This week we enter the final few days before Mary gives "birth" on Christmas Eve. My hope is that you have entered deeply into Mary's Song, found in Luke 1:46b-55, called the Magnificat, a Latin word which literally means “exalt, glorify, magnify.” And that she does!
Before we enter into prayer with the Magnificat which is also called the Canticle of Mary or Mary's Song, read this Commentary from The Voice Bible: Stepping into the Story of Scripture.
Mary’s response to God can’t be contained in normal prose; her noble soul overflows in poetry. And this poetry isn’t simply religious; it has powerful social and political overtones. It speaks of a great reversal— what might be called a social, economic, and political revolution. To people in Mary’s day, there is little question as to what she is talking about. The Jewish people are oppressed by the Roman Empire, and to speak of a King who will demote the powerful and rich and elevate the poor and humble means one thing: God is moving toward setting them free!
Take a deep breath and prepare your heart to listen to Mary, the theotokos (which means Mother of God) as her song of praise pours forth ...
You may want to begin with a breath prayer to sing the song of your soul as Mary has done ... Use this one or create your own (6-8 syllables is an optimal prayer for breathing) ...
Breathe in … O God, my Liberator (pause) Breath out … my spirit celebrates you (pause)
When you feel centered on God and ready to move into Mary's Song, pray:
My Soul praises you and lifts you up, O God my Liberator.
As I bask in Mary's Song may I feel your Presence as she did. Amen.
My soul lifts up the Lord!
My spirit celebrates God, my Liberator!
For though I’m God’s humble servant, God has noticed me.
Now and forever, I will be considered blessed by all generations.
For the Mighty One has done great things for me;
holy is God’s name!
From generation to generation,
God’s loving-kindness endures for those who revere Him.
God’s arm has accomplished mighty deeds.
The proud in mind and heart,
God has sent away in disarray.
The rulers from their high positions of power,
God has brought down low.
And those who were humble and lowly,
God has elevated with dignity.
The hungry— God has filled with fine food.
The rich— God has dismissed with nothing in their hands.
To Israel, God’s servant, God has given help,
As promised to our ancestors,
remembering Abraham and his descendants in mercy forever. (VOICE)
After reading, spend 10 minutes in the silence OR as long as you are able ... I invite you to pray with music and chant as you listen to The Canticle of Mary, offered by "Our Lady, Mary Mediatrix of All-Grace." Close your eyes and just listen, and you may want to re-play and chant with them. Is there a word or phrase that is singing in your soul?
Finally, here is a thought to close our 4-week immersion in The Magnificat from Meister Eckhart, 14th century German mystic and scholar:
"What good is it to me if Mary gave birth to the Son of God fourteen hundred years ago and I do not also give birth to the Son of God in my time and in my culture? We are all meant to be Mothers of God."
When you are ready to move on ... pray: O God my Liberator, set my mind free and give me the gentle strength to give birth to the Son of God in this time and in this culture as I embrace my role as "Mother of God." Amen.
This week's Image: Феодоровская икона со сказанием. Кострома. Вторая половина XVIII в. Музей-заповедник «Коломенское»
Icon: Feodorovskaya ikona so skazaniem. This image is in the public domain; PD-OLD; PD-ART, Transferred from ru.wikipedia