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Or the earlier life of Mary Magdalen we know only that she was "a woman who was a sinner." From the depth of her degradation she raised her eyes to Jesus with sorrow, hope, and love. All covered with shame, she came In where Jesus was at meat, and knelt behind him. She said not a word, but bathed His feet with her tears, wiped them with the hair of her head, kissed them in humility, and at their touch her sins and her stain were gone. Then she poured on them the costly unguent prepared for far other uses; and His own divine lips rolled away her reproach, spoke her absolution, and bade her go in peace. Thenceforward she ministered to Jesus, sat at His feet, and heard His words. She was one of the family "whom Jesus so loved" that He raised her brother Lazarus from the dead. Once again, on the eve of His Passion, she brought the precious ointment, and, now purified and beloved, poured it on His head, and the whole house of God is still filled with the fragrance of her anointing. She stood with Our Lady and St. John at the foot of the cross, the representative of the many who have had much forgiven. To her first, after His blessed Mother, and through her to His apostles, Our Lord gave the certainty of His resurrection; and to her first He made Himself known, calling her by her name, because she was His. When the faithful were scattered by persecution the family of Bethany found refuge in Provence. The cave in which St. Mary lived for thirty years is still seen, and the chapel on the mountaintop, in which she was caught up daily, like St. Paul, to "visions and revelations of the Lord." When her end drew near she was borne to a spot still marked by a "sacred pillar," where the holy Bishop Maximin awaited her; and when she had received her Lord, she peacefully fell asleep in death.
215 Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Reflection. —"Compunction of heart," says St. Bernard, "is a treasure infinitely to be desired, and an unspeakable gladness to the heart. It is healing to the soul; it is remission of sins; it brings back again the Holy Spirit into the humble and loving heart.".
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: I have understood Thy testimonies, O Lord: I have seen an end of all perfection. Thy commandment is exceedingly broad. Ps. 95, 1. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord. Glory be …
May we be assisted, O Lord, we beseech Thee, by the intercession of blessed Mary Magdalen for whom, moved by her prayers, Thou didst bring back her brother Lazarus, then dead for four days, alive from the grave. Who livest.
Lesson from the Book of Wisdom
[The spouse seeks Christ. The glory of his humanity.]
I will rise, and will go about the city: in the streets and the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, and I found him not. The watchmen who keep the city, found me: Have you seen him, whom my soul loveth? When I had a little passed by them, I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him: and I will not let him go, till I bring him into my mother's house, and into the chamber of her that bore me. I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes and the harts of the fields, that you stir not up, nor awake my beloved, till she please.
Put me as a seal upon Thy heart, as a seal upon Thy arm; for love is strong as death, jealousy is hard as hell; the lamps thereof are lamps of fire and flames. Many waters cannot quench charity, neither can the floods drown it; if a man shall give all the substance of his house for love, he shall despise it as nothing.
Thou hast loved justice, and hated iniquity. Therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness.Alleluia, alleluia. Grace is poured abroad in thy lips: therefore hath God blessed thee forever. Alleluia.
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Luke.
[Christ heals the centurion's servant. He raises the widow's son to life, answers the messengers sent by John and absolves the penitent sinner.]
At that time, one of the Pharisees desired him to eat with him. And he went into the house of the Pharisee, and sat down to meat. And behold a woman that was in the city, a sinner, when she knew that he sat at meat in the Pharisee' s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment; And standing behind at his feet, she began to wash his feet, with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. And the Pharisee, who had invited him, seeing it, spoke within himself, saying: This man, if he were a prophet, would know surely who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him, that she is a sinner. And Jesus answering, said to him: Simon, I have somewhat to say to thee. But he said: Master, say it.
A certain creditor had two debtors, the one who owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And whereas they had not wherewith to pay, he forgave them both. Which therefore of the two loveth him most? Simon answering, said: I suppose that he to whom he forgave most. And he said to him: Thou hast judged rightly. And turning to the woman, he said unto Simon: Dost thou see this woman? I entered into thy house, thou gavest me no water for my feet; but she with tears hath washed my feet, and with her hairs hath wiped them. Thou gavest me no kiss; but she, since she came in, hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
My head with oil thou didst not anoint; but she with ointment hath anointed my feet. Wherefore I say to thee: Many sins are forgiven her, because she hath loved much. But to whom less is forgiven, he loveth less. And he said to her: Thy sins are forgiven thee. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves: Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman: Thy faith hath made thee safe, go in peace.
The daughters of kings in thy glory: the queen stood on thy right hand in gilded clothing, surrounded with variety.
May the glorious merits of blessed Mary Magdalen, we beseech Thee, O Lord, render our gifts acceptable to Thee, as Thine only-begotten Son mercifully received the homage of the offering which she presented. Who with Thee.
I have done judgment and justice, O Lord, let not the proud calumniate me: I was directed to all Thy commandments: I have hated all wicked ways.
Having received the sole remedy of salvation, Thy body and precious blood, O Lord, we beseech Thee, that, by the intercession of St. Mary Magdalen, we may be delivered from all evils. Who livest.