Mary Magdalene is the apostle to the apostles, a wisdom teacher, a contemplative, a woman of spiritual purity, a bold and tenacious witness, and Jesus’ beloved companion – these views of the so-called healed prostitute are unfamiliar to most of us; nevertheless, they are views supported by growing evidence from biblical and ancient text scholarship. Cynthia Bourgeault guides us through this evidence with an approach that leads us beyond the Da Vinci Code craze and any feminist agenda. In the process, she offers to the thoughtful listener insights into the mystical aspect of Christianity.
In addition to Cynthia’s teachings, you are given the unique opportunity in this recording to be with Mary Magdalene as she accompanies Jesus during the last days of his life on earth. You will hear moving liturgy and beautiful chanting expressing Mary Magdalene’s devotional love as the retreatants recreate the anointing scene at Bethany. You will also walk with Mary Magdalene through her grief at the foot of the cross, her bewilderment and desperate longing at the empty tomb, her wonder and joy at her beloved’s resurrection, and her movement into apostleship.
Without contradicting canonical accounts, Cynthia restores Mary Magdalene as a central figure in the Paschal mystery. She models that the transformed human heart bridging the finite and the infinite as eros is surmounted and taken to the place where “love is stronger than death.” This is a spiritual path founded on the redeeming love of Jesus and passed on to the disciples by Mary Magdalene. Through Mary Magdalene’s witnessing and “substituted love,” we come to understand how the human heart is the gateway to the transformational mystery.
This set of talks deserves serious consideration by all Christians interested not only in their own spiritual journey, but also in the future of Christianity as the incarnational faith embodying the way of kenotic love – the way to the cosmic Christ spirit.
Recorded LIVE at Poet’s Cove on Pender Island, BC, Canada in 2011 (revised 2015). Approximate running time: 10 hours, 11 minutes.