Our Duty and Our Salvation
October 9, 2012 § Leave a comment
Back around the end of August, I subscribed to the Magnificat. For those unaware, the Magnificat is a prayer guide that has morning prayers, Mass prayers, and evening prayers in it. From their site:
“Magnificat is a lavishly printed, easy-to-read pocket-sized worship aid, of more than 400 pages. Magnificat can be used to follow the daily Mass and can also be read at home for personal or family prayer. This monthly liturgical prayer book provides a fitting way to enter fully into the Church’s liturgical rhythms and spiritual legacy.”
Because I had placed my order as September was beginning, the first one I received was for October, so I’ve been patiently waiting for this month to roll around for more reasons than just my love of autumn. Well, I am pleased to say that it’s only 9 days into the month and I already love my Magnificat. One of my favorite things so far is reading the Canticle of Zechariah each morning, especially these lines:
There’s just something inspiring about reading a line about “the dawn from on high” just as the sun is breaking over the hills outside my apartment. I can’t really explain the feeling, except to say it’s the sychronicity, the tradition, that is one of my most loved attributes of our Church: the knowledge of continuation, the ability to be unchanging, steadfast as dawn rises and comes and departs, for time immemorial. There’s a simple poetry to the knowledge that even as I am, men and women all over the world are welcoming the dawn with the same words, spoken in the Liturgy of the Hours. Whether they are kneeling in the solitude and dimness of a convent or monastery morning, or, like my mother, waiting for their children to wake up and begin the school day, or like me, sitting on my bed before work with one or two pet rats bouncing around my feet, the people of the Church are praying together.
Another reason I’m loving the Magnificat is that I feel like it’s drawing me closer to Mary, the Blessed Mother. To the left of this text is the beautiful Marian antiphon that I say every night as the closing prayer. (And I’m not just partial to it because it has my name in it!) I call Danny before I recite the evening prayers, which means that these are usually the last words I speak aloud before I fall asleep. What a wonderful way of praising the Mother of Christ! In the evening prayer, instead of the Canticle of Zechariah, we pray the Magnificat, the prayer after which this book was named. Mary’s Magnificat, found in Luke’s Gospel (Chapter 1, Verse 46), is one of my favorite prayers in the Bible.
I suppose I should put in a disclaimer that there are days when I am human and don’t feel like saying the prayers (GASP!). However, I’ve been buoyed up in faith over the past few weeks due to a couple occurrences, some of which are private and I will only say this: if you are doubting that there is any goodness remaining in the heart of man, have faith! You never know when kindness will manifest itself to you in the most unexpected and delightful ways. I can tell you about one of the reasons though. My ratties are all healthy again! I was really worried about them for a few weeks because they seemed lackluster and not their usual bouncy selves. After an expensive trip to the vet, where he said they were bug-free and not sick, I was still worried. My ratties just didn’t seem ‘right’. Before spending more money I didn’t have at the vet, I decided to take my rats to the annual pet blessing at our church, and to pray a novena to St. Francis in honor of his feast day on October 4th and because he is the patron saint of animals. Just a few days into the novena, the worrisome red spots on their skin disappeared and they are acting 100% healthy again! I’ve had my four little guys for over a year now (and they were with Danny for almost a year before that) and so I know them well. They seem so much better than just a few weeks ago. And although my weak words can’t describe what faith my heart holds, I know St. Francis blessed them and is smiling down on them.
Pray novenas for your special intentions, people!!