In these first days of Easter, the Gospel stories remind us of the women who kept vigil at the tomb.  These women were the first to discover the tomb empty, and the first ones to whom the Risen Jesus appeared.  Before the Church moves on in this Easter season to other witnesses to the resurrection, please allow me to share a reflection of St. Catherine of Siena on Mary Magdalen:

The dear Magdalen … thought no more of herself but with true heart clothed herself in Christ crucified.  She no longer turned to prestige or grandeur or her own vanities.  She took no more pleasure or delight in the world.  She didn’t think or worry about anything but how she could follow Christ.  No sooner had she set her affection on him and come to know herself than she embraced him and took the path of lowliness.  For God’s sake she despised herself, for she saw that there is no other way to follow or to please him.  She realized that she was the lowliest of all people.  She was no more self-conscious than a drunken woman, whether alone or with others. (see note below)  Otherwise she would never have been among those soldiers of Pilate, nor would she have gone and stayed alone at the tomb.  Love kept her from thinking, “What will it look like?  Will people speak ill of me because I am rich and beautiful?”  Her thoughts weren’t here, but only on how she might find and follow here Master.  She, then, is the companion I am giving you.  I want you to follow here because she knew the way so well that she has been made our teacher. (The Letters of Catherine of Siena, Vol II, p. 42)

Editor’s Note (Suzanne Noffke, O.P.:  see Letter T25 to Tommaso dalla Fonte (early 1378): “One who is drunk loses all self-consciousness and feels nothing but the wine; all feeling is immersed in the wine.  So it is when we are drunk on the blood of Christ crucified.  We lose all selfish self-consciousness.”