For the Feast of The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary on July 2nd , the Gospel of the Mass ends with the first two verses of that most beautiful Canticle, the Magnificat. Saint Bernadine of Siena explains that the words of the Magnificat are like so many flames of love darting from the ardent furnace of divine love burning in the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The first verse in the Latin language contains only four words: Magnificat anima mea Dominum. What is the meaning of the first word: Magnificat? Is it possible to magnify God Whose grandeur and magnificence are immense, infinite and incomprehensible? Of course not; such a thing is impossible. In fact, it is impossible for God Himself since He cannot make Himself greater than He already is. Nonetheless, the saints have explained that we can magnify God in ourselves. For example, Saint Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church, says: “Every holy soul can conceive the Eternal Word within himself by means of faith. He can engender God in other souls by preaching the divine Word, and he can magnify his Creator by loving Him so truly that he too may say: ‘My soul doth magnify the Lord.’” Saint Augustine continues with the explanation: “To magnify the Lord is to adore, praise and exalt His immense grandeur, His supreme majesty, His infinite excellence and perfections.”
Furthermore, Saint John Eudes explains that we can magnify God in several ways: first of all, by our thoughts, having a most exalted idea of God and the highest esteem for Him as well as for all things of God; secondly, by our devotion, loving God with all our hearts and above all things; thirdly, by our words, always speaking with the most profound respect of God and all things pertaining to Him, and by adoring and praising His infinite power, His incomprehensible wisdom, His immense goodness and His other perfections; fourthly, by our actions, always performing them only for the glory of God; fifthly, by practicing what the Holy Ghost teaches us in these words, ‘Humble thyself in all things, and thou shalt find grace before God, for great is the power of God alone, and He is honored by the humble.’ (Ecclesiasticus 3:20,21). In the sixth place, we can magnify God by willingly bearing the crosses He sends us for love of Him; for there is nothing that honors Him more than suffering, since our Savior Jesus Christ found no means to glorify His Father more excellent than the torments and death of the Cross. Last of all, we can magnify God by preferring and exalting Him above all things through our thoughts, affections, words, actions, humiliations and mortifications.
In explaining the second verse of the Magnificat, particularly the words Exsultavit spiritus meus (My soul hath rejoiced), several of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church write that the Blessed Virgin Mary, being ecstatically elevated to God at the moment of the Incarnation of her Son Jesus within her womb, was filled with the same inconceivable joys which are possessed by all the saints in Heaven, and that Our Lady was rapt to the third Heaven, where she had the happiness of seeing God clearly face to face. As proof of this fact, these holy writers advance the indisputable maxim that all the privileges with which the Son of God has honored His other saints were also bestowed by Christ upon His own Blessed Mother. For example, Saints Augustine, John Chrysostom, Ambrose, Basil, Anselm, Thomas Aquinas, and others do not hesitate to assert that Saint Paul (cf. 2 Corinthians 12:4), while he was still on earth, saw the essence of God when he was transported to the third Heaven. Who can doubt, then, that the Mother of Our Savior, who always lived in the most perfect innocence and purity, and who alone loved God more than all the other saints combined together, enjoyed this same favor, not only on one occasion but on several, especially at the joyful moment of the Incarnation. This is the opinion of Saints Bernard de Clairvaux, Albert the Great, Antoninus and many others. Consequently, the holy Abbot Rupert exclaims: “O Blessed Mary, it was then that a deluge of joy, a furnace of love and a torrent of heavenly delights burst upon thee, wholly absorbed and inebriated thee, and made thee experience what no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard, and no human heart has ever understood.”
Can we imitate Our Lady’s joy in this age of Apostasy since the time of the heresies introduced by the Second Vatican Council, along with the poisoned teachings of the Conciliar Pontiffs? Yes, we can. “The harvest indeed is great, but the laborers are few.” The harvest is great, since there are countless souls in this pagan world who do not know God and the True Church, and there are countless souls who are Catholic but who falsely obey the errors of Modernist Rome. Bringing even one soul to the True Faith will be an immense joy both in Heaven and on earth. Moreover, we should rejoice, since Our Lady of Fatima promised that, in the end, her Immaculate Heart shall triumph!
Father Joseph Poisson
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