God Is a Strange Lover

 

Jesus and Mary Magdalene2
Art by Anton Raphael Mengs (1769) at Palacio Real de Madrid, Spain

 

God is the strangest of all lovers; His ways are past explaining.
He sets His heart on a soul; He says to Himself, “Here will I rest My love.”

But He does not woo her with flowers or jewels or words that are set to music,
no names endearing, no kindled praise His heart’s direction prove.

His jealousy is an infinite thing. He stalks the soul with sorrows;
He tramples the bloom; He blots the sun that could make her vision dim.

He robs and breaks and destroys—there is nothing at last but her own shame, her own affliction, and then He comes and there is nothing in the vast world but Him and her love of Him.

Not till the great rebellions die and her will is safe in His hands forever does He open the door of light and His tenderness fall, and then for what is seen in the soul’s virgin places,
for what is heard in the heart, there is no speech at all.

God is a strange lover; the story of His love is most surprising.
There is no proud queen in her cloth of gold; over and over again there is only, deep in the soul, a poor disheveled woman weeping . . .

for us who have need of a picture and words: the Magdalen.

 

~ A poem by Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit (Jessica Powers), O.C.D.

 

The Blood’s Mystic

Mary Magdalene beautiful art
Mary Magdalene, by unknown artist

 

Grace guards that moment when the spirit halts
to watch the Magdalen
in the mad turbulence that was her love.
Light hallows those who think about her when
she broke through crowds to the Master’s feet
or ran on Easter morning,
her hair wind-tumbled and her cloak awry.
What to her need were the restrictions of
earth’s vain formalities?
She sought, as love so often seeks and finds,
a Radiance that died or seemed to die.

One can surmise she went to Calvary
distraught and weeping, and with loud lament
clung to the cross and beat upon its wood
till Christ’s torn veins spread a soft covering
over her hair and face and colored gown.
She took her First Communion in His Blood.

O the tumultuous Magdalen! But those 
who come upon her in the hush of love
claim the last graces. A wild parakeet
ceded its being to a mourning dove,
as Bethany had prophesied. We give 
to Old Provence that solitude’s location
where her love brooded, too contemplative
to lift the brief distraction of a wing.
There she became a living consecration
to one remembering.

Magdalen, first to drink the fountained Christ
Whose crimson-signing stills our creature stir,
is the Blood’s mystic. Was it not the weight
of the warm Blood that slowed and silenced her?

 

~ A Poem by Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit (Jessica Powers), O.C.D. 

 

the tears of amry magdalene
The Tears of Mary Magdalene, art by Philippe De Champaigne (1656)

 


“Most of all I imitate the behavior of Mary Magdalene, for her amazing – or, rather, loving – audacity which delighted the heart of Jesus, has cast its spell upon mine.”
– St. Therese of Lisieux, O.C.D.





Wishing all of you a very blessed feast day of Saint Mary Magdalene!
Saint Mary of Magdala, apostle of the apostles, ora pro nobis!