This beautiful feast invites us to enter into the intimate life of our Savior, healing and sanctifying souls almost immediately after the Incarnation. It also is the testimony of the Holy Ghost to the sanctity of life from the moment of conception. So much to savor in this delightful scene from Holy Scripture!
The Magnificat of the Blessed Virgin Mary
“And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord.
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.
Because He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid;
For behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For He that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is His name.
And His mercy is from generation unto generations to them that fear Him.
He hath shewed might in His arm:
He hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat,
And hath exalted the humble.
He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away.
He hath helped Israel His servant, being mindful of His mercy:
As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.” [Luke 1, 46-55]
Our Lady’s Hymn of Praise
Luke’s Gospel tells us that:
When Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.” [Luke 1, 41-45].
Now, this remarkable event was the occasion of the very first miracle wrought by Our Lord Jesus Christ and it tells us several important things:
First, Jesus worked this miracle before He was born on the as yet unborn infant son of Elizabeth, John. And so we see here a powerful pro-life message. Also we see in Mary’s haste to reach Elizabeth that Jesus was eager to free John from original sin. Thus refuting the protestant error of postponing baptism until the child is old enough to decide for himself. It is a perfect example of how much Jesus detests sin, and desires to free us of it.
Second, Jesus worked this miracle through the Blessed Virgin Mary. The fact that Jesus thus effected His first two miracles* through His most Holy Mother yields insight into her title Mediatrix of Grace, doesn’t it?
And third, note that Elizabeth “was filled with the Holy Ghost” when she said, “Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.” This means that Elizabeth’s praise of Mary was inspired by the Holy Spirit, the same Holy Spirit, referred to earlier in Luke 1, 35, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee.”
And note that even as Elizabeth praised Mary, Mary responded with a hymn of praise to God. Mary, as the creature most perfect, most beloved of God, acknowledges that she is nothing at all without God. This perfect humility in Mary, this perfect obedience to God’s will in all things is what makes our devotion to Mary so beneficial. Mary is our quickest, surest way to the Heart of her beloved Son.
“My soul doth magnify the Lord.” How can a mere mortal “magnify” the Divine Lord? In the pure, clear soul of the Immaculata, God’s glory is reflected back as a mirror reflects back the brightness of the blazing sun. This image alone is such a rich source of contemplation, it would take volumes to begin to express properly.
Mary, Model of Obedience
Mary then proclaims, “my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid.” In this, she confirms that she is only the servant of God, her Saviour. When, in the Magnificat Mary refers to herself as “His handmaid”, it is the second time she has done so. The first was when she said at the Annunciation, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word.”
By this repetition, Mary is emphasizing the importance of humble obedience. Mary’s entire role in the salvation of mankind is based on humility and obedience.
The following verse, “behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed”, is overlooked by those who reject devotion to Mary. Our Blessed Mother quickly adds to that verse, “Because He that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is His name”. Thus, we see that Mary always keeps the divine order, and never fails to attribute her every blessing to God alone. It is impossible to be truly devoted to Mary and not at the same time adore the most Holy Trinity; Mary is the most beloved Daughter of God the Father, the most pure Mother of God the Son and the most glorious Spouse of God the Holy Spirit. Mary’s worth is in her perfect reflection of God.
Mary’s hymn reflects also her adoration of God’s most sacred name, “Holy is His name.” This, of course is our first duty and Mary’s hymn exemplifies this exquisitely. The Magnificat is a salutary prayer to remedy the all-pervasive blasphemy of these times.
When Mary proclaims, “His mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear Him”, she is stating that God’s mercy is inextricably united with fearing Him. How long has it been since you heard a sermon on the fear of the Lord? Yet the Bible teaches, “Come, children, hearken to me: I will teach you fear of the Lord.” (Psalm 33, 12), and in Proverbs, “In the fear of the Lord is confidence of strength, and there shall be hope for His children. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to decline from the ruin of death.” (Proverbs 14, 26-27). Father Gabriel tells us that “this is the first lesson the Divine Paraclete teaches the soul” who is seeking closer union with God. (Divine Intimacy, Tan Publishers)
Fear of the Lord
Fear of the Lord is such a tremendous love for God, such intimacy with Our Savior, that we live in a holy fear of wounding Him in any way. If we truly love God as Mary teaches us, then we will always fear the loss of His love. Father Gabriel then says, “Captured by love for such a good father, the soul has but one desire, to return Him love for love, to give Him pleasure and to be united with Him forever.”
Mary goes on to proclaim God’s justice, which has, “scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart… put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away”. This reminder of God’s justice, following as it does the promise of His mercy “from generation unto generations“, helps us to understand the divine order. It is the remedy for the worldly false mercy of Pope Francis. Our Blessed Mother, from Quito to Fatima has spoken of God’s mercy while warning of His justice. We must be mindful of the coming justice of God, even as the great mass of humanity continue to to be indifferent.
The closing verses return to the mercy of God, “He hath helped His servant Israel, being mindful of His mercy: As He spoke unto our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.” Israel refers to the Church, founded by Christ to fulfill the law, enduring until He comes again. Let us renew our prayers for the intercession of the Immaculate Mother God on behalf of our poor Church. And so we return to our Rosaries, renewed in our faith, encouraged by the promise of God’s mercy and justice, and inspired by our Blessed Mother to pray for the liberty and exaltation of our holy Mother the Church, seeking always the restoration of all things in Christ Jesus Our Lord.
Thanks be to God.
*The second miracle was, of course, that performed at the wedding feast at Cana, where at Mary’s request Our Lord transformed water into wine.
previously posted on : July 2, 2020 posted by : evensong
Pray the Rosary with confidence and joy!
Remember – Our Lady needs us to obey: First Saturdays of Reparation, daily rosary, at least 5 mysteries, wear her brown scapular and live your Total Consecration to her Immaculate Heart, offering daily duties in reparation and for the conversion of poor sinners.
Open your hearts to the Lord and serve Him only: and He will free you from the hands of your enemies. With all your heart return to Him, and take away from your midst any strange gods” (I Kings 7:3)
† Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
† Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
† Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
† St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
† St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Please pray for a pope and bishops who will obey and perform the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!
~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!