The Magdalene Diaries

by Robert Smith
(Excerpts where Mary describes herself and then her meeting of Jesus)

I was a woman of the world. I had many lovers, and I gave myself freely. I was searching for love. One morning I awoke and I heard a pounding upon the door. After being knocked to the floor, I was dragged from that room by my hair. While two of the men dragged and whipped me, another was reading off charges that I had supposedly committed. They spit upon me and called me harlot. I heard another voice–a voice that commanded everyone’s attention. I uncovered my eyes and looked in the direction of the voice, but I couldn’t see the man.

“Who are you to condemn this woman?” the Voice asked. “I speak with the authority of Moses’ law!” said the priest. “And you’ve never sinned?” the stranger asked the priest. “This woman is no stranger to you, is she? Why, you have visited her . . . let’s see . . . how many times has it been–at least . . . six maybe seven times.” “Silence!” the priest shouted. “I have never consorted with this woman on a Holy Day!”
“Every day is a holy day.” the Voice said.

Uneasy whisperings, gasps, and murmuring were heard around the stone pit. He was extraordinarily handsome. His hair almost red, close-cropped beard, deep, penetrating eyes–like the blue gray of storm clouds. Quite honestly, he was the most beautiful man I had ever seen. I watched as the man knelt upon the ground and invited the crowd–(especially those with rocks in their hands, ready to end my life) to look at something he was writing in the dust of the road. I watched as people walked behind this man to read what he was writing. Without exception all of them gasped and covered their faces and turned away–some running away. What could he be writing in the dust to make people drop their rocks and forget their thirst for my blood? Whatever it was, it was horrifying to the crowd. Some of the crowd stumbled backwards, dropping their stones, looking at this strange, beautiful man, who never ceased to smile as he wrote in the dirt, their faces ashen with shock. W hen he would pause, he would look to a person in the crowd, then write again. As if by some unknown magic, a miracle occurred. One by one they went away. When they gazed down upon the ground at what the man had written, some gasped, some screamed, and they dropped their stones. Some cast them away from them as if they contained a deadly poison. The priest looked like a man who suddenly found himself lost. Upon his face were expressions of anger, confusion, bewilderment.

Jesus finished his writing and stood up as the priest approached. The Master said: “Read what I have written!” I saw that the priest was frightened. The priest began to shrink. His face became a mask of shame. He lowered his head, uttered a strangled sob, covered his face and ran away. In whatever the Master wrote in the sand, each saw the secret sin they would never tell anyone. He gently lifted my hand and kissed it. I looked into his eyes and for the first time in my life I felt loved. He was a familiar stranger. I knew as I gazed into his eyes that he knew everything I had ever done, ever said, ever thought. But I knew he did not judge me. “Thank you.” I whispered. “Lady Mary Magdalene,” he said, cradling my head in his large hands. “You can get up now. Let me help you.” He kissed my forehead and carried me out of the pit. I felt bathed in a warm light–a light that took away all pain. He wrapped the linen around me carefully, covering my nakedness. “Mary, we have much to do.”

At the sound of his voice, I cried, leaning my head once more upon his chest, wrapping my arms around his neck. As he carried me, there was healing of my bruised body. For the first time, I could feel that I was more than just a physical being. There was no blood on my hands, legs, or face. The Master then turned to his friends and said, “My friends, this is Mary–the Magdalene–and she will be with us wherever we go.” It was the day of my death, and my rebirth. My life would never again be the same.

Jesus, the man, was the love of God made manifest. When he spoke, the universe spoke. When he walked up on the earth and passed by a house, those who dwelled therein felt a stirring. I did not know it, but long before the master saved me from death, my sister Martha, and brother Lazarus, were acquainted and friends with the master. There were times when we were afraid someone would try to kill him. But if the crowds who came to him for healing became too unruly, he would simply vanish. We would find him later walking in the Palestine hills.