05 Editorial - Mary’s Song

posted Jul 11, 2018, 11:07 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 11, 2018, 11:06 PM ]
This year is a very significant one for us, and for our life in the Apostolic Carmel Congregation, on completing 150 years of a journey of a small seed that was sown in France, which took roots in India, as well as in a few other countries. We would like to thank God the almighty for the special grace He bestowed on Mother Veronica to start our Order. What could be a better way of thanking the Lord, if not with the song of thanksgiving and praise – Mary's Magnificat. Mary's song is the perfect expression of our Praise and Thanks to God for all the Blessings that all of us have received in our congregation and in our lives until now.

It is not mere devotion to Mary, but Mother Veronica's identification with Mary in the important events and mysteries of her life that brings her very close to our Blessed Mother. It is no surprise, and not just a coincidence, that Mother Veronica, our beloved Foundress, chose July 16 – the day of our Lady of Mount Carmel – to found the Apostolic Carmel Congregation in Bayonne, France.

Mary, the Mother of God, lived in a small town of Nazareth, and she came from very humble surroundings. She did what all other women of her time did - the daily chores: she cooked, mended, drew water and went about the everyday concerns and activities of the most common life. She found God in and through those activities. She found no disconnect between prayer and activity, but rather found a union in the harmony and integration of her life and prayer.

This made her open to God's Presence in all things and circumstances that prepared her to conceive Him through the power of the Holy Spirit. Mary is filled with deep joy that has undoubtedly sprung from an encounter with God. She speaks for herself and for her community, the people of God throughout history, in her song of Praise and thanksgiving.

The "fiat" of Mary gave the necessary space for Christ to be born, and thus, she cooperated with the plan of God. Through her, God now has a human face. This prophetic call has come to a lowly peasant woman to partner God in the great work of redemption.

Our Lady serves as a model for us, as her faith led her to a total surrender and complete trust in God, without any conditions. She listened attentively to the Word of God, and did what God asked of her. In this way, she came to the fullness of life. The Scripture tells us, "She treasured all these things in her heart." This treasuring, this pondering is contemplative prayer. Sitting and being quiet in the presence of God, being open and receptive to God are the very attributes of contemplation she models for us.

Her contemplation and union with God led her to resolute action. As the Model of the Perfect Contemplative, she invites us to be mothers of God, for isn't God waiting to be born in us?

In the second part of the Magnificat, she moves to show the Action of God, that is, God's compassion to the oppressed through love for the neighbour. Mary goes on to show that our God is coming to build a just and an inclusive society. The lowly groups of people are defended by God, while the arrogant end up losers. Mary continues as a prophet of the poor and those who are marginalised.

We are asked to be Contemplatives as well as Active in today's world in the midst of our everyday and ordinary lives. We need to be constantly aware of God's presence within us and in the people we meet.

Sr M. Nirmalini AC is the Provincial Superior of the western province, Mumbai