Friday, August 31, 2007

St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi Multi-Tasked

Am part way through Seraph Among Angels, the biography of St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi. She had five years of trials with much suffering of body and more so of soul, and then her work in earnest began.

She was mistress of novices, and since she could read souls, she was a force to contend with in her assertiveness and unrelenting challenge to the young women. She could be harsh yet also very loving, depending upon the situation.

Now I am at a section in which Jesus, in one of her many ecstasies, is revealing to her that her job will extend beyond the perfection of her own soul and the work with novices, to reforms He would like within the Carmel in Florence in which Mary Magdalene spent her adult life.

Mary Magdalene does not want to take on this task, for she was content with her rather domestic life in the convent, with her interior work and daily duties with the novices. Jesus displays displeasure with her, as she sees him thus in her ecstasies. She, of course, decides to do His will. He gives her many changes He'd like the sisters to make in their daily lives, their spiritual lives, and the manner in which they place themselves among other religious, for He wants their carmel to be an exemplary example.

This gives us much to consider in our own lives, for we may suffer physically or mentally and think that is far and well enough. But the Lord often desires multi-tasking--other duties to be performed for Him in His earthly domain among creatures in addition to suffering. And, He gives the means and graces to accomplish these tasks if we agree and cooperate.

Not only are we to work on interior perfection but also exterior works according to His desires. He asks certain things of certain souls, more of some and less of others. To Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, when she complained of how much He asked of her, He said that some souls He makes into bronze money but with her He desires to make gold so as to gain more from the coin.


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