Archive for December 5th, 2021


Written by Bill Gaultiere, a contemporary psychologist, spiritual director, and author.

For two thousand years, Mary’s Magnificat has been a source of daily prayer for Christ-followers who use The Liturgy of the Hours. She exclaimed these words upon hearing her older cousin Elizabeth confirm that she was indeed carrying Christ the Lord in her womb! We seem to have the idea that when Mary sang the Magnificat it was as if the clouds parted, and a divine light beamed into her body, and she burst forth singing with the assistance of a choir of angels! Probably it was more than a moment of sudden inspiration from God. It’s likely that Mary’s song was informed by her readings of the Old Testament and her conversations with family and friends about the coming of the Messiah. For instance, we know that Mary prayed and discussed the great prayer of Hannah in the Old Testament and that Mary’s song has similarities to Hannah’s prayer (1 Samuel 2:1-10). We also know that Mary was a woman who “treasured and pondered in her heart” the things that God showed her (Luke 2:19). Probably she prayed or sang her Magnificat many times throughout her life, perhaps even before her visit with Elizabeth, but especially in the days and years afterward. That makes sense because she certainly needed the blessed words of life that God gave her! For a long time, no one but Joseph believed her story that she was pregnant by a miracle of the Holy Spirit — she was branded with the Scarlet A! Like Jesus, all of her life she lived with the slanderous accusations that were spoken against her (John 9:29). Imagine Mary walking to the village well to get water and people frowning at her and whispering about her. If she looked to them for acceptance, she’d feel embarrassed and insecure, but instead she smiles and quietly hums the words of the glorious song that God gave her! “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord… All generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me…” (Luke 1:46-47). Mary experienced many other trials in her life, like poverty, fleeing to Egypt when Herod wanted to kill baby Jesus, losing her husband at young age, and raising a family without him, and the sword that pierced her heart when her son was scourged and crucified (Luke 2:35). I can imagine Mary praying and singing the Magnificat to help her see with eyes of faith beyond her circumstances and into the spiritual reality of the Kingdom of God where she was indeed blessed, and the strong arm of the Lord Almighty was doing great things for her and through her to others! This is a picture of Mary that I can relate to in the trials that I face. I can practice seeing the unseen Kingdom of God in my midst and putting my trust in the risen Christ who is there with me.

SCRIPTURE: Luke 1:46-55

MUSIC VIDEO: Magnificat Gregoriano

Performed by Harpa Dei

If using an advent wreath, light the first purple candle and the second purple candle.  The second candle represents faith and is called “Bethlehem’s Candle.” Micah had foretold that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, which is also the birthplace of King David.

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