The May Magnificat (A Few Words for Wednesday)

God is simple, God is all. In his wisdom, he gave us his only begotten son, the new Adam. Jesus, then, is the reimaged God, or God, Version 2.0, if you will.

This God-Man, Jesus, has a Mother, and as such, so do we. For if we are adopted sons and daughters of God, and God became a man, by the power of the Holy Spirit, born of a woman, then the Blessed Virgin, Mary Immaculate, is both his mother, the Theotokos, and ours too. Indeed, Our Mother magnifies Our Lord, and points us ever towards Him.

Even though I wasn’t ready to understand this for the longest time, and the faith I followed denied it no end, God knew that we need both his masculine and feminine natures in our attempt to grasp who he is. His nature has both, as the scriptures hint subtly, from Genesis (here, and here), to Isaiah (here, and here) and on.

The first Adam fell, and so the New Adam arose. The first Eve was tempted to be like God, and fell. The New Eve maintained her balance, and thus became a living Ark of the New Covenant, her womb bringing forth the Living Word.

My own crude words fail me at this point, but that is what poetry is for. Gerard Manly Hopkins, S.J. explains much better than I why May is the month we dedicate to Our Lady, Our Mother, and the Mother of God.

The May Magnificat

MAY is Mary’s month, and I
Muse at that and wonder why:
Her feasts follow reason,
Dated due to season—

Candlemas, Lady Day;
But the Lady Month, May,
Why fasten that upon her,
With a feasting in her honour?

Is it only its being brighter
Than the most are must delight her?
Is it opportunest
And flowers finds soonest?

Ask of her, the mighty mother:
Her reply puts this other
Question: What is Spring?—
Growth in every thing—

Flesh and fleece, fur and feather,
Grass and greenworld all together;
Star-eyed strawberry-breasted
Throstle above her nested

Cluster of bugle blue eggs thin
Forms and warms the life within;
And bird and blossom swell
In sod or sheath or shell.

All things rising, all things sizing
Mary sees, sympathising
With that world of good,
Nature’s motherhood.

Their magnifying of each its kind
With delight calls to mind
How she did in her stored
Magnify the Lord.

Well but there was more than this:
Spring’s universal bliss
Much, had much to say
To offering Mary May.

When drop-of-blood-and-foam-dapple
Bloom lights the orchard-apple
And thicket and thorp are merry
With silver-surfèd cherry

And azuring-over greybell makes
Wood banks and brakes wash wet like lakes
And magic cuckoocall
Caps, clears, and clinches all—

This ecstasy all through mothering earth
Tells Mary her mirth till Christ’s birth
To remember and exultation
In God who was her salvation.

UPDATE: Question: Do Catholics pray to Mary? Fr. Dwight answers.

  • http://jscafenette.com Manny

    When the word “magnify” finally hit me over the head, I finally realized the true importance of our Blessed Lady. And I was a cradle Catholic. Beautiful blog, and it’s always enjoyable to read Hopkins. Thanks.

  • http://tomperna.org Tom Perna

    Great post on the Blessed Mother! For the month of May on Mondays, I am writing on her as well on my blog. She is fundamental to Salvation History. Thanks for the post.


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