[From: St. Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castle, Seventh Mansions, Ch. 4]
“I assure you, sisters, that that better part came to her only after sore trials and great mortification – even to see her Master so much hated must have been an intolerable trial to her. And how many such trials did she not endure later, after the Lord’s death!
I think myself that the reason she was not granted martyrdom was that she had already undergone it through witnessing the Lord’s death. The later years of her life, too, during which she was absent from Him, would have been years of terrible torment; so she was not always enjoying the delights of contemplation at the Lord’s feet.”
The life of St. Mary Magdalene portrays two very different contemplative experiences of being “at the Lord’s feet”. We desire one, and accept it with joy and gratitude. But the other?