Jun 5, 2020 filed under Humility, Joy.

Painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Too often I pray Mary’s Canticle, the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55), and finish it only to realize that I wasn’t paying attention. Did something important pull my mind away? No, just the usual stuff—replaying conversations in my head or planning dinner.

During quarantine, I’ve discovered that walking outdoors helps me meditate on scripture. So, during a stroll in the park this week, the Magnificat bloomed as a rich meditation. And I want to share that gift with you!

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My soul magnifies the Lord. My soul is not made to fully understand or ignore God. I am created to magnify God, who is love. That doesn’t mean I make him any larger. But if I proclaim him with my attitude and my choices, he appears larger than before to those around me. If the lens of my soul focuses on God, others can see his glory shining through me.

My spirit rejoices in God, my savior. Because I am aware of my sinfulness, I am aware of my nothingness outside of him. Everything outside of him is disaster and confusion. With him and him alone is a future with hope, which causes me to rejoice because he has saved me from hell, where my sins would have brought me without his loving intervention.

For he has looked with favor on his lowly handmaiden. There is nothing favorable in me to look at. He looks at me kindly because he is love. When he looks at me, he sees his Son in whose image I was made, and then he is able to shower me with more favor than I can even imagine.

Behold all generations will call me blessed, for the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his name. All generations call Mary blessed because the Lord has accomplished in her his preeminent miracle in a creature, saving her from sin by the merits of his death and resurrection ahead of time. And inviting her to be his own mother!

He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. If we accept him as sovereign and strive to be his people, we are living in the truth. If we honor him, we are seeing him as he is—mercy itself—which opens our hearts to receive his mercy and shower it on everyone we meet.

He has shown the strength of his arm. He has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has scattered the proud in confusion because their hearts did not honor him. When I feel confused and overwhelmed, I know that I’ve partly refused the mercy that he desires to pour into me for my happiness.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and lifted up the lowly. He has cast down those who were mighty by the standards of Satan, prince of this world. He has lifted up to himself those who boast of no earthly power, who seem as nothing to worldly eyes.

He has filled the hungry with good things and the rich he has sent empty away. Those who are hungry for his mercy, for heavenly food, for the Eucharistic Jesus—those who yearn for union with God, who yearn for heaven, who are hungry for what is eternal—will be filled with the Eternal God. But those who crave only temporal things that are passing away, they will be hungry again and again, never to be satisfied, always to be disappointed.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel, for he has remembered his promise of mercy. His Covenant is forever, regardless of our faithlessness. He has remembered our weakness and, like the “prodigal father,” takes us back the moment we look toward him.

The promise he made to our father Abraham and to his children forever. He will never forsake those who seek him, says Psalm 9A:11. He asks only that we seek him. Let us, with Mary, strive to empty ourselves so that God can fill us with his very self.

Love always,

26 Responses to “Strolling Through the Magnificat With Mary”

  1. Linda Hartzell

    Thank you for this meditation, Rose. It is beautiful.
    “My spirit rejoices in God, my Savior.” Amen.

    • Ann

      thanks! This was helpful, especially the magnify part.

      I’m puzzled. by the thought, “There is nothing favorable in me to look at” – you are made in the image and likeness of God, everything is favorable!

      • Rose Folsom

        You are right. But the saints use shorthand like this to remind themselves that everything good they have comes from God. As a Baptized child of God, I participate in his divine life of love, but it’s good also to remind myself that without my “yes” to that, I have less than nothing.

        If I reject God, I am miserable and there is nothing but my receiving God into myself that can make me happy. It’s a way of saying “I got nothin’ without him, but if I but say yes to what he longs to give me, which is himself, I have everything.”

        Hope that makes sense. I think of it as “saintly hyperbole” to remind myself that I am entirely dependent on him as my source of goodness.

    • Cheri Albaugh

      Yes, Rose. A good idea for meditation. For me, tue Holy Spirit imprints my heart for my mind to know and understand. Then received and willingness to share.

      • Rose Folsom

        Cheri — You’ve put the Christian life in a nutshell: opening ourselves to God’s action in us, then sharing that divine love with others. Go Holy Spirit! — Rose

    • Rose Folsom

      Seeing so clearly lately the agitation that self-will brings us, we can turn with confidence to rejoice in God alone.

  2. Mary Ellen Stroud

    Thank you for sharing this meditation on the magnificate. It is really helpful.

  3. Joyce Miles

    This is wonderful Rose.
    I walk feeling the Holy Spirit once I finish my walk I meditate on my patio Thanking God for his grace.
    Every day I pray to start my day withour a prayer anything can happen unexpected.

    • Rose Folsom

      I see you practicing the virtue of Prudence — realizing that anything can happen, you’re filling yourself with God at the beginning of the day to be able to handle whatever comes up.
      Thanks for sharing the powerful way you start your day.

  4. Mary Leibolt

    This morning it is hard to pray so I will remember that God is my Savior as this beautiful meditation reminded me. My spirit rejoices in God my Savior.

    Good morning everyone

    • Rose Folsom

      Yesterday, I brought my hurt and anger to the Lord in our parish’s Tabernacle. I told Jesus how I felt. He listened with love and then turned my heart to pray. Bringing directly to Jesus the negativity that I’m tempted to “share” with other people is kind of a new thing for me. I found it very healing. And I’ll try to look at Jesus instead of Facebook today.

  5. Kristin Bryant

    Love love love this Rose❣️ Thanks for sharing. I love walking and praying too!

  6. Liz Tomaszeski

    What a beautiful reflection! I will read and reread this message many times to truly embrace the fullness of the Holy Spirit. This is the season to walk and meditate as we reflect on God’s creation.

  7. Diane Upham

    Mary’s Canticle, the Magnificat, is such a beautiful description of
    Our Lord’s love and glorifies His care for us always. Thank you Rose for your message. Just what I needed.

    • Rose Folsom

      So glad it made a difference, Diane. Isn’t it interesting that God brings out unexpected meaning from familiar scripture passages? The Holy Spirit blows where He will!

  8. Tom Roberts

    Drive by prayers; a perfect description for what happens. I’ve spent a whole life tuned for action and competition. I prepare by warming up; warm up for a tennis match. I warmed up for track in high school. But prayer is not competition.its really about listening.as Jesus says in Matthew 6:7-8; “In praying do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your father knows what you need before you ask him.” I’d rather talk than listen, but as the physicist Richard Feynman said “While you’re talking you’re not learning anything.”

    So instead of warming up for competition I quiet down for listening. I start with contemplative prayer and go right to the heart of it. The word I pick is “Hear” from Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone!” That works . . . most of the time.