Mary Magdalene and the Seven Demons


It’s the feast of St. Mary Magdalene and I am going to share one of my very favorite poems in the world.  It’s by Marie Howe and called Magdalene—The Seven Devils.  But beware, if you read it, it’ll move like an arrow through your heart, starting with the very first line: “The first was that I was very busy.”   Most of the rest of the demons described are ones that I’ve been haunted by as well, but especially that first. 

Right now feels crazy busy because I’ve said “yes” to an ungodly number of things and I’m not sure how that happened—AGAIN. Swore during Covid that I was not going to go back to old patterns.  And yet how easily we slide back into behaviors we try to avoid.  Stunned that after 52 times around the sun, I STILL seem to have no foresight as to what is going to happen right around the bend when… I mean, really… couldn’t one spot a few consistent rhythms by now?  Like July is always followed by August.  And the school year starts in August.  And THAT tends to require some pre-work.  Someday maybe I’ll figure it out.  But meanwhile, like Mary Magdalene, I fall at Jesus’ feet and ask for some help.  AGAIN.

A few more treats for today’s feast:

  • Did you know that the pope has asked that this year we begin marking July 25 as the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly?  Some nice resources here.  Along that vein, while I was off on my Senior Sneakers Tour earlier this summer, my son was part of another project to honor his elders – specifically the CHamoru elders from the island of Guam.  He facilitated a collaborative song writing project that has just been released in video as part of the 2021 PBS Film Festival.  It's called Ta Hasso. Less than 6 minutes long and a great watch.  You’ll be humming it all day.
  • If you missed my live interview with U.S. Catholic in May, an abridged version is now out in print in the most recent issue of the magazine…. Or a full transcription available here.  It is never pretty to see how one talks word for word in type, but if you are okay with “Um’s” and “Yeah’s,” I think you’ll still enjoy it!