Reflecting back over the years of my life, I can clearly see now, what was missing.
As a cradle Catholic I assumed and took for granted that God was always somewhere in the back ground, even when I shamefully rejected Him.
As I rediscovered my faith, after my first child was born, I came back to the Church with an eagerness and a hunger to grow deeper in faith.
Though my faith grew and I trusted God with my own life and the lives of my babies, through each difficult pregnancy, there was still something fundamentally missing.
What was missing was buried deep within a fear, that lead to shame that I was unable to confront. I could not directly stand in front of a crucifix. I could barely look at one.
And while I struggled endlessly with anxiety and depression, often consumed by a relentless darkness, the “answer” was always there. Though I was oblivious to it.
My birthday came and went each year, coinciding with a feast day I took no notice of because it wasn’t the feast of a saint that I had “wanted.”
Through His love and mercy for me, Jesus beckoned me to the place I needed to be, to receive His healing graces; to the foot of the cross.
One Saturday morning at Church, through the innocent questions of my young daughter, I found myself standing with her at the foot of a crucifix.
He had brought me to that very spot and in those precious moments with my daughter, Jesus had healed a deep-seated fear I had carried with me for the majority of my life.
Over the next couple of years as I embarked on a journey of healing, many times I have since found myself at the foot of the cross. My desire to always be at the feet of Jesus has grown significantly as He continues to mend my heart. Through mental prayer, I find He is drawing me closer into His own heart where I find much peace and rest.
St Mary Magdalene continues to remind me to simply turn up. To bring all I have and place it at His feet. My tears, my fears, my anxieties and my own suffering. To bring it all and surrender it to Him. There I have found much healing as He continues to tear down the walls around my heart that have in the past prevented, deep wounds, from being healed.
Mary Magdalene knew the importance of showing up.
She understood to seek a deeper relationship with Jesus she had to show up.
And most importantly, she not only showed up, she stayed waiting, committed and dedicated, with love for Jesus Christ.
I find it to be no coincidence that I was born on the feast day of a saint who would eventually teach me the significance of turning up to sit at the feet of Jesus, or to kiss His precious feet on the crucifix. To learn the importance of sitting in silence and to patiently wait. Loving Him in that silence and stillness, knowing and trusting that He is there beside me.
Turning up each day, embracing the crucifix and remaining at His feet has healed places in my heart that I didn’t even know needed healing.
More importantly my relationship with Jesus has grown and deepen in intimacy. Those dark clouds and anxious feelings have slowly over time lessoned and has been replaced with His precious love for me.
The crucifix, which I feared so much, now brings me the peace that I so desperately needed and was searching for.
I now see Mary Magdalene as an example of someone who was healed through the love and mercy she received, from Jesus Christ. Who continued to serve and love Him. Who kept searching and waiting for Jesus even when everyone else went home.
And finally, when she found Him, He called her by her name!
Something that I too, long for.
Now as the months go by, I look forward to the 22nd of July. Not just because it is my birthday, but to acknowledge and give praise and thanks giving to this beautiful saint that God has gifted us, to remind us all Unum est Necessarium that only “one thing is necessary.”