"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
for he has looked upon his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
and has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever."
Today's Gospel reading is one of the most eloquent of all passages. I have an affinity for literature and poetry, not that I get to indulge that much aside from Scripture these days (thank you, Magnificat). So the various canticles that are found in sacred scripture are some of my favorite parts. Obviously, I hold Mary in high regard and more and more I try to emulate her example as a wife and mother. But for years, I had the hardest time relating to her canticle. It was beautiful to my ears but otherwise fell sort of flat in my mind.
The last few years, as my faith has grown and life has happened, I've come to appreciate Mary's song. I've actually had moments occur which evoke the opening lines straight from my heart. One of which happened just a week or so ago.
On Dec. 12, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and my grandmother's birthday, I decided to take the boys to the adoration chapel at our parish after I picked them up, to light a candle for my grandmother.
I was a little nervous bringing two rambunctious boys into that sacred space that's just so quiet, but I persevered. After a quick explanation to the boys -- no talking, bow to Jesus, etc -- we walked into the oratory, which was pretty crowded. Thankfully, many of the older parishioners are always so delighted to see us parents bring our children before the Sacred Host. Hardly a sour face there. We went straight back to Mary to light the candle. The little one sat quietly in the chair I plopped him in and the older one stood next to me as I lit the candle. And much to my surprise, he kneeled down next to me as I said a little prayer.
We all left as reverently as we came in and I thought our mission was complete. Well. We get outside and my older boy wants to go to the rosary garden, which we visit after most Masses. I'm feeling so great, I say sure! My little one and I follow him over, and much to my surprise he walks right up to the statue of dear Mary and kneels down, crosses himself and prays.
Well, my soul could do nothing but proclaim the greatness of the Lord at that moment. Tears came. A little laughter. A lot of amazement.
I watch my older boy pray, then cross himself again and walk back to me and grab hold of my other hand. Beautiful. I tell him how proud I am and how wonderful that was. Then my little one wants to go to Mary, too. Of course! Who could say mo?!
He walks up, crosses himself and tells me there are no flowers, where are her flowers? I tell him, we should have brought flowers. I'm sorry we didn't. So he proceeds to give Mary a hug and says , "Bye Mary!"
By then I was so overflowing with gratitude and amazement, I could barely think.
Indeed He has done great things for me, but most of all He has been merciful and I can truly see his fulfillment of His promise in my boys.