My first morning to wake up in Sewanee, in this year’s Doctor of Ministry program….
Yesterday, at the opening Eucharist, Bp. Alexander reflected on the Feast of the Visitation. It was a wonderful Eucharist service: incense, everything chanted, wonderful hymns, and incredible sermon… In his homily, he reflected a great deal on the Magnificat, that great hymn that the Church has sung and prayed with and meditated on for centuries…the gift that Blessed Mary gave us in her response to her cousin Elizabeth’s joy at her visit.
The bishop wondered with us how we could engage with this Magnificat during our time here. I have about three weeks, so that’s a wonderful time to reflect. He gave us different “options,” or ideas on how we could meditate with the Mag, and the one that hooked me was when he said, that maybe this is a time when you can experience Blessed Mary more fully in your own heart. I have always been a Marian, have loved praying with and reflecting on Mary in my own practice, but his invitation hit me strongly. Yes… I can spend a week with Blessed Mary while I’m here.
At the end of this week, I will have my new breviary from the Camaldolese, so I’m very excited about getting that in place for my morning lectio times. But this week, I will spend some time with Mary, still continuing to read the psalms, but reflecting on the Magnificat… I think it will be a great space…
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God
for he has looked with favor on
the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all
generations will call me
for the Mighty One has done
great things for me,
and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his
he has scattered the proud in the
thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the
powerful from their
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good
and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made
to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his
This will be wonderful, to spend a bit of time with Blessed Mary, to reflect each day on her willingness…and to wonder about my own willingness to be available to God…