin.  Instead, we see in her the way to make it through the inherent challenges of the human experience while paving the way for others to do the same.

Saving the World through Our Living

This is the call of the Magdalene – especially for those called into her service. We are not here to save others through our death. We are here to save ourselves and provide an example for others while transmuting the very path itself.  This is the “magic” of the Magdalene priesthood.  When we allow ourselves to be fully present to the challenges that life will hand us and use the tools we have been given to find our way through those challenges, we are strengthened, we grow in courage, we are healed of our wounds and we are transformed.  In this transformation, we are better able to enjoy the sublime moments of life – appreciating the beauty and wonder, finding joy in the simple things, embracing the ecstasy of love, reveling in the banquet of life.  We learn how to love, how to find peace, contentment and joy.  And we are changed.  As we are changed, and so are all those around us – our friends and loved ones, our family, and every single person we meet along the way.  Through the example of the Magdalene and the tools she left behind, we learn how to live and in learning how to live we are saved and the whole world with us.

Posted in Empowerment, Lessons

It’s Not Enough to Be Saved

As I was reflecting on this week’s scripture passage from Mark’s gospel, the following words hit me between the eyes:

As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.

In the spirit of Imagination/Contemplation, I immediately thought of how these words might apply to me and to my own Divine calling. Not to say that I am Jesus, but to say that I/we are called to be like him in love.  The reason the Jesus story matters is because it invites us beyond the smallness of our human egos to the great love that dwells within and then seeks to be known through us.  Jesus came to save us from ourselves – from the too small self that is ruled by our fears, unhealed wounds and unhealthy societal conditioning – so that the God-self within us can shine.  Like Jesus, we are both fully human and fully Divine and we are here to unleash the inner Divinity that is imprisoned by all those things formerly mentioned.  This is what Jesus did for himself and then tried to teach others, and which we are now called to do.

In the words above that bore a hole into my brain, I heard the calling of my own Soul – looking out over the horizon of humanity I felt deep compassion for all of humanity’s pain. I felt the struggle.  I saw humanity’s pain and woe.  I heard the cries and moans of complaint over all the difficulties and challenges of the human condition.  And I felt their/our longing – the deep, empty, vacant longing for that which we cannot name – the longing that some have called “for God” and what others have described as “home.”  The longing to be reunited with what we have lost – not even knowing what it is we have lost.  It is the common pain of the human condition and I felt in every fiber of my being.  We are all lost sheep just trying to find our way home.

And in the midst of the pain that I saw in the ocean of humanity, I felt my own pain. I remembered discovering that pain and finding the fleeting relief of this pain in my intimate relationship with (that which I call) God.  I remembered finding enduring relief of that pain in coming to know myself – all of me.  My personal pains, losses, struggles, traumas, betrayals, places of brokenness and imperfection.  I found it in every rejection I had suffered and in finding my way beyond that suffering.  I remembered and in the remembering – I re-membered myself.  I put myself back together piece by piece by piece by re-locating every lost part of myself and welcoming myself home.

And then I saw myself helping those sheep find their way home because now I knew the way. This is what Jesus modeled and what he calls us to do – each through our own unique gifts. Some will be healers.  Other teachers.  Still others civil leaders, artists, craftsman, advocates, workers for justice, etc. etc. etc.  We are each uniquely gifted to be a vessel of Divine Love in the world and in Re-membering ourselves we are then called to lead others home.

This is who we are. This is what we are called to do.  It is not enough to simply call Jesus our “Savior” and “Our Lord.”  In fact, we don’t even need to consider Jesus either of these things to find the kind of salvation that Jesus brings.  Jesus saves by showing us the way to our true nature as One within ourselves, with the Divine and with all of creation, and then he asks us to do the same.  Just like he did with the disciples.  Jesus didn’t offer to feed the 5000 hungry people…..he empowered the disciples to do it.  He asks us to do the same.

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Posted in God, Healing, Jesus, Spiritual Practices, Virtual Church

Jesus Saves? Saves us from What?

an excerpt from this week’s Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Meditation newsletter:

Jesus-heals-leper

Pope John Paul II once said, “If there is a hell, I can’t imagine there is anyone there;” and the Catholic Church has officially removed purgatory from the books. If God loves us so much that no one is condemned to hell and if purgatory doesn’t even exist – what is it we need saving from? Life as we know it – that’s what! Jesus didn’t come to open the doors to a heaven that is already guaranteed, he came to help us survive the human condition and he did this by teaching us about love, and healing us from the inner (and sometimes outer) obstacles to knowing that love…..

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