Mary Magdalene, the "apostle to the apostles", a meditation for the Discalced Carmelites

MARY MAGDALENE, THE "APOSTLE OF THE APOSTLES", ONE FOR MEDITATION The Discalced Carmelites

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Between the second and third century St. Hippolytus of Rome defines Magdalene "the Apostle of the Apostles". She is in fact the first to see the risen Christ, according to the story of Blessed John the Evangelist. And after recognizing him she ran to tell the 11 Apostoli, hidden and shocked by what they had seen a few days before on Golgotha. And from this episode it understands what is venerable figure of Maddalena, sent by Christ to proclaim his resurrection to those fearful that a few days before, during l'Last Supper, He had established priests of the New Covenant […]

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Author Father Ariel
Author
Ariel S. Levi Gualdo

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During this summer the Father Ariel has had the pleasure and honor to go occasionally to celebrate Mass in a village Carmel by a community of nuns with one foot on this earth and with each other already in Paradise. Today, Early morning, It gave the Discalced Carmelites a meditation on the figure of Mary Magdalene that the preparation also gives readers of’Patmos Island.

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Beloved Daughters of Carmel, Praised be Jesus Christ!

carmelitane 3
a Discalced Carmelite community of Carmel Choir

Addressing the people of Corinth, the Apostle Paul said,: "If Christ had not risen indeed, in vain would be our faith and our hope in vain " [1].

Before the empty tomb of the risen Christ, the link between reason and faith, even more than tight, it is inseparable. Why Is That, with reason, you get to the upturned stone of the tomb of Christ God, with faith, you enter into the eternal mystery of the Risen.

On the words of the Apostle Paul Blessed, that in the resurrection of Christ shows us the mystery of mysteries on which our faith can stand or can die, is a rational demand: but what is faith? And do not use some coincidence that the word "rational", because the relationship between ratio and fides, reason and faith is highlighted by two Fathers and Doctors of the Church, Bishop Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas. The dogmatic constitution of Vatican II, Dei Verbum, recovering almost verbatim the text of the constitution the son of God the First Vatican Council, It reiterates in a perfect continuity with both the previous magisterium and with the Council of Trent, "the relationship between faith and reason", through these words: "The same Holy Mother Church professes and teaches that God, beginning and end of all things, It can be known with certainty to the natural light of human reason through created things; indeed, the invisible things of Him are known by the intelligence of the human being through the things that were done (cf. RM 1,20) [2]». A distance of approximately a century, following the teaching of Aquinas, the Holy Father John Paul II gave us his encyclical on faith and reason, the Faith and Reason [3].

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Carmelite novices
Carmelite novices to the grating of the Carmel

The big question "What is faith", that in us resonates with the divine gift of reason, The author of the Letter to the Hebrews provides reply saying: "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen"[4]. And open to the faith, which it is both "certainty" and "hope", you need to project ourselves in a dimension of eternity, because the source of faith is the Lord.

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The Servant of God Anastasio Ballastrero He used to say that 'This life is blissful space to the extent that it is rooted in eternity ".

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This story of the resurrection of Christ, with which concludes the entire Gospel of John the Apostle Blessed, Eternal ranks as an open door on the way to the 'ἔσχατον, the glorious day when Christ will return in glory to judge the living and the dead. And all this is a challenge to human reason to induce the man to the big step of faith.

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Carmelite John Paul II and Sister Lucia 1982-001
Saint John Paul II visited in Portugal in 1982 visit Sister Lucia Dos Santos in his carmelo

Blessed Evangelist continues to narrate that while the two disciples returning home, Mary remained "outside, the tomb, and crying. she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white, sitting, the one at the head and one at the feet, where it had laid the body of Jesus. They said: «Donna, why are you crying?». He answered them: "They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid". That said, She turned around and saw Jesus, standing; and he knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus said: «Donna, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?" She, thinking it was the gardener, he told him: "Lord, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him, "Jesus told her,: «Maria!"She turned and said in Hebrew: "Rabboni!». Jesus said: […] go to my brothers and tell them,: "I am ascending to my Father and your Father, My God and your God ' ". Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples: "I saw the Lord!"And what he told her '.

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Carmelites of Quart Aosta Valley, Benedict XVI-001
S.S. Benedict XVI visit to the Valle d'Aosta Quart Carmelo

During the sacred rites of the Passover to sing an ancient resurrection sequence of the rare beauty Gregorian, of which one verse reads: Mors et vita conflixere duel aiming ... [death and life will face in a tremendous duel]. And from this duel is something out defeat death, because the resurrection of Christ is an explosion of vital love without beginning and without end that takes us back to the eternal dimension of our existence in the ancient original Garden of Eden, because with Christ we are dead to sin and with Him we are all resurrected. For as we have all been involved in the sin of Adam, we have all been involved and made sharers in Christ's redemptive resurrection.

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Death touches us more painfully, especially when it deprives us of precious suffering, He proves this Mary Magdalene with her tender lamentation. But however painful, death does not affect us forever, It takes us to a moment of passage to eternity, as we proclaim in our profession of faith: "... I believe in the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come". And yet, so different but similar, I proclaim soon on most Holy Eucharistic Species of Christ present true and living with your body, His blood His soul and His divinity, acclamando: "We announce your death, Lord, We proclaim your resurrection until you come again ".

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Carmelitane di Harissa (Lebanon) Benedict XVI-001
S.S. Benedict XVI visited the Carmelite nuns of the Carmel of Harissa during his apostolic visit to Lebanon

To understand what he was trying Maddalena in his heart at that moment, there might be help St. John of the Cross, that like all true mystics lived with his feet on the ground balances, because it is the earthly Jerusalem that we are called to project ourselves into the eternal heavenly Jerusalem. He urges this revered Doctor of the Church: "Those who act according to reason is like one who eats nutritious foods; those who moves behind the taste of the will is like one who eats rotten fruit '[5]. For this, just 49 year old, now in its fullness in Christ after flying on "two wings"[6] of faith and reason, St. John of the Cross received death lowered into the spiritual coherence that a few years ago led him to write in his famous poem "Break the canvas now in the sweet encounter"[7]. And what he portrayed as a 'canvas', was the mystical and poetic depiction of 'last tear through which, through the overturned stone of the empty tomb of the Risen, leads to the contemplation of the Divine Victorious Lamb who triumphs over death and that through the mystery of his resurrection involves us in eternity; and who is able to enjoy the eternal, He says together with the Blessed Apostle Paul: "For me to live is Christ and to die is gain"[8].

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Tender remains for ever the question of Mary Magdalene, that frightened before the empty tomb pained groans: "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we know not where they have laid!». And, said this, shortly after she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, behind his back; but his reason did not know that it was Jesus; But it was the same reason that led her at once to make the leap of faith before the heavenly light of the Risen Body, she knew from her voice that spoke her name: Mary …

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Carmelite John Paul II and Sister Lucia 2000-001
St. John Paul II, already old and sick, during his visit to Portugal during the Jubilee 2000, back to visit Sister Lucia Dos Santos in his carmelo

If we avert our fearful look the upturned stone of our empty tombs, We find out what the Lord's love goes beyond death, enough that we turn back; and day by day we will discover that 'Alpha and l 'Omega, the Word of God, It is behind us, to call us by name, because we are all in the divine heart of the great mystery of the Father, who wanted us, loved and called by name before the beginning of time.

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Mary Magdalene is a woman who seeks the beloved of his heart, and to her church, in this Liturgy of the Word, He directs the words of the Book of Song of Songs in which it is revealed God's love for man and man for his God: «… I tried my soul loves […] I found the love of my soul ".

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Let nothing disturb you copertina
a theological meditation Ariel S. Levi Gualdo written in the form of historical fiction and dedicated to the history of the Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne, guillotined during the period of terror of the French Revolution [The book is currently in print along with all the author's works]

Between the second and third century St. Hippolytus of Rome [9] It defines "the Apostle of the Apostles". She is in fact the first to see the risen Christ, according to the story of Blessed John the Evangelist. And after recognizing him she ran to tell the 11 Apostoli, hidden and shocked by what they had seen a few days before on Golgotha. And from this episode it understands what is venerable figure of Maddalena, sent by Christ to proclaim his resurrection to those fearful that a few days before, during l'Last Supper, He had established priests of the New Covenant; the same people who a few days earlier, as recounted a dramatic passage from the Gospel: "And all the disciples, forsook him, fled»[10]. And the first of the Apostles, covered by Christ God for a vicarious function and he defined as uplifting rock of his Church [11], before the stunning scenery of the capture and condemnation of the Divine Master, he said, as he said on Mount Athos during the transfiguration of Christ "we stay here ...", Indeed, "let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah " [12]. After Christ had sweated blood in the Garden shortly after going to meet his painful passion, Peter denied him three times. And even the abandonment of God by his apostles and priests, it's part, of always, the mystery of the Church; it's part, of always, the mystery of faith. To take it up our cross and follow him [13], not enough reason alone, because it needs to be done through reason the leap of faith. Only then could we recognize the risen Christ who calls us by name behind, because all, we are called to be Mary. And, like Mary, announcers of the Resurrection.

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Praised be Jesus Christ!

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[1] The Cor, 15

[2] First Vatican Council: Denz. -Schönm., 3004; cf 3026

[3] Vatican City, 14 September 1998.

[4] Letter to the Hebrews: 11, 1

[5] St. John of the Cross, it gives The soul in love prayers, n. 43.

[6] CF. St. John Paul II, Faith and Reason, introductory preamble.

[7] St. John of the Cross, it gives O flame of love alive.

[8] CF. I Fil 1, 21

[9] Ippolito Romano [170-235 D.C.], theologian and priest. It was the first anti-pope in Church history, He died reconciled with the legitimate Pope Pontian, with whom it was martyred during the anti-Christian persecution.

[10] CF. Mt 26, 56.

[11] CF. Mt 16, 13-20.

[12] CF. MC 9, 2-8.

[13] CF. MC 8, 27-35

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2 thoughts on "Mary Magdalene, the "apostle to the apostles", a meditation for the Discalced Carmelites

  1. Caro Father,
    I have 22 year old, I'm not a self who hears only himself, or what just might be handy to himself, I have other flaws perhaps worse, not these, but.
    Then … when a priest in a church makes you anxiety attacks when he preaches, no problem, It goes to another. When in the other there is a priest who improvises a sermon without a head and tail, patience, It goes to another. When in another, besides in un'atra, besides in another … then at that point you turn off your ears, or you do not go right to church, as many have chosen to do.
    My questions are two, and they are addressed to her: where he learned to preach? What you are needed to learn how to preach?

  2. Matthew Dear,

    provided of course that the model to which we must build is our Lord Jesus Christ, What remains peaceful that the Lord has always made and still uses to instruct the wise masters; hard to find, but also in the barns there are always needles, if anything, even the ones that sting properly.

    As a model of preaching and preachers, I will always cherish the old Dominicans live, characterized precisely by the charisma of preaching, not by chance are called Order of Preachers.

    Preaching is the proclamation and explanation of the Holy Gospel, the mystery of salvation, invitation to an ever renewed conversion of the heart.

    Preaching is not an art rhetoric nor a theatrical play. Of course, is the art of rhetoric is also a healthy theatricality, understood as a spontaneous and effective way to communicate and porgersi, It can be very effective, provided that this is only a means and certainly not something for its own sake, because we have to bring the message of truth of Christ, God incarnate, dead and risen; We must not bring certain Marcus Tullius Cicero, to which we pay every due honor.

    To learn how to preach must be first of all the true believers, What it is not said that a priest or a preacher is. So you have to try to drop as much as possible our being in the theological virtues [faith, hope, charity], We need to travel the cardinal virtues [prudence, justice, fortress, Temperance], we must put to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit [wisdom, intellect, advice, fortress, science, pity, fear of God].

    One time, to one of more or less similar to those you described confreres, put in practice and rigor by our forward-looking bishops in major parrocchioni the dioceses, You chided in a private home to have said first of all a clear heresy during the sermon, Then I said that you could not subject the people of God in 40 minute rants.

    Not knowing how to respond before the obvious fact, He reacted in the worst way, telling me: «First, I remind you that I have achieved a theological doctorate at the Gregorian ".
    I made a hearty laugh and replied,: "That said another way is to say that you have learned and studied the virtue of chastity in a brothel".

    And with pity I continued telling him: « … what profit you, Your Ph.D., place in Rome doctorates pull them back to anyone, If you come Sunday after Sunday rejected by the People of God and preach snorts and turns his gaze to the ceiling, not to mention the different people who get up and you are going away?».

    That's why I say: the first condition of the preacher is primarily the believer, because only those who really believes, He can convey what he believes; But God will always put in the mouth to good occurrence of the right words at the right time, sweet or severe, soft or hard. Because the end of the first and last of preaching is the salvation of souls, not the displays of improvisation of certain priests, or displays of a very often completely presumed culture.

    Just priests consecrated, before going up to the altar, down before Bishop, We receive from him the chalice and paten, with clear and precise warning:

    Receive the Holy People offers
    for the Eucharistic sacrifice.
    Understand what you will do,
    imitate what you celebrate,
    conform your life
    the mystery of the cross of Christ the Lord.

    I do not know that anybody, including priests and young priests of new generation, during the holy rite he was ever say to any:

    remember you have a doctorate at the Gregorian.

    If anything, the dutiful added by the ordaining bishop:

    … and see good, seen how small that University Pontificia, never brag to anyone, for the good of the Church, for the good you and especially for the sake of the living members of the Holy People of God.

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