The Apostle to the Apostles

It's the feast of St. Mary Magdalene, the great apostle to the apostles. She, along with St. Catherine of Alexandria, are the patronesses of the Order of Preachers!

It's traditionally the "Professed Feast Day" here at the monastery and if you've been following our blog you know that this is a big day for the novices to pull out all the stops and cook a magnificent feast for the professed sisters.

This year it was no different although we held the celebration yesterday on the feast of St. Daniel since today is Friday and traditionally a fast day. Sr. Maria humorously spoke of the novitiate as the "Six youths in the fiery furnace!" More about that later. Suffice it to say that every one was hot and sticky while the professed stayed cool and comfy in the air-conditioned community room!

Dealing with this enormous heat wave has been a challenge on several fronts: making sure to drink enough water, wondering if there will be any ice cubes left in the freezer (are we the only ones whose ice cube maker seems to shut down whenever it gets hot?), and where to find a cool place to sleep!

The older sisters have AC in their cells but the 3rd floor dormitory does not and there is a point where fans don't really help. Some of the sisters have secured their spot in the library (THANK YOU for making this a reality!) Others in the community room, basement, soap room or print shop. The novitiate community room looks like a disaster shelter as each sister has created her own little "cell" on the floor! Sabina is enjoying it all immensely! So many potential faces to lick!

So, here we are on this beloved feast. "I sought him who my heart loves," we heard this morning at Mass during the First Reading from the Song of Songs. St. Mary Magdalene has much to teach each of us, showing us the rewards of perseverance which enlarges our desires, purifying them so that more and more we seek only God and not ourselves.

St. Mary Magdalene is special to us as Dominicans because like her we are to ponder the Word, be present to the Word in love, call upon God from solitude so that the Word might become fruitful. Like her we are to go to our brothers with the joy of our encounter with the Word so that they may better preach the Good News to others.

This week's issue of the National Catholic Register has an article on the Holy Father's plans for his "vacation". (Read it:some vacation!) In it the article speaks about Eucharistic Adoration and quotes from a talk given by Cardinal Mauro Piacenza. It beautiful sums up what it means to be a Mary Magdalene in the cloister;
Evangelization “is not something to ‘do’ after adoration; evangelization is already happening during adoration. To worship is already to evangelize. It’s not only the dimensions of a visible witness that worship always involves, but also, and above all, cooperation in the hidden work of God, to which, again, those who place themselves in adoration are called to participate.”