“The Magnificat” is the name given to the words of the Blessed Virgin Mary in response to her Elizabeth’s greeting. It is an “utterance of praise” in the form of a canticle. A canticle (from the Latin canticulum, a diminutive of canticum: “song”) is a hymn, psalm or other Christian song of praise with lyrics taken from biblical or holy texts other than the Psalms. It is used in Christian liturgy, especially at vespers and evensong. There are myriad musical settings of these words—as they are perfect in praising God.
One of the reasons we revere the Blessed Virgin Mary is because of her “yes” to God—she is the example of perfect obedience that as we try to emulate Christians. Look again at the first line of text of the Magnificat: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” I found myself asking myself: What does my soul and spirit proclaim to all?
To proclaim something is to declare publicly, insistently, proudly; to announce; to give an outward indication of something; to praise or glorify openly and publicly. (Thanks, Webster.) Elizabeth praises Mary in her greeting and Mary, in turn, praises God—in thanksgiving for His mercy, care and love; in gratitude for God’s work among the lowly and the rich. A God who remembers His promises to our Fathers, a God who helps His servant, Israel. Mary’s soul and spirit proclaim her love and gratitude to God in all she says and does.
What would be your own personal canticle to God? What does your soul proclaim and in what does your spirit rejoice? Using the Magnificat as example and form, I tried to write my own personal ‘utterance of praise’ to God:
Elizabeth Dyc says:
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior because God has blessed me in so many uncounted ways—the Almighty has done great things for me and for all. God gives me myriad gifts in the every-day: the earth and its’ fullness; the beauty of Kingdom work; the support and joy of loving relationships; the ability to discern sin in my choices and learn from them. God has blessed me with the Holy Spirit for strength in all circumstances of trial; I am never alone with my cross. He gives me wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and awe of the Lord—and the courage to employ these gifts for His Kingdom. He keeps His promise to me (and to all) in sending His salvation: Jesus. I am grateful for all God’s goodness and believe in it in the face of all human folly. I trust in God, my Savior.
How about you? What does your soul proclaim and your spirit rejoice in? Could you write your own Magnificat?
Keep singing songs of praise...