Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Weeping Outside the Tomb

“But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb.” (Jn 20 : 11)
“I wouldn’t consider it safe for a soul, however favored by God, to forget that at one time it saw itself in a miserable state. Although recalling this misery is a painful thing, doing so is helpful...”     “No relief is afforded this suffering by the thought that our Lord has already pardoned and forgotten the sins. Rather, it adds to the suffering to see so much goodness and realize that favors are granted to one who deserves nothing but hell." (St. Teresa of Jesus, I.C. VI: 7, 4)
Such is the martyrdom of Mary Magdalene.  She who had received so many favors and had come to know the greatness of God, sits by the tomb remembering her misery. Her love for God was deep; indeed, she was sick with love, a love that cannot hide itself. “And such is the inebriation and courage of love: Knowing that her Beloved was shut up in the tomb by a huge sealed rock and surrounded by guards so the disciples could not steal his body, she did not permit this to keep her from going out with ointments before daybreak to anoint him.” (St. John of the Cross, Dark Night II: 13, 6)
As she turns around she sees Jesus standing before her, though she did not recognize Him. He asks her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?” (Jn 20: 15) This is where her ardent love shows forth. She loved Him so much that she thought she would go and take Jesus away, regardless of any obstacles, if only the gardener would tell her where He is hidden.
“Such are the traits of these longings of love that the soul experiences...It anxiously and forcibly goes out in search of its God.” (Dark Night II: 13, 8) St. John of the Cross calls this unceasing searching for God the second step on the mystical ladder of divine love. (Dark Night II: 19, 2) Notice how this love is manifested in the Magdalene, she...”did not even pay attention to the angels at the sepulcher." (Jn 20: 14 and Dark Night II:19, 2)
May our own hearts act similarly to Mary Magdalene’s and with ardent love let us go out in search for Him in the garden, Him who died for our sins and raised us out of our misery, blessing us with so much goodness and grace. 

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