Mary Magdalene – July 22

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Mary Magdalene’s feast day is July 22. As she would have been my confirmation saint if I had been confirmed in the Catholic Church, I’ve made up my mind to make a vow to her on that day. There are people in my life that I am, at this time, incapable of forgiving. Perhaps I’ll never be capable. I’m not asking Mary Magdalene to help me forgive them or to forgive them for me. I’m making a vow to her that, as she was freed of her torments (demons, people said at the time, probably mental illness, we know now) by Jesus, I’m freeing myself from these things that torment me. I don’t want to “move on.” I want to spend the rest of my life, as she did, in beneficial pursuits. In order for me to write, read, practice and become a better artist, start sewing again, keep pursuing photography, study her, meditate on her, try to understand her teachings, I have to be free of these torments. I believe that you can come to Mary Magdalene when you are ready to leave your past, the past that holds you back, behind you. I’m no longer that person tormented daily, and in nightmares, by the ugliness of the past. It’s easy to tell yourself this. I’ve told myself this many times before. But when you have a concrete date with meaning and something bigger than yourself to make a promise to . . . I believe it will be easier to let the burdens go. I have no doubt that I will have to deal with managing my depression, OCD, and anxiety for the rest of my life. But by giving up these self-recriminations, by thinking of her every time I start to sink into old miseries, I believe I can have a happier, more peaceful life every day, and that I can be a better person for my family and my friends.

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