15 December 2008

Mary Magdalene

I'm giving out Mary Magdalene cards for Christmas this year. I've been a part of a Gospel of Mary Magdalene study this semester/year, and this past Saturday, we had a retreat. We discussed how "sin" might be code word for objectification -- ourselves or others -- and that we are growing when we come into greater and greater awareness of people as people.

Reminds me of Ephrem the Syrian:
"The Awakener came to awaken us"

We questioned if anyone is fully awakened. Is it possible? Is it even desirable? best? We also talked about:

how there is always a system or institution -- even questioning the system is a system?

how we might need to redefine trust

how the answer may not exist -- only answers in tension with each other -- a relationship.


Steven said...

Was the Gospel of Mary studied as an apocryphal text?

I'm curious about the discussion of sin as an objectification of people. What is implied by "growing" with regard to "awareness of people as people?"

cristyroses said...

Thanks for reading my blog.

We studied the text as literary text with some consideration at the end of how it might influence our lives. However, the question of whether Mary's gospel is apocryphal and what should be considered "aprocryphal" was on the table for discussion.

-- the questioning of a text of inspired and what inspired means and how trustworthy a source is and what is "complete" trust....hmmm.

By "Growing" and "awareness" I meant an acceptance and nurturance of our human-ness and in that, an understanding of self and others and a sense that tension/liminality within us and between peoples is life/living/being.

Overall, I think it might all come down to goodness, truth, beauty...etc... is found in relationships, which tend to not be beautiful, good, or true much at all....or, at least, in the traditional sense of the words.

But, the traditional sense of the word relationship usually comes with oppression/objectification .....I'm thinking Rilke.

"The girl and the woman, in their new, individual unfolding, will only in passing be imitators of male behavior and misbehavior and repeaters of male professions. After the uncertainty of such transitions, it will become obvious that women were going through the abundance and variation of those (often ridiculous) disguises just so that they could purify their own essential nature and wash out the deforming influences of the other sex. Women, in whom life lingers and dwells more immediately, more fruitfully, and more confidently, must surely have become riper and more human in their depths than light, easygoing man, who is not pulled down beneath the surface of life by the weight of any bodily fruit and who, arrogant and hasty, undervalues what he thinks he loves. This humanity of woman, carried in her womb through all her suffering and humiliation, will come to light when she has stripped off the conventions of mere femaleness in the transformations of her outward status, and those men who do not yet feel it approaching will be astonished by it. Someday (and even now, especially in the countries of northern Europe, trustworthy signs are already speaking and shining), someday there will be girls and women whose name will no longer mean the mere opposite of the male, but something in itself, something that makes one think not of any complement and limit, but only life and reality: the female human being.

This advance (at first very much against the will of the outdistanced men) will transform the love experience, which is now filled with error, will change it from the ground up, and reshape it into a relationship that is meant to be between one human being and another, no longer one that flows from man to woman. And this more human love (which will fulfill itself with infinite consideration and gentleness, and kindness and clarity in binding and releasing) will resemble what we are now preparing painfully and with great struggle: the love that consists in this: the two solitudes protect and border and greet each other."

We need to redefine words -- "aware," "growing," "apocryphal.

I NEED to see the bit from your film.