Did You Read Magnificat Yesterday?

I’ve been known to ask that question occasionally. Sometimes the meditations there … well, they knock them out of the park … (to continue to use a way overused phrase) there.

Can it be a coincidence that I find myself in a corner of the world where it would be only natural to share such a thing?

The author, Elisabeth Leseur, married laywoman who died in 1914, and has a cause for canonization open.

And a word that jumps out at one who spends a lot of time around machines with clicks and words (creating more links and words!!!) is distraction …

How John the Baptist Lived and Died

O light, beauty, total love, O my God, when will we love you, you alone, letting go of all that distracts us from this pure union with you, seeing only one thing: the soul that you have given us and you, O my God, who live in it and should be the sole guide and judge of our actions and lives?

Let us try to protect ourselves from the useless stimulation [!!!!] that so often disturbs our lives. May those who are ever more serene and filled with God be sanctuaries open to every troubled conscience and every weak will …

This burning need for justice, this loving flame within us, this deep love for suffering and groaning humanity, all this is and can only be an unconscious turning toward this infinite love and infinite justice, toward the ultimate goodness that is God.

We must give ourselves; that is, we must bring forth from this interior sanctuary where we keep the best of ourselves some thoughts, chosen from among the best and most noble, that, once we have shared them, we become acts of love and words of life. We must firmly desire to try to give our best, to do all the good we can. The unknown reservoir of strength, energy, and nobility lying within our depths must become the property of our brothers and sisters through courageous effort and at generous surrender of our inmost selves.

Let us despise nothing: not any person, for in the worst of them there is the divine spark, which can always flame forth; nor ideas, for in all of them there is a grain of truth, which one must know how to discover; nor other people’s actions, for we often are unaware of their motives and always unaware of their far-reaching and providential consequences.


Magnificat will forgive me for reprinting that here if I urge you to subscribe for yourself or someone with that divine spark. It really is a treasure trove. (And if you are on Twitter, Mag is, too.) And Mag doesn’t require a tremendous daily commitment, frankly. Just enough. To focus the mind and heart and bring that deepest interior best to the surface in the most loving way. (It does not require much space either. If you do not want to be carrying the little monthly missal book around, they are all appy … for whatever digital equipment you carry around. Not a bad click to have in the daily arsenal.)

Imagine if we all prayed like Mrs. Leseur like that daily … ! Right now’s a start.

I love that the Internet is far from all “useless stimulation”! We just have to bookmark the right spots!

  • Elizabeth Scalia

    I’m a fan of Leseur’s whom — I must confess — I first learned of via Magnificat. She was wonderously wise and humble!

  • http://www.patheos.com/About-Patheos/Pat-Gohn.html Pat Gohn

    Welcome to Patheos!

    And yes, I loved this quote and shared it some with my own circle of loved ones!

    It’s like a mini-sermon from Luke 6:45; “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” That’s great advice for writers of all genres.

    And I give away subscriptions to Magnificat as gifts all the time! It is the perfect gift for that hard-to-buy-for person.

  • Janet

    I agree – I can’t recommend Magnificat enough.

    I keep a commonplace book and so many quotes come from the daily meditations. The last paragraph of this meditation has already been entered in it.

  • Teresa

    Magnificat is the first thing I read in the morning and before I go to bed every day. In addition, the Holy Father’s Benedictus (daily meditations) is a nice addition to daily reading. Nice to see you blogging here.

  • Marieanne

    Visiting upon recommendation of The Anchoress – bookmarking, too. I enjoy your work at NRO and look forward to reading your blog, too.

  • Frances – fellow Magnificat lover

    I loved that reading! I’m so glad you brought it out to share. It reminded me of an email I received earlier from a very saintly old priest, Fr. Filice. I hope you won’t mind if I share it here:

    Soon we will be in the great season of Lent to prepare for celebrating the Resurrection of the Lord.

    Each of us has traditional ways of spending Lent and, normally, it includes some sacrifices and penitential acts. As you know there are three kinds of acts of religion: Prayer, Fasting (or really, any corporeal penance) and Almsgiving (that is, acts of Charity).

    We do these acts to join Our Lord in his great act of Love that he performed when he gave his life for us on the Cross. If we do these things just as challenge or to lose weight, or any other self-serving reason then they may be a good thing, but they do not lead us to Heaven.

    Jesus said that he was going to the Cross to obey the Father because he Loves the Father and wants to do his Will. This motive must be ours in penitential acts, in order to join Jesus in His work of Redemption.

    We have to remember that we have been baptized and given the opportunity of salvation, but that requires helping others to be saved. Our Lord invites us to work with Him in this great work, for our good. When we face our Creator after we die – we will be welcomed into the eternal life of God through our union with His Son Jesus Christ. We only can resemble Jesus in Charity; a gift He gives us in Baptism and which we accept by participating in acts of Charity.

    Most people are like the Little Flower and cannot do really big penances like the Monks; so I would like to suggest you consider a Lenten practice that combines all three acts of Religion and that is available to every person.

    I suggest that you give up negative talk for Lent.

    This would be a great habit to form, anyway, but this Lent could be a beginning. Christians should be noted for their kindness, not criticism.

    We, being creatures of Original Sin are in competition from birth. We feel we have to excel and be first. So we compete and find that we are limited in our abilities. In order to make ourselves feel better about our failures, we notice and think about the faults and mistakes of others. Of course, the “others” are those closest to us: brothers, sisters, parents, spouse, close friends –etc..

    This is a really terrible aspect of being human and sometimes it can become so much a part of our personality that we are constantly criticizing. However, for Catholics we should not be indulging in this sort of destructive behavior.

    We are not in competition with others; having been baptized we have now the task of helping each person we meet to come to Christ and be saved. No exceptions.

    Critical remarks and attitude do not help people but impede their sense of worth and ability to please God. Our task is to build people up by encouraging them, not to destroy them by constantly calling attention to their faults so as to mask our own.

    It would be a very laudable Lenten practice if each of us would try never to say a negative thing to or about anyone for Lent. Those in charge of the formation of others, like parents, should refrain from correcting in anger or impenitence, but always in a kind and considerate way. Even the evils in society should be addressed without disparaging persons.

    People like kind people who try not to hurt their feelings so the CHARITY displayed will lead them to the Lord of Charity.

    This will be hard because of the habits we have formed. Thus, we have to PRAY to Our Lady every day to help us — and since she is the custodian of the graces of Christ, she will give us what we need.

    Self Control is always difficult for us so the PENITENTIAL effort to stop gossiping and criticizing is a wonderful way to develop self-control which is the sign of the adult human being.

    This is precisely the path followed by the Little Flower and which made her a saint. It is an easy and sure way to please God and bring others to salvation.

    If you can refrain from negative attitudes about even our politicians you have a heroic level of control. However, most people only can choke back the hasty word or action and wait until the anger passes before speaking.

    I find that difficult for most people so I suggest praxis of excusing the person in our thoughts. Think of some reason why they may be doing this or that foolish thing innocently. For example: Fr. Filice staggering down the street evokes the idea of a drunken old man. However, the second thought suggest that he may be sick, or on medication.

    Right or wrong – at least your mind will be clear of bitter and negative judgements.

    God Bless you All and may this Lent bring you closer to the goodness you desire. If this helps you at all, please pass it on.

  • http://www.typepad.tomfaranda.com tom faranda

    Ahhh, Magnificat! A great addiction to have.