Forty Days with Mary Magdalene and the Mystics: A Journey Towards Easter, Healing and Wholeness
Offered for Lent each year
What would it shift in the collective psyche if rather than the image of a man dying completely forsaken, utterly abandoned and betrayed by all those dear to him, Holy Week would be told and shown for what is actually in the Bible and Nag Hammadi scriptures? First, Jesus is anointed and prepared for his death by the woman who is his most devoted and insightful disciple. He is companioned every step of the way on his journey to the cross by a woman of courage who remains steadfast in compassion and love until his dying breath. While the male disciples have fled and hid, she cradles his broken body in her arms when he is taken down from the cross. She arrives on Easter to anoint his body at the tomb. And then, she is the first to see a new vision through her eyes of love-- whereby she is commissioned to go and preach a message of hope to her brothers: to become the Teacher of Teachers, the Apostle to the Apostles, the First Witness, the First Christian.
Why does it matter so much to reclaim this story?
At an archetypal level, it makes all the difference in the world how we face the pain and suffering that is daily before our eyes. Do we choose the path of fear that leads to denial, abandonment and betrayal or do we choose the path of the Magdalene, imagining ourselves standing steadfast in courage and compassion, witnesses to the possibilities of new life and proclaiming a message of hope and heart to our brothers and sisters?
Mary Magdalene by Mary Jane Miller
In this forty day series that will guide you from Ash Wednesday to Palm Sunday, you will come to know the story of Mary Magdalene more deeply. Beginning with the texts of the Bible itself, we will come to know the loyal and faithful witness presented in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. We will then explore the Gospel of Thomas ,a very early Christian text rediscovered in Nag Hammadi, Egypt in 1945, where Jesus says he himself will lead Mary to become Anthropos , meaning Fully Human. We will dive into the Gospel of Mary, where Mary is revealed as a spiritual teacher the other disciples turn to when beset by fear and confusion, and how her message urges us to return to the roots of goodness and to find Christ in the depths of the silence of the heart.
Jesus with Mary and Martha in Bethany, Vermeer
We will discover how Magdalene has inspired centuries of artists, poets and composers as we learn her symbols and feast on the astonishing beauty of works created in her name, and we will learn about spiritual practices and liturgical rituals of Early and Medieval Christians that can awaken our own spiritual connections and imagination.
Mary Magdalene bu Barahono Posollo
Each week will have a rhythm:
You will receive four email posts plus one video each week with essays and images to tell the story of one aspect of Mary Magdalene, woven with bibliographical references and links to listen to music and learn more if you want to dive more deeply. On Saturday (the traditional Jewish Sabbath), we invite you to journal on the questions presented during the week and explore on your own one of the creative practices you will be introduced to through Kayleen's video recordings of "Lent with the Mystics" . On Sunday evenings ( 7-8 pm PST- also recorded to watch later if you cannot join us), you are invited to join our online Convivium, a time to ask questions of Kayleen and then to share your own reflections in small break out groups with other pilgrims, followed by Compline, a 30 minute contemplative service where we will learn a chant of Hildegard of Bingen and then explore lectio divina through short passages from the Gospel of Mary and the Gospel of Thomas and end with one of the great Gregorian chants for Lent, Ave Regina Caelorum.
St.Francis with the Virgin and Child and Mary Magdalene