I just posted the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary on this website and an article under Talks. I will try to post info on some of the Prayers and Canticles found in the Little Office - starting with the Magnificat which is a beautiful prayer of Our Lady's humility. I chose the above picture to show that it is the cross that leads to this humility. Beautiful image!
St. Thomas calls Scripture “the Heart of Christ”. It reveals His Heart. Mary saw God in every sacred word that reached Her. The same Holy Spirit that overshadowed Her is found in Sacred Scriptures. In the Word, She found life and unbroken union with God.
The first glorious re-creation of the Word was Mary who was blessed in how She heard and kept it. Like a seed planted in Her soul it grew like the grain of a mustard-seed to be the greatest of all living things; and when the time came for Her to say “be it done unto Me according to Thy Word”, She had already conceived the Word in Her Heart – what a beautiful meditation! What is more – Her burning desire of Her soul is to form Her Son in us! May the Eternal Father be praised for giving us this amazing Mother and Queen of all souls!
The way to become all that God wants us to be is – Mary’s Way. Virtue can grow from no seed that is not the Word of God planted in our souls, covered with the warm love of our hearts and watered by the living water of His Divine Grace. If we want to grow into Christ and live in Him, we must read and meditate upon His Word as Mary did. Mary was so intent upon the Word that it opened the depths of Her soul to God.
Let us break down the Magnifcat and examine its meaning:
My soul magnifies the Lord.
Mary see nothing great but the Lord, and her proximity to the Lord is the cause of her own greatness.
And My spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
Mary’s whole life finds its reason and joy in her Divine Son.
Because He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid; for, behold,
Henceforth all generations shall call Me blessed.
By acting so perfectly as the servant of God, Mary merited the title of Mother of God – and this title brings upon Her the everlasting praise of all the faithful.
Because He Who is mighty has done great things for Me, and holy is His name.
Humility is truth, and the realization that the only exaltation that means anything at all is exaltation by God Himself.
And for generation upon generation is His mercy, to those who fear Him.
Mary is the channel by which the most precious mercies of Christ are poured into the hearts of the faithful.
He has shown might with His arm, He has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
The strength of Christ is shown in the mystery of the Cross, which is the sign of salvation to the humble and an obstacle of destruction to the proud.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and has exalted the lowly.
Pride will always be a barrier to the graces of God, for only to the humble does He grant His favor.
He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty.
Through the instrumentality of our Blessed Mother, He, the Giver of all good gifts, was born into this world and only those who hunger and thirst after Him shall receive their fill.
He has given help to Israel, His servant mindful of His mercy. Even as He spoke to our fathers – to Abraham and to His posterity forever.
Our Blessed Mother speaks here for all the faithful, for as Abraham was the father of believers, Mary is the Mother of all those who have accepted Christ, and She ever obtains Christ’s greatest mercies for those who remain faithful to Her.
The Magnificat is more than a prayer of praise. It also reminds us about the essential link between humility and holiness. May we live in imitation of Mary and spurn the superficial and transient joys of this earth that only lead men to pride. May we strive and long for the joys of Heaven which the earth despises and pray to Our Lady for the gift of humility. May we have a deep horror for sin and long for the salvation of our soul and those of the whole world. Our greatness of soul will be measured by the standard of love and sacrifice that we exhibit for Jesus through Mary, since without Him – we are nothing.
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 41 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 5 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!