Today my heart is troubled. I have dedicated my life to the work of Love, inspired by the life and teachings of Jesus and further embodied through Mary, the Magdalene. As I have studied scripture and brought these stories deep into my prayer, what has become increasingly clear is that Love is Jesus’ only message and that his life’s work was to help people free themselves from the inner and outer obstacles to living that Love. Mary, given the honored title of “Magdalene” was ordained to continue this specific work in Jesus’ stead.
Being called into, accepting, and upholding the mission begun by Jesus and continued through Mary, has been no easy task. Oh yes, it has been a great joy and I am humbled to do this work. Still, it is hard. To fulfill this work, I have been brought deep into the transformational tools that have, indeed, been “hidden in plain sight.” I have resurrected these tools and reformulated them into something that can be understood by a modern audience.
Before sharing these tools, however, I had to master them myself – a mastering that continues. These are the tools that invite us to look deep into our own souls to confront all within us that is serving as an obstacle to Love. Love of self. Love of (what some might call) God. Love of others. Love of creation. While looking within, these tools also invite us to look outside of ourselves – at all those things in our lives, our actions, our behaviors, our choices, that are keeping us from living in the freedom and peace of Love. In letting go of, and healing and transforming the wounds that cause these non-loving attachments in the first place, we are freed to not only know, but live and embody the Love about which Jesus and Mary Magdalene spoke and to which they dedicated and lost their lives.
No, this work is not easy, but I find I can do no other. It is what I was made for and every single experience in my life has pointed me (or dragged me kicking and screaming) to this work. I do it gladly and am humbled and in awe of all those who have found their way to this work and who have had the courage to stick with it. No one said the path of Love was easy!
And yet, what troubles my heart greatly, and frequently, are all the ways in which humanity continues to seek the easy path to Love. The path that is lined with shiny objects and empty promises. The path that is more about profit than prophet. The path that uses the names of Jesus or Mary Magdalene to further a political, divisive, or capitalistic agenda.
The most heartbreaking part of this is that these are the entities that garner the most attention and gather the largest audience. Prosperity gospel churches filled to the brim, appealing to the privileged masses by justifying their privilege and condemning those who have less, preaching the falsehood against which Jesus himself spoke: “God favors His chosen ones.” Alternatively, are those capitalizing on the Magdalene by harnessing her already mistaken history as “prostitute and whore,” and using it to further their own agenda. I think more lies have been written about the Magdalene today than can ever be found in scripture.
The vulnerable and human part of me feels jealous over those who have become famous and rich in the pandering of their shiny objects, while I continue to be, “the world’s best kept secret” (as many of my friends, clients and students have called me). When I step beyond my jealousy, I know that like the Magdalene, I have chosen the simple life and that I much prefer invisibility. There is (authentic) power in being unknown. And sometimes the unhealed parts of my heart feel hurt over what sometimes feels like rejection.
The other piece that troubles my heart today is the same piece with which Jesus and Mary themselves struggled – a humanity unable and unwilling to hear, embrace, and live the truth of Love. As I am certain Jesus and Mary came to understand, humanity will never change. It will only and always be the few and the very brave who will hear the message and do the difficult work of living Love while the masses will continue on their merry way, ignorant to the harm they are doing to themselves, others and the world by living in ways contrary to Love. Humanity will always find a way to justify their selfish and non-loving beliefs and actions because it is much easier to look the other way than to be a source of support for those who might be struggling. It is also much easier to cast a finger of judgment on those who are suffering than to look into the mirror as to how our own actions or behaviors might be contributing to that suffering. Like Jesus who was left with only a few who truly understood and went on to live out his message of Love, I know that my efforts will only reach the hearts of a few. For these I will always continue, and on some days it is just really hard.