Desiring the Beautiful: Reflection on Mary Magdalene

Face to Face

original oil painting by Kate Capato 

“But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb, and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him”. When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for? Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away”.  John 20:11-18

Reflection on this Gospel by St. Gregory the Great:

“She was still seeking the one she had not found, and while she sought she wept; burning with the fire of love, she longed for him who she thought had been taken away. And so it happened that the woman who stayed behind to seek Christ was the only one to see him…At first she sought but did not find, but when she persevered it happened that she found what she was looking for. When our desires are not satisfied, they grow stronger, and becoming stronger they take hold of their object. Holy desires likewise grow with anticipation, and if they do not grow they are not really desires. Anyone who succeeds in attaining the truth has burned with such a great love. As David says: My soul has thirsted for the living God; when shall I come and appear before the face of God? And so also in the Song of Songs the Church says: I was wounded by love; and again: My soul is melted with love. Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek? She is asked why she is sorrowing so that her desire might be strengthened; for when she mentions whom she is seeking, her love is kindled all the more ardently.

A big part of when I get to share my art with others is taking time to pray Visio Divina with it. It’s an opportunity to have the ache awakened for us to personally hear the Lord ask us the same questions, “Why are you weeping?” “Whom do you seek?” We desire many things but really he guides us to recognize the ache is pointing us to him. Furthermore, we must not fear the ache and try to run from it. We must lean into… Allow it to lead us. Weep in it. It’s pointing us home. As St Augustine says, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in him”. 

May we be inspired by Mary Magdalene’s heart today to allow that ache to bring us before the face of Christ. Seek and you shall find.

Kate Capato

Kate is a Sacred Art Painter, Inspirational Speaker, and Faith-filled Movement artist on a mission to spread God's love through beauty! Her inspiration comes from prayerful encounters with the Lord, and the rich traditions of our Catholic faith. When she's not creating something faith inspired, Kate is often traveling all over the world with her hubby soaking in the wonders of God's creation, or spending time with family and friends to live every moment to the fullest. To see her work, visit her portfolio below and share in this mission of spreading truth and goodness.

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