1: Introduction to The House of New Bethany

Mary Magdalene by Jan Van Scorel. Public Domain.

Like the Mother of God and like St. John, Mary Magdalene will not finish her days by martyrdom. She will also live in the tranquil benediction of her love. She will live at the feet of the vanished Christ, as she lived in Bethany and in Calvary, a lover accustomed to the delights of contemplation, and having no other need but to look with her soul at the One whom she looked upon in other times through the transparent veil of mortal flesh. But what famous or obscure havens will have been prepared for her? Where will she hide the blessed remainder of her existence? Are they to be the deserts of the East, the river banks of the Jordan, Mt. Sion, the field after the harvest of Nazareth or of Bethlehem, which will be the last witnesses of her inaccessible charity? Jesus Christ bequeathed his Mother to Jerusalem, St. Peter to Rome, St. John to Asia --- to whom will he have bequeathed Mary Magdalene?

We know already, it is France who received from the hands of God this part of the Testament of His Son.[1]

Welcome to The House of New Bethany. For fifteen years I contemplated the French heroines, St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux. I wrote down my reflections and gathered the themes into a transcendent map of meaning enshrined in the shimmering unfolding of their combined hearts. Appearing in the barely perceptible light on the horizon of my mind was the contour of a heavenly kingdom. Through this process of descriptive writing and contemplation, I came to love the emerging kingdom I termed “Mystical France” in the center of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I consecrated my heart, mind, and soul to the Virgin Mary through  the combined hearts of Joan and Thérèse that I might join them in their kingdom.

An essential characteristic of the celestial realm and my consecration to the Virgin Mary through the French royal hearts of my saintly sisters was the gleaming embodiment of the kingdom through St. Mary Magdalene. The fundamental essence of Joan and Thérèse’s Catholic and Royal France glimmered around the figure of Magdalene on the shores of Provence. She comported herself in union with Our Lady and Jesus Christ at the foot of the Cross while present in France. She was the bridge between France and the Cross. Magdalene was the apostle for France journeying from the Cross and the tomb of the resurrection to Provence. This unfolding embodiment of the kingdom united to Christ on the Cross was St. Mary Magdalene as the foundress of a new Bethany, a royal line of the House of New Bethany. Her mode of being circumscribed a softly lit pathway through my map of meaning to the kingdom. Magdalene’s charism constituted the syntax, the proper order, of my spiritual, intellectual, and philosophical mode of being.

According to tradition, Mary Magdalene lived her last thirty years as a hermit in a cave at La Sainte-Baume in Provence. I desire to create a “cave of contemplation” in union with her through this journal. The journal is public and transparent for the benefit of others should anything I contemplate be worthy of another’s consideration.

[1] Lacordaire, OP, The Life of St. Mary Magdalene. p. 58.