Contemplata aliis Tradere

A meagre contribution to the mission and work of the Order of Preachers: my reflections, thoughts, ideas and the occasional rant on matters mainly theological, philosophical and ecclesiastical, drawn primarily from my reading and experience of life and the world. Striving to be always Catholic, firmly Christian and essentially Dominican, flavoured with dashes of Von Balthasar.

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Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

A son of the English Province of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans); born in Malaysia but have lived in the USA, Singapore, the UK & the Philippines for varying durations. A pilgrim and way-farer, a searcher for Truth on the journey of Life... "Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino!" - Hilaire Belloc

Friday, July 22, 2005

Dic nobis Maria, quid vidisti in via?

Since 1297 at least, St Mary Magdalene has been venerated as one of the patrons of the Order of Preachers. This is right and fitting, for she was the apostola apostororum, the apostle to the apostles. As the title above, taken from the Sequence of Easter, the Victimae Paschali Laudes, says: "Tell us Mary, what did you see on the way?" And she answers that she has beheld the Resurrected Lord and the empty tomb. It was this privileged first encounter with the Risen Lord that she bears witness to and she proclaims that good news to the apostles. As such, all who aspire to preach the Gospel follow in her example and preach Christ risen and triumphant over all our sins, ills and woes.

The beautiful fresco above by Beato Angelico, a Dominican friar who lived in Florence and Rome depicts that famed encounter of Mary Magdalene and the Risen Lord, the empty tomb behind him. This picture is especially beloved by me because many years ago, a La Salle brother at my secondary school in Singapore gave me an old lithograph of it on Easter Sunday to remind me that sometimes God requires us to let go of people, things, situations in order to move on and grow in life. Thus this 'Noli me tangere' scene has long given me inspiration and food for thought and space for reflection and prayer.

It is a shame that in recent years St Mary Magdalene has become a focus for extreme feminist ideologies and heretical ideas about Christ. The ill-deserved bestselling Da Vinci Code only served to popularise such nonsense. A fair, un-emotional summary of such views may be found at National Geographic. In response, do refer to Catholic Answers or Ignatius Press.

On this day when we celebrate the apostle to the apostles, we can do her no greater justice than to reflect on the true accounts of her life given in the Scriptures, encounter the Risen Christ in the Holy Eucharist and follow her example by preaching the Gospel to others, perhaps bringing a word of hope and love to fellow Christians who are feeling despondent and uncertain of their faith? I also commend to you this page from the Australian Dominicans and the fascinating account of the Seignadou which occured on this day in 1206 from 'Moniales OP'.


Blogger Boeciana said...

Hello! Thanks for the comment on oor blog. What a beautiful picture. All the best for entering the OP. May God sustain you in living out your vocation. Cambridge has the novitiate, doesn't it? Oh well, you'll probably escape from Tabland at some point...!!

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