A Calling of the Heart
The Mary Magdalene Story
A Journey of Love, Healing, and Reclamation
A Calling of the Heart is an upcoming book by Dr. Jeanne Michele. The work is a culmination of Dr. Jeanne's research, experiences, and pilgrimages to powerful sites honoring the history, mythology, and current interest in an intriguing spiritual icon, Mary Magdalene. Below are excerpts from her writings designed to spark your curiosity, and stir the deeper longings of your own soul.
As For My Soul ...
I AM AN ARTIST. Life is my canvas. A blank sheet, my muse. The deliciousness of the written word breathes life onto my pages. Deliberate. BOLD. CuRious? Haunting. UNcertain. Softness gently peering out from behind the shadows,
unsure if it’s safe to be seen.
Each of our Lives is a
Work of Art.
The life of Mary Magdalene is no exception.
This work is about my journey into the ever-evolving stories of this intriguing woman.
It is my hope that those of you
who join me on this sojourn,
find it to be a rich and rewarding
personal journey that deepens your spiritual connection and
enlivens your Soul.
OUR RELIGIOUS STORIES help us make meaning of life. They hold within them clues designed to pull us more deeply into life’s great mysteries. We hear them. We connect with them. They touch something inside of us. If, however, we only view these tales through the lens of antiquity, or as historic fact, they lose their meaning and relevance. These stories were meant to inspire, awaken, and teach us about life. They are divinely inspired products of specific historic time frames; inviting us into deeper questioning, alignment, and intimate connection with the Holy.
Mary Magdalene's stories have been kept alive through the images of the artists, and the other people who have loved, and been intrigued by her over the past 2,000 years. Saints and Mystics alike have revered her, and taken pilgrimages in her honor. St. Francis of Assisi, Hildegarde of Bingen, St. Teresa of Avilla, Catherine of Siena, and others have been inspired by her life, her steadfast commitment, her deep faith and her unwavering love for Jesus.
Each of her stories, those factually accurate, those created by church officials, and the fractured bits and pieces stitched together by scholars and Mystics, throughout the ages, seed her resurrection. We will be exploring all of her stories one by one, and their relevance for us today.
Sts. Marie de la Mer
It was 13 years ago when she first whispered, “Tell my story.” “Who me?” I asked uncertainly. “Yes. You.” She answered, unrelenting in her pursuit. “Tell my story.”
Being called by a spiritual icon is an interesting experience. For me it began like a vague haunting; a sense of something having a grip upon my soul. Ignore it and it tugs a little harder; whispers a little louder. Continue to ignore it at your own peril. Looking back, she has been calling me all along, and sometimes I have paused long enough to listen and respond to her call.
Mary Magdalene made her first appearance to me when I was 9 years old, sitting in St. Patrick’s church in St. Louis, Missouri. I remember kneeling in one of the pews during Lent (just before Easter) as the priest walked us through The Stations of the Cross. It was there that she just showed up. Radiant. Flowing hair. Sensual. Beautiful. That is how I remember her. I'm not claiming to have had a vision. Really it was simply an impression of her, a kind of inner knowing. From that moment on, I knew that she was very Holy, and that her story was much grander than what I was being told. I knew she was never a prostitute, and I had no doubt that she and Jesus had a very special connection and that a deep love existed between the two of them. I knew it because I felt it.
LIKE THE RELICS of antiquity, Catholicism lives within my bones. My Catholic roots are inextricably woven into the fabric of my life story, contributing to who I am spiritually, and influencing how I walk in the world. I have tried to separate myself from it in times past, not wanting to associate myself with the terrible atrocities committed by an institution which confused religion with political power, and went on to abuse that power in horrific ways. And yet, her deep mysteries never released their grip upon my soul. Mary Magdalene is one of those mysteries.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the completion of my dissertation, a 400 page sojourn into the Sacred Feminine with Mary Magdalene as my muse.
From my dissertation I wrote: It is as if I have been called into this work by something beyond my human understanding. I have been pulled into deep exploration and allowed myself to be drawn into the flame. It has not been an easy road. There are many things which led me into my own spiritual underworld. Yet, I chose to continue the descent, feeling even more profoundly drawn into her story as I descended.
As I deepened my engagement with her life stories, and shed many tears over the loss of her voice, I have come to realize that there was another voice for which I have been searching and have come to recognize it as my own.
It is my hope that you will join me on this journey, and that maybe, just maybe, you too will fall in love with this gentle and courageous woman, and perhaps in helping her reclaim her voice, you too will find the courage to reclaim your own.
"I tell you the truth,
wherever the Gospel is preached throughout the world,
what she has done will also be told, in memory of her."
A Calling of the Heart is scheduled to be released in 2024.