St. Mary Magdalene, Apostles to the Apostles

St. Mary Magdalene, Apostles to the Apostles

During the Jubilee Year of Mercy in 2016, by request of Pope Francis, the memorial of St. Mary Magdalene was elevated in the liturgical calendar to the level of a feast day. The greatness of this saint, who was already acknowledged by St. Thomas Aquinas as Apostola apostolorum — the “Apostle to the Apostles” — is now celebrated on July 22 as a feast day on the same liturgical level as the other Apostles. Mary Magdalene has been given this eminent title of “Apostle” because of her unique and singular privilege of being the first to have witnessed the Risen Christ. Why has her feast been given this dignity? It is because the Church wants to give special attention to this woman, who showed an immense love for Christ and who was immensely loved by Christ. We see in...

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross: Apostle of Womanhood

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross: Apostle of Womanhood

Have you ever been pursued by a Saint that wants to be your friend? C. S. Lewis says “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” I had that same reaction when I found out that I was born on the feast day of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, better known as Edith Stein. We have so much in common! I grew up in a family that encouraged me as a young girl to be anything that I wanted to be as an adult. I loved learning as a kid, was gifted with intelligence, and wanted to put it to use by seeking a doctorate in Microbiology, a field with few women. Edith Stein was also a very gifted scholar. She had a rough go in her access to education but eventually got a doctorate degree in Philosophy,...

Being a light for others

Being a light for others

When he had risen, early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told his companions who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe. After this he appeared in another form to two of them walking along on their way to the country. They returned and told the others; but they did not believe them either. But later, as the eleven were at table, he appeared to them and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had been raised. He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;...

The Beating of a Consecrated Heart

The Beating of a Consecrated Heart

Recently I find myself returning to the same question: What does it mean to have a consecrated heart? I myself am not consecrated, not yet at least. But I am in formation towards that step and already living many aspects of the life I will lead after professing my vows. And so I find myself praying:teach me to love as You love Lord. Teach my heart to beat as only a consecrated heart can. As usual, the Lord is not responding to me only through prayer or through His Word but rather through the experience of life itself. I am not sure that I can say to have ever lived a period so in tune with my heart as the one that I am living now. It’s as if I am truly aware of the presence of my heart for the first time. I can feel its warmth in my chest. I can detect the...

Stronger than death

Stronger than death

“Thus says the Lord God: Look! I am going to open your graves; I will make you come up out of your graves, my people, and bring you back to the land of Israel. You shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and make you come up out of them, my people! I will put my spirit in you that you may come to life, and I will settle you in your land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord. I have spoken; I will do it—oracle of the Lord.” – Ezekiel 37:12-14 Yes, I will open your grave. Yes, I will open and uncover everything that awaits redemption in this tomb of yours. The odor of your humanity. The tatters of a love never fulfilled. Your bones, dry and brittle. The dust of your daily toil. I have no fear of your tomb. I desire to enter into this place that...