My Soul Doth Magnify the Lord
Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour!
I, Erik, a slave to the Handmaiden of the Lord, am avowed to take the Blessed Virgin Mary as a model for my life; a task at which I fall short several times each passing second. This established, I spend a great deal of time pondering what little we are told about the Blessed Mother, and frequently I find my mind turning to the second most important utterance by the Virgin Mary: Her Magnificat; the first being: Ecce ancilla Domini. Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum, or in plain English: Behold the Handmaiden of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to Thy Word.
The first two lines of the Magnificat are rich and deep with meaning. The first line, My soul doth magnify the Lord, is a statement of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s will. To illuminate this idea fully it is necessary to take a step or two back and consider the context in which Our Lady proclaimed these words.
Blessed Mary, after having accepted God’s Will as her own, and having been instructed by the Angel Gabriel to visit her cousin Elizabeth, responds with all haste and departs immediately for Judah where lies her cousin’s home. (Some may ask where it says in the biblical account that Saint Gabriel “instructed” the Blessed Mother to visit Elizabeth and I submit to you, that this instruction was implied by Gabriel’s words . . .behold, Elizabeth your relative has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God, nothing will be impossible. The important word of command here is “behold,” which means to look upon, to gaze upon. The Angel Gabriel does not say “let it be known” or “understand,” but commands Our Blessed Mother to “see!” Since, Saint Gabriel was the messenger of God, it stands to reason the Saint Gabriel did not add ideas or initiatives of his own which I think we may agree would have been a dread mistake. Saint Gabriel was acting as a mouthpiece for God so the Words Saint Gabriel spoke are be considered the Word of God.)
The Virgin Mother upon arriving at Zachariah’s house greets Elizabeth and it is said the babe within Elizabeth’s womb leapt for joy. Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cries out: Blessed art thou amongst 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 mine ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that was spoken to thee by the Lord.
What is Our Blessed Mother’s reflex response? “My soul doth magnify the Lord!” indicating that all praise, all honour, all blessing given her are not hers, and she immediately passes all these to the Lord. All that is the Blessed Virgin Mary, all that animates her, motivates her, glorifies her is for the glory of God alone and that she, the Handmaiden of the Lord, has no other purpose than to carry out the Will of the Father, that His will became her will, that His will is her will, and that she, like to a crystal pure glass, allows only Him to shine through her, and in this: complete and utter salvation. Emanating the purity granted her at the moment of her conception, Blessed Mary rejoices and sings the praise of God. Pure Mary sings God. Virgin Mary, the quiet, the contemplative holding all things in her heart, fills Heaven and Earth, resounding throughout the ages, in eternity, a song of praise, love, and joy for God, for His Justice, and His Mercy! This is the Blessed Virgin: A song to God who with her Fiat brought forth in her womb the Redeemer of Man.
I, Slave to the Handmaiden of the Lord
And I, a slave to the Handmaiden of the Lord, long to emulate her in every way, to loose my will completely, and in obedience to the Handmaiden of the Lord who has no will but His Will, to come in submissive humility through her to know my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
My soul doth magnify the Lord.
How can I make this true in my life? This is where the second line renders help: my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Gratitude and rejoicing in all the Lord has given me. For it is in truth all the Lord has bestowed upon me, all that the Lord has allowed to befall me, all the mistakes and repentances the Lord has allowed me to make; in all these things the Lord has, in His unfathomable Divine Mercy, sown the seeds of my redemption. Even pain in God is more satisfying to a soul properly disposed (knowing what is of authentic value in life), than all the fleeting pleasures of this world. To become truly poor before the Lord severing all attachment to the material world, shunning all worldly pretense to power and honor, purging ego and dying to self, stripping oneself of all that is dear even unto one’s own will and allowing God to completely and utterly will every aspect of one’s life; to become completely and wholly nothing of oneself, but rather an outright, unmitigated slave to the Lord, only in this can one find true freedom.
I, seeking this consummate servitude, and wanting to do so with perfect humility have made myself bondservant to the most perfect, most humble creature ever to let foot fall in created existence, the ever-Blessed, ever-Virgin Mary, knowing that nothing I give to her will she keep for herself but pass on immediately to the Lord in her immaculate hands and the crystal clear song of her angelic voice. The voice that sanctified the Baptist in the womb of Elizabeth, the voice that soothed the cries of Our Lord and redeemer when He was made flesh, the voice that sings out now to all mankind–if he’d only listen–calling him to her Son, Jesus Christ, and instructing man: Whatsoever He shall say to you, do ye.
Let us pray:
O Lord we implore thee, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, grant that we come to know Your Will plainly, bestowing upon us the grace, the wisdom, the strength, and the courage to carry it out in all haste, that we never be lukewarm, nonchalant, or hesitating to fulfill your purpose in this world. Let it be, we do this for love of You alone, for Your Glory alone, and simply because it is your wish, and as we are undeserving and unexpecting of reciprocity, recompense, reward, or merit, we beg Your clemency, O Lord, and thank you for all you have given us in Your unfathomable Divine Mercy.
May Almighty God bless you; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
(C) Copyright 1 December 2018
One thought on “My Soul Doth Magnify the Lord!”
Amen. Mary is the proto-type of the Church and our concrete model as its pre-eminent member because her Son Jesus was hers. Unlike Mary, we fall from grace and need to be restored to friendship with God. So, we must take refuge in her Immaculate Heart for the graces we need to be perfect in our love of God and thereby blessed (truly happy) in this world as she and the fruit of her womb were.