I’ve begun reading the translation of The Gospel of Mary Magdalene. I feel like I’m doing something secretive – not exactly wrong – but something that many others would not understand. Why would they not understand? Because this writing of Mary’s, who was a real woman, was denied by the early pope-dominated Catholic church. Those following the Christian faith would likely consider the gospel to either be fake or inconsequential. Either way, they would reject this writing, known as a gospel, as untrue. This is the way with the institution of religion – to reject that which does not follow the hierarchical nature and domination of male-identified godhead-based belief. All must go through and come from the pope. Even religions outside of Catholicism are based on hierarchy and often leave women entirely out or shoved to the back of the church. I would likely never call myself a Christian. Nor of any religious “faith” because of the subjugation of women. The subjugation of anyone except the dominant male perspective. I reject such principles that have lead eventually to such a conclusion.
But this very same domination is what has lead feminists and woman- or female-identified persons to reject anything about the early church and the new testament of the Christian reference. It becomes taboo for feminists and female-identified persons to consider deeper meaning to the writings considered gospels. So to accept that the Gospel of Mary Magdalene has something for them, seems as impossible as the entire Christian belief system. This means that the rejection of women, and specifically of historically-important women such as Mary Magdalene, is taboo and rejected by both “sides.”
This entirely supports the seeming desires of the Roman Catholic church and it’s offshoots to renounce the writings of Mary Magdalene, Thomas, Phillip and John the Apostle. These Gnostic texts provide clarity to the many snags of the story of the man named Jesus of Nazareth. That he really brought to the thousands of that time the knowledge that the way IN is the Way. Inner wisdom of the self is the Truth. This man was understood by certain women (his mother, his companion/lover, and her cousin) and certain men who followed him and believed in what he had to say.
But the Way Within is not the way one controls and extorts people. By hiding this simple and profound idea – The Way Is Within – the church could control vast numbers of people. Their motto could have been “Crowd-control for more than two millennia!”
That is why I feel like I’m somehow a blasphemer by reading and learning about the Gospel of Mary Magdalene. I also know the draw of my heart toward learning about her and therefore about The Way Within. It’s what I’m about right now. Am I converting to Christianity? No, I don’t think so. I don’t feel that institutional religion has much to offer me as an old lesbian feminist.
However, I do admit that I was once a Catholic. Don’t laugh. Not too loud anyways. Yes, in college I did convert to Catholicism. I think it was mostly because many of the people I hung out with during that time were Catholics and I wanted to feel I was part of the group. I wanted to belong. You should also know that during my process when asked to take a patron saint and select a good Catholic middle name, I chose Joan. As in Joan of Ark. Do you agree that maybe my spiritual being was fighting with my social being? But there I was, taking on Joan’s mantle so to speak, electing her as my guardian, my saint. I wanted to be like her! She rejected the dominant beliefs of her time, in the name of her true self.
She dressed as a man (which is, according to the powers of the time, why she had to be burned at the stake), listened intently to her inner voices (her angels), had strong faith in what they were saying was true, and was a bad ass warrior that turned the war in favor of France. She never rejected her inner knowing even as she faced the flames.
I am gaining confidence in knowing my inner truth, in seeing EVERYTHING from a different perspective, and while I don’t dress in men’s clothing (I have too much hip to fit comfortably in men’s pants), I do feel that if I needed to answer to the call of the angels, I would do it. Did I just say that? My interaction with angels and spiritual guides grows exponentially. I am developing a courageousness that I didn’t know I possessed. I am listening. I am believing and not doubting. I am overcoming my hesitations and fears. I serve and bless myself. I serve and bless others. I’m learning that this is the bigger me inside this little human me. Even for those things that seem most scary, I’m still facing that fear and calling its bluff. I am needed and now is my time (to paraphrase Lee Harris and the Z’s).
Mary Magdalene is helping me. Joan is helping me. Mother Mary is helping me. I’ve got a huge, huge tribe helping me. I can’t go wrong no matter what!
Blessings to all of you,