A wonderful article about her from the Remnant Newspaper.
Saint Mary Magdalen is one of those favored souls who actually walked with Our Lord, witnessed His passion and death, and yet kept the faith even after seeing firsthand the horrors of His Crucifixion. “God is dead,” the Romans told her, but she paid them little mind then even as we should when they claim the same thing today.
In a time of discouragement and loss of faith, Magdalene emerges as the powerful patroness of hope and perseverance. She is not a doctor of the Church, but she shows what love of Christ can attain, even for poor, ignorant sinners, and how God crowns such love with His predilection. Her books were the Soul and the Sacred Humanity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and her wisdom was Eternal Wisdom Itself. She is also the one who wept for Christ because she could not find Him. “The Angels said to her ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them ‘Because they have taken away my Lord and I do not know where they have laid Him’.’”
And for the sake of her enduring, faithful love, she was chosen by Our Lord to be an Apostle to the Apostles. It fell to St. Mary Magdalene to announce the Good News of the Resurrection to the bewildered, discouraged apostles who had hidden themselves away in the upper room “for fear of the Jews….”
Today, as our families divide, our Mass disappears, our world becomes plagued by war, we, too, do not always know where to find Him. Even in Catholic churches the tabernacle is often hidden away to make room for deified man in the sanctuaries. Where have they taken Him?
At a time such as this, it seems most fitting to turn to those who retained Hope even during the darkest hours in human history when there seemed to be little reason to persevere. Some say ours is the most terrible time in history, and yet what must it have been like for Magdalene at that cataclysmic moment when the Messiah breathed His last breath and gave up His spirit? Can you imagine the silence and desolation at the foot of the Cross just then!
This great saint saw the physical Body of Our Lord expire before her eyes. And, yet, far from despairing on that first Good Friday, she wept and prayed and never ceased to seek His Adorable Face. His death on the Cross did not crush her faith, her love or her hope. What cause have we, then, to despair now as the Mystical Body of Christ seems to be expiring (in its human element) before our eyes. Easter Sunday will come, Mary knew it and so must we. Patiently, she waited with Our Lady in the shadow of the Cross, for the third day to dawn. And so must we.
A frequent accusation leveled at tradition-minded Catholics these days is that we, in our arrogance, see ourselves as “more Catholic than the Church”. If there be any truth to this charge it is to be sadly lamented. But one wonders if Mary wasn’t accused of something similar, standing as she did beneath the Cross after all but one of the apostles had fled. Who is she? Who does she think she is? Peter isn’t even there!
It was love, not arrogance, that inspired Mary to stand at the foot of the Cross even when Peter was absent; so, too, it is love—love for Our Lord and His Church—that inspires Catholics today to cling to the Faith of the ages, even, alas, when most of the Apostles seem to be hiding for fear of the Jews.
And lest this be confused with illusions of grandeur or exaggerated holiness on our part, we hasten to admit that fear is also a motivator. We’re afraid to depart from Tradition for fear that our faith will fail us. If salvation was so difficult to attain in centuries past—back when Christendom reigned and there was still the glory of the Tridentine Mass offered daily throughout the world; devotions; holy armies of monks and brides of Christ; good Catholic schools; thriving, orthodox parishes, priests and seminaries—how endangered must our souls be now when only a shell of the great Catholic fortress remains standing?
Who among us is fool enough to presume, therefore, that salvation is easily within his grasp when the bulwarks of the old Faith that stood strong for almost two thousand years have fallen into ruin and the Church has been invaded by her ancient enemy? We’re no heroes; we remain paralyzed with fear, our arms wrapped around Tradition like Mary’s around the Cross. What else can we do?
We look at the crisis within our Church and we see therein the passion of the Mystical Body of Christ unfolding before our eyes. And in the darkness that is falling again, we plead as Mary might have: Dear Jesus, we are not strong enough to be without You; we are afraid of the Romans. Permit us to remain here with You a while longer.