Saturday, July 30, 2016

In the beginning it was not so. (Matthew 19:8)

The consequences of the fall.

The older I get, as I read things related to the 'beginning', in moral and ascetic theology, I consider what is called original justice, the state of man before the fall - the great privileges associated with it - the natural state of familiarity with God.  In a very natural sense, it seems my soul is suspended - just for a moment - in awe.  Which is why I title this post, 'in the beginning it was not so'.  In the beginning man was not deprived of these gifts.

If we go back and simply read and regard the state of man in the beginning, his relationship to God, and so on - we cannot help but understand natural moral law - and the vocation of man.  By entering into these considerations, this prayer, one sees naturally the effects - or the consequences of the fall.  I think even very simple people like me can know these things intuitively, intellectually, naturally - by prayerful study of scripture and good reading, and following the teachings of the Church.  Remaining in the state of grace is necessary of course.  But we know it to be true because it is engraved in our hearts.

The Church has often made reference to the Thomistic doctrine of natural law, including it in her own teaching on morality. Thus my Venerable Predecessor Leo XIII emphasized the essential subordination of reason and human law to the Wisdom of God and to his law. After stating that "the natural law is written and engraved in the heart of each and every man, since it is none other than human reason itself which commands us to do good and counsels us not to sin", Leo XIII appealed to the "higher reason" of the divine Lawgiver: "But this prescription of human reason could not have the force of law unless it were the voice and the interpreter of some higher reason to which our spirit and our freedom must be subject". Indeed, the force of law consists in its authority to impose duties, to confer rights and to sanction certain behaviour: "Now all of this, clearly, could not exist in man if, as his own supreme legislator, he gave himself the rule of his own actions". And he concluded: "It follows that the natural law is itself the eternal law, implanted in beings endowed with reason, and inclining them towards their right action and end; it is none other than the eternal reason of the Creator and Ruler of the universe". - Veritatis Splendor 44

Just think!

So, just think, ponder, in the presence of God.  Simply ponder within your heart, over and over, these simple things.  With God.  In your soul.  You are His tabernacle, His temple ... that's sort of what contemplation means.  It's a simple thing ...

If God is for us - who can be against us?  It's all good.

 No speech, no word, no voice is heard ... Psalm 19

I always feel like I've done something wrong or I'm going to get in trouble for something...

Friday, July 29, 2016

A bishop scorned?

On Pope Francis:
"I understand that he wants to appear poor, but to wear a diaphanous gown through which you can see the black pants underneath, is that not neglect? If we are appointed bishops, we received strict instructions regarding our clothes that we should always present ourselves as tidy. Woe if that is not the case. Does that not apply to the Pope?" - Unnamed Italian Bishop

Sounds gay to me. 

Into great silence

Our Lady of Deliverance - July 29

Today is the traditional feast of Our Lady of Deliverance in Madrid.

It is very much associated with devotion to Nuestra Senora de la Leche y Buen Parto, Our Lady of the Milk and Safe Delivery, in St. Augustine, Florida - the oldest shrine to Our Lady in the United States.  Our Lady is often invoked under this title by parents, especially mothers, for a safe delivery.  History of the devotion can be found here.

This title of the Blessed Virgin is known elsewhere in the world and associated with a variety of needs, favors, and miracles attributed to her intercession.  As I searched for an image of Our Lady under this title, I came across some disturbing images.  Those from the 2010 massacre in Iraq of Christians at the Church of Our Lady of Deliverance - one of the earliest attacks by the group we now know as ISIS.

After the martyrdom of Pere Jacques Hamel, the French priest killed by ISIS terrorists this week, it may  be good to look at what martyrdom looks like in our century.  It seems to me these things will be coming to churches in the West, and we may have many unexpected martyrs.  The Blood of Martyrs may be what is needed to unite us and save the world.

Our Lady of Deliverance Martyrs.

What martyrdom looks like today ... no theological explanation needed ...

58 Catholic Assyrians were killed by Islamic State of Iraq, affiliated with Al-Qaeda, on October 31, inside Our Lady of Deliverance Syriac Catholic Church in Baghdad. Here are some pictures.


Our Lady of Deliverance Martyrs.

What laity look like in martyrdom.
"Let the children come to me ... do not stop them ..."

What priests look like slaughtered
in odium fidei.

Killed in odium fidei 
that is, in hatred of the faith.

Our Lady of Salvation-Deliverance


Holy Virgin of peace, Virgin most pure, 
grant that we may fix in our hearts a Holy Fear of God, 
the beginning of all things in existence,
 the beginning of wisdom. 
We implore Thee Queen of martyrs 
to obtain from our Savior, the dispenser of every good, 
the restoration of health of body and soul - 
and the grace to persevere in the service of God, 
and thus merit the eternal Glory in Heaven.


Pray for those who will face martyrdom.  Pray the Rosary every day to hasten the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Victory over the Turks Through Our Lady's Intercession - July 28

The Siege of Rhodes appeared to be lost ...

Suddenly there appeared in the sky “a refulgent cross of gold, by the side of which stood a beautiful woman clothed in garments of dazzling white, a lance in her hand and a shield on her arm, accompanied by a man dressed in goatskins and followed by a band of heavenly warriors armed with flaming swords.” It was the glorious figures of Saint John the Baptist, the Patron Saint of the Order of Saint John, Saint Michael the Archangel brandishing his unsheathed sword, and the Queen of Heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary herself, dressed in battle array!
The Turks turned at the sight and ran in panic-stricken flight. Thousands fell as they fled, cut down and pursued through the breaches by the knights of Rhodes and their heavenly allies. Chased all the way back to their camp, it was now the defeated Muslims who suffered the insult of having their sultan’s own standard captured.
The siege of Rhodes had ended, and Grandmaster D’Aubusson later recovered of his wounds. He had lost 231 of his knights, but that was nothing compared to the thousands upon thousands of Muslim warriors who lay dead upon his shore
It was in the year of Our Lord 1480 that the knights of Rhodes had gained this signal victory over the Turks, by the help of the Blessed Virgin, whom the Knights regarded ever after as Our Lady of Victory. They renewed their dedication to her who had appeared on the walls during the siege of Rhodesholding a lance in her hand to defend them, bringing with her Saint Michael the Archangel and a heavenly army. She, the Patroness of the Sovereign and Military Order of Hospitallers, had turned the formerly obstinate enemy, who retired in disorder to lose the greater part of their army. Thanks to Our Lady of Victory, the all-conquering sword of Mehmet II had shattered upon the walls of Rhodes! - source

Every day is a feast of Our Lady.  Pray the Rosary every day to hasten the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary! 

Thinking about the joy of martyrdom ...

The martyr offers himself to God as a sacrifice, as a priest, in union with the sacrifice of Christ: he offers, with himself, all that he has on earth, fortune, family, children...

Clearly "the cup of salvation" in Psalms is the death of the martyrs. 
That is why the verse "I will take the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord" 
is followed by "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints" 
- Origen

I used to 'study' Origen's Exhortation to Martyrdom.

That is, I would read and re-read certain passages over and over.  Sometimes with fear, sometimes with longing - although I trusted the sentiments of fear more than longing.  I could never trust myself - and with St. Phillip I pray, "Do not trust Terry, Lord ...."  Nevertheless, the martyrs fill my heart - inflame my heart - with holy joy, with holy fear, and with holy love.  I recall talking with a nun one day at the turn of her monastery - she spoke about the desire for martyrdom with such intensity, I was deeply moved and edified.  She is still alive, so who knows, perhaps she will be given that grace.  Monastic life developed as the first persecutions ceased - monastic life was a not only a preparation for martyrdom, if you will, it was seen as a sort of substitute.

Anyway, I'll share a couple of quotes I found online from Origen.  (I loaned my copy of the Exhortation some time ago and it was never returned.)  I may have shared these quotes before, but it seems especially appropriate to do so once again today.  Not surprisingly, the source is Coptic.

+I think that they love God with all their soul who with a great desire to be in union with God,withdraw and separate their souls not only from the earthly body but also from every material thing that can keep them from God. Such men accept the putting away of the body of humiliation without distress or emotion when the time comes for them to put off the body of death by what is commonly regarded as death.

+For it is likely that the nature of things allows, in a mysterious manner that most people cannot understand. The possibility that the voluntary death of one righteous man for the community will avert by expiation evil demons who cause plagues or famines or tempests at sea etc. .

+We must regard the blood of the holy martyrs as freeing us from harmful powers; their endurance, for example, and their confession even unto death, and their zeal for religion serve to blunt the edge of the plots the powers lay against a man in his sufferings... Such is the kind of service that the death of the most pious martyrs must be understood to do, many people receiving benefits from their death by an efficacy that we cannot explain.

If you ever wanted to be a priest, and for some reason were not able to, prepare yourself for martyrdom by a mortified, holy life ....
+Origen in his work "Exhortation to Martyrdom" explains that by martyrdom, a believer can offer himself as a true priest in sacrifice to God, for "Just as Jesus redeemed us by His precious blood, so by the precious blood of the martyrs others may also be redeemed. Martyrdom is "a golden work," "the cup of salvation." The martyr offers himself to God as a sacrifice, as a priest, in union with the sacrifice of Christ: he offers, with himself, all that he has on earth, fortune, family, children. - source

+Who would ponder these considerations and not utter the apostolic cry: "The sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us!" (Rom. 8:18). For how can the confession before the Father fail to be much greater than the confession before men? And how can the confession made in heaven by the One who had been confessed fail to exceed in the highest degree the confession made by the martyrs on earth of the Son of God? 
+God once said to Abraham: "Go forth out of your country." Soon perhaps we shall hear it said to us: "Go forth out of every country." It would be well if we were to obey, and come to see in the heavens the place which is known as "the kingdom of the heavens."

Queen of Martyrs, 
pray for us
that we may be made worthy
of the promises of Christ.


O, Mother of my God, and my Lady Mary; 
as a beggar, all wounded and sore, 
presents himself before a great Queen, 
so do I present myself before you, 
who are Queen of heaven and earth. 
From the lofty throne on which you sit, disdain not, 
I implore you, to cast your eyes on me, a poor sinner. 
God has made you so rich that you might assist the poor, 
and has made you Queen of Mercy 
in order that you might relieve the miserable. 
Behold me then, and pity me: 
behold me and abandon me not, 
until you see me changed from a sinner into a saint.
- St. Alphonsus

Francis Falls the Fourth Time

Pro peccatis Suae gentis (Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled)
Vidit Jesum in tormentis (She beheld her tender Child) 
Et flagellis subditum (All with bloody scourges rent) 

"In the Via Crucis of an entire century, the figure of the Pope has a special role. In his arduous ascent of the mountain we can undoubtedly see a convergence of different Popes. Beginning from Pius X up to the present Pope, they all shared the sufferings of the century and strove to go forward through all the anguish along the path which leads to the Cross." - Fatima Secret-Message

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Putin on the Ritz

On Anger ... a tutorial for extra credit.

Did you know that the 'vice of anger is a perversion of that instinctive feeling that prompts us, upon attack, to resist force with force'?

There is of course a 'lawful sentiment of anger, a righteous indignation, which is the ardent, but rational desire to visit upon the guilty a just retribution.'

'Anger as a capital vice is a violent and inordinate desire for punishing others ... often anger is accompanied by hatred, which seeks not only to repel aggression but to take revenge...'

'Anger that goes as far as hatred and rancor, when deliberate and willful, is of itself a mortal sin, for it grievously violates charity and often justice.' - The Spiritual Life, Tanquerey

Be angry - but let it be without sin. - Ephesians 4:26

I've been watching the DNC.

Practiced at the art of deception ...

Last night Bill Clinton and a lot of other feminists spoke.

All the Planned Parenthood people spoke or were interviewed and you just know what 'women want'.

Last night it was all about women - especially the mandate that women must vote for the first woman nominee.  Hillary has been preparing for this for decades.

'Firsts' are no guarantee of anything.

"Always making things better." -Bill on Hillary

Bill Clinton's extra long speech did little to impress me.  Though his citing of all the early work of Hillary - when these two first met - was familiar to me.  Free clinics and legal aid offices and general neighborhood organizational work - all very typical work for revolutionaries of the time.  Marxist socialist stuff.  Lying, stealing, and undercover work was very common and necessary for the revolution.*

Like the time Hillary pretended to be a mother trying to enroll her child in a school but wanted guarantees it would not be integrated ... "if I enroll my son in this school will he be in a segregated school, yes or know?"  Bam!  As Bill stated, "She had him!"  Entrapment - she got her guy.

I thought to myself, you aren't doing her any favors poodle.  

'They' say among college educated men and women, especially men, there is no problem with the Democratic Party platform.  I wonder if that simply means they've been successfully indoctrinated?

Anyway - no one seems to be posting much on the DNC, so I thought I'd give y'all an update - even though you are all watching, but won't admit it.

*I knew people who worked in medical offices who stole patient's medical records.  Never understanding why they were asked to do this - yet today we know how valuable personal information is and how it is used for identity theft - especially with Social Security numbers to create false identities and so on.

Song for this post here.

In homage to Pere Jacques Hamel

Notre Dame des Victoires

Marie, conforte la foi des chrétiens en la victoire de ton Fils,
 et sois proche de tout homme à l'heure de son passage vers le Père.

Je vous salue, Marie, 
pleine de grâces, 
le Seigneur est avec vous; 
vous ętes bénie entre toutes les femmes, 
et Jésus le fruit de vos entrailles, est béni. 
Sainte Marie, Mère de Dieu, 
priez pour nous pécheurs, 
et à l'heure de notre mort. Amen.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Terrorists Filmed Themselves As They Killed Pere Jacques.

«Tu as déjà vu un curé à la retraite? Je travaillerai jusqu'à mon dernier souffle»
"Have you ever seen a retired pastor? I will work until my last breath."

Père Jacques Hamel

+ + +

Let my eyes stream with tears
day and night, without rest...

Today's first reading is certainly prophetic for the evil of our day, as badger Catholic pointed out in his post here.

Today it feels as if everything stopped, all the fighting and squabbling faded into meaninglessness before the magnanimity and fortitude of this new martyr who shed his blood for the Church.  Every concern I have had has paled in the light of this humble priest's martyrdom.  He joins the Trappist Martyrs of Atlas today ...

May the angels lead you into paradise; 
may the martyrs receive you at your arrival 
and lead you to the holy city Jerusalem.


Pray, pray, pray.

Pope Francis begins a 5-day pastoral visit to Poland tomorrow 
during which he will attend the World Youth Day gathering in the city of Krakow 
and also visit the former Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz–Birkenhau. - RV

+ + +

"Dear children! I am looking at you and I see you lost; and you do not have prayer or joy in your heart. Return to prayer, little children, and put God in the first place and not man. Do not lose the hope which I am carrying to you. May this time, little children, every day, be a greater seeking of God in the silence of your heart; and pray, pray, pray until prayer becomes joy for you. Thank you for having responded to my call." 07/25/2016

Pere Jacques

New Martyr

Pere Jacques Hamel, 84.

Fr. Hamel was murdered by terrorists during Mass in the parish church in the French town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray.
Two knife-wielding attackers who had pledged allegiance to ISIS, shouting "Allahu Akbar," slit the throat of an 84-year-old priest and critically wounded at least one other person during a Tuesday morning terror attack on a Catholic church near the Normandy city of Rouen, officials said.
The priest, Jacques Hamel, was dead at the scene, and another person, possibly a nun, was clinging to life, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said. - Source

 Prayers for the victims and survivors.  Prayers for the repose of Pere Jacques soul.  Prayers in thanksgiving for his priesthood, his fidelity, and being conformed to Our Lord Jesus Christ Crucified.  May he experience the power flowing from His Resurrection and obtain for us peace and an end to terrorism.

église à Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray

Monday, July 25, 2016

Reactions to Pope Francis' Apostolic Constitution “Vultum Dei Quaerere,” or “Seek the Face of God”

On cloistered women religious.

I'm not sure the Holy Father is shaking things up.  The new Constitution is intended specifically for cloistered nuns to assimilate, in their own time - most likely, it doesn't threaten any of the more 'fervent' monasteries of nuns.  It is in no way a concern for laity - to be sure.  Likewise, it is the Holy See's prerogative and duty to oversee the lives of religious who live under papal enclosure.  Enclosed religious are not prisoners of the Vatican -  dialogue, communication and arbitration when needed is a given - that is part of their autonomy - yet subject to the authority of the Holy See.  As St. Benedict affirmed in The Rule, concerning the degrees of humility: that the monk ought to be under a superior,  'Thou hast set men over our heads.' - Psalm 66:12  (Years ago when I tried my vocation - we had to memorize the Rule - I only retained parts of it.)

Some of the stuff I've been reading online is absurd.  I read something by Hillary White at The Remnant that was totally reactionary, castigating papal authority and casting suspicion upon the Holy Father.  The woman is a shrew.  She protests way too much.

Such reactions remind me of St. Teresa's complaints against lay people who wanted to block the foundations of certain monasteries, or to re-write the rules, or just wanting to control the governance of the monastery.  Teresa herself began a reform to revive the primitive observance and live in poverty.  The Incarnation, the monastery she entered first, was lax, and the observance was tending toward decadence.  Every reform of religious life came about for the same reasons - to return to the more primitive observance.  

Today many pious, and some not so pious, after Vatican II have set out to reform or create the perfect monastery.  Some survive, some not.  Some have been suppressed and some maybe could be if they are not taken under the protective umbrella of an established order, and or included in some sort of federation.  (Monasteries of men living like women religious may need some form of intervention as well.)  Not my business of course, but in my lifetime I have encountered a few fruitcake communities, as well as idiorrhythmic-cult-like groups proposing themselves as an authentic reform of monastic-contemplative life.  They create their own periphery, one should maybe stay away from lest you fall off their private ladder of perfection.

What do I know?  Not a lot - but I know for sure the monastic life needs support and supervision by the Holy See.  That said, here's the comment I left at The Remnant.

You folks have strange ideas about religious life and especially cloistered religious life. Most contemplative religious already have established 'federations' of like minded monastic communities. The established cloistered communities were indeed consulted by the Holy See before issuing any directive - in fact the directive calls the contemplative orders to be more faithful to their vocation and enclosure. Many cloistered communities have taken down the grills and opened themselves up to the world - and as a result, some may have lost their contemplative spirit, it seems to me this document calls them back to greater fidelity and authentic observance. The Pope is very close to the Discalced Carmelites of Argentina and knows the contemplative life very well. As a Jesuit he is an experienced Spiritual Director.  You people are alarmists and fear mongers.
Did you know that Therese of Lisieux asked to remain a "professed novice" permanently? She remained in the novitiate until death. Final profession is a huge step - this is for the candidate and simply professed as much as it is for the community. There is nothing wrong with waiting 9 years - there is nothing lost or missing, nor is the junior professed lacking the graces attendant in the 'state of perfection'. The vows of simple profession would be renewed annually until final profession.
You people are judging by human, worldly standards - and to suggest one would need to go underground or make private vows without the bishop's consent means nothing more than one's renewal of Baptismal vows at Easter.
Where do they teach you to talk this kind of B.S.?

Lay people have the strangest ideas about vocation and religious life.  I think they sometimes see it as a career, or on another level, a sort of competitive sport.  Advancing from one goal or level to another, measured by degrees of perfection and regalia - postulant, novice, junior professed, final professed, lay-sister, choir sister, procurator, novice mistress, prioress, abbess,  and so on.  As if these stages are awards or promotions or worthy of added esteem or status.  That's not what it is all about.

How many 'little' saints in a monastery never lived long enough to make final vows?  Or they were permitted to do so on their death bed?  A nine year period of formation is not a long time - when measured by eternity.  (BTW - The Jesuits have a very long period of formation and studies.)

Traditional habit, strict enclosure ... may not always be a guarantee of fidelity.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

If you want to repent now, and seek the Pardon of Assisi during the Jubilee of Mercy ...

You maybe could begin a novena of penance.

In preparation for the Feast of Our Lady of the Angels Porziuncola, which is observed on August 2.
The chapel was St. Francis' favorite place - and the birthplace of the Franciscan Order.

For there had also been built in that place a church of the Virgin Mother who merited by Her singular humility to be, after Her son, the head of all the saints. In this church the Order of Friars Minor had its beginning, there, as on a firm foundation, when their number had grown, the noble fabric of the order arose. The holy man loved this place above all others; this place he commanded his brothers to venerate with a special reverence; this place he willed to be preserved as a model of humility and highest poverty for their order, reserving the ownership of it to others, and keeping only the use of it for himself and his brothers. - Thomas of Celano

The Great Pardon...

As is well known, St. Francis obtained from Our Lady what is known as the Porziuncola Indulgence - or Great Pardon of Assisi - which can be gained by any of the faithful on The 2nd of August from Midnight to Midnight. For information on the plenary indulgence, go here.

On August 4 Pope Francis will make a special pilgrimage to the Porziuncola to observe the 8th Centenary of The Great Pardon of Assisi.

According to new details released on the local website for the Franciscan order, the Holy Father will arrive in Assisi by helicopter at 3:40pm. At 4pm, he will arrive at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels, inside which the small Porziuncola chapel is located. There, he will take a moment of silent prayer in the chapel, before offering a reflection on the Gospel of Matthew 18:21-35. - Vatican Radio
I had rather lie abject at the threshold of the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked. - Ps. 84

Prayer of St. Francis.

Hail, O Lady, Holy Queen,Mary, holy Mother of God:you are the Virgin made Churchchosen by the most Holy Father in heavenwhom He consecrated with His most holy beloved Sonand with the Holy Spirit the Paraclete,in whom there was and is all fullness of grace and every good.
Hail His Tabernacle!
Hail His Dwelling!
Hail His Robe!
Hail His Servant!
Hail His Mother!
And hail all you holy virtues
Which are poured into the hearts of the faithful
through the grace and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit,
that from being unbelievers,
you may make them faithful to God. Amen. 
Hail His Palace!

Another prayer to Our Lady of the Angels.

August Queen of Heaven, sovereign queen of Angels, you who at the beginning received from God the power and the mission to crush the head of Satan, we beseech you humbly, send your holy legions so that, on your orders and by your power, they will track down demons, fight them everywhere, curb their audacity and plunge them into the hell.
Who can be compared to God? Oh good and tender Mother, you will always be our love and our hope. Oh divine Mother, send the Holy Angels and Archangels to defend me and to keep the cruel enemy far from me. Holy Angels and Archangels defend us, protect us. Amen. - Source

Pray for us O Holy Father St. Francis!

Pray for me to obtain pardon.
Pray for me for the grace of repentance,
Pray for me to obtain pardon.
Pray for me to do penance.
Pray for us O Holy Father St. Francis,
that we may be worthy of the
promises of Christ,
and through the intercession of 
the Blessed Virgin Mary
obtain the Great Pardon of Assisi
and the Jubilee Indulgence.

In thanksgiving for favors granted:
Glory be to the Father
and to the Son 
and to the Holy Spirit
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.  Amen. 

Attention former wanton women and men: Feeling like the Magdalene has been taken away from you?

Mary Magdalen with Our Lady and St. John at the Crucifixion.

St. Mary Magdalen.

Recently St. Mary Magdalen has been entirely rehabilitated from former prostitute to Equal to the Apostles - to use the title the Eastern Church always attributed to her, while respecting the traditional faith that she was also the former sinner depicted in the Gospel.

Contemporary scholarship explains to us that the only thing we really know about her is that she was the first to encounter the Risen Christ and was sent to the Apostles to communicate the news.  More or less.  It's an important development in the Latin rite - especially for Christian feminists.

As a formerly promiscuous young man, very attractive, very cute - what?  Just pretending - so often you read former sex addicts conversion accounts and you get the impression they were some sort of model or porn-star - but I digress.

Charles as a big fat sinner.

Very seriously - as a former sinner, the Magdalen was my go to saint.  She was for Bl. Charles de Foucauld as well - proving men can be former sluts, and other sinners, such as Teresa of Avila - proving that though she most likely never had an impure thought - she considered herself to be a great sinner.  Generations of Carmelites have taken the Magdalen for their model in penance and prayer, as well as taking her name as their name or title in religious life.  The entire Western Church regarded her as a reformed sinner, penitent.  Our Lord revealed to St. Margaret of Cortona that she was the Magdalen of the Franciscan Order.

If you are disappointed the Magdalen has been all scrubbed up and respectable - do not fear.  There are many former sluts to have recourse to - many.

Mary of Egypt and Thais
were former prostitutes.

One of the greatest is St. Mary of Egypt.  Most definitely a former prostitute who earned her livelihood from dance and escort services.  In fact, in art, she has been confused with the Magdalen.  Perhaps that accounts for what many like to call a misunderstanding of who the Magdalen was?

Then there is Margaret of Cortona - not so much a prostitute, but a mistress, concubine to a nobleman and a single mother.  Her story is quiote contemporary and commonplace these days.

Charles de Foucauld had a mistress before his conversion as well.

St. Margaret of Cortona,
laywoman, Franciscan penitent.

Maria Goretti, a saint who seems to repel modern taste because she resisted the advances of her would be rapist and murderer, worked it out, as it were, that her attacker, Alessandro Serenelli could be a wonderful example of a penitent for modern times.  St. Maria appeared to him in a dream while he was in prison, effecting in his soul a marvelous conversion, he lived a life of penitence until his death.  A would be rapist, Serenelli used the pornography of his day and was most likely what we would call a sex addict.  His attack was the culmination of more than one amorous 'attempt' to get Maria's attention.  Before he died, Serenelli explained the path he chose:
"Looking back at my past, I can see that in my early youth, I chose a bad path which led me to ruin myself.  My behavior was influenced by print, mass-media and bad examples which are followed by the majority of young people without even thinking. And I did the same. I was not worried." - Alessandro Serenelli
The Brothers of St. Francis, 
Capuchins from Marche, 
welcomed me with angelic charity 
into their monastery as a brother, not as a servant.
- Allesandro

To be honest, I don't read too many contemporary accounts of the saints - unless of course they have died close to our age - but the modern versions of the Magdalen's life and the dissecting of tradition and cult associated with the Saint, really sap the devotion out her story and her venerable memory.  So, I am quite content to venerate St. Mary Magdalen as the Church has done for centuries.  I remember I made a pilgrimage to Ste. Baume, and my way back to Assisi from Compostella many years ago.  A Dominican laughed at me and mocked me for asking him to bless a small medal of the Saint, as well as for my naivete in accepting the legend she was a former prostitute turned penitent who ended her life in that cave in Provence.

I wasn't discouraged.  Nor am I discouraged today.

 Just remember, included in the genealogy of Christ is Rahab* the Harlot: "Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab" (Matthew 1:5).

*It's where we get the term 'rehab'.  (Just kidding - I made that up.)

"By faith Rahab the harlot 
did not perish with the disobedient, 
receiving the spies with peace."
-Heb 11:31