Mary’s sublime prayer, the “Magnificat,” takes its name from the first word of the Latin translation of this song of praise. This explains why one sometimes runs into the translation: “My soul magnifies the Lord.”
Mary’s life, like that of her son, will be a living out of her own canticle. She will enter into the mysteries of Christ’s life. Like the Christian mystics after her, she will participate in a more intense way in the very mystery that she is sharing.
In the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, as in all diseases, we wait. We sit or stand or lie down and wait. We wait when there’s nothing more that we can do. We wait impatiently or with panic or anger. We wait and fidget and walk or run.
Like many people, I had a grandmother who influenced my faith so thoroughly that 25 years after her death I still find guidance in what she left behind. I inherited a simple 5x7 piece of cardboard that’s one of my most precious belongings. Printed on it is an image of the Sacred Heart with which you are probably familiar. Jesus’ face flickers with light radiating from his own burning heart, the flames rising from a crown of thorns. His eyes follow you everywhere. Not in an eerie haunted-house-painting way, but in a “I see you, I’m here for you” way. A “I’m listening” way.
I’ve mentioned my struggle feeling worthy of God’s love, even in spite of having an incredible life where I love so many, and am loved in return. Recently I had an experience with Mary that, as Holly says, pierced my heart in its beauty and simplicity, and led me right to Christ’s love.
I must admit, Holly’s rendering of a cross-cultural Mary touches my heart. In it, I see the shy expression of hundreds of teen girls I’ve taught. The omnipresence of Mary’s love is essential because I can’t rely on yesterday’s beliefs. I need the renewal of her guidance near me everyday.