And All Will Call Me Blessed
As I was offering a reflection on Fr. Solanus and his love for the Blessed Mother, I came across a fact that at first caused a chuckle, but soon became an inspiration.
Part of the reflection zeroed in Fr. Solanus’ daily praying the Magnificat. The Magnificat is found in Luke’s Gospel as a prayer of praise and thanks to God from Mary’s lips when she meets up with her cousin Elizabeth. Mary is flooded with the realization that God has done and is doing amazing things through her.
As part of his daily breviary, Fr. Solanus would pray these exact words. He would recite his gratitude for all that God was doing. He would praise God in awe of His kindness and fidelity to humans. He would be reminded that God has a way of favoring the less powerful and making those who think they have it all together uncomfortable.
There was one line that Mary said and Fr. Solanus repeated that made me come to a complete stop. “He looks on his servant in her/his lowliness; henceforth all ages will call me blessed.”
As so many people know, on Thursday, May 4th, we heard the great news that Fr. Solanus is going to be beatified. When a holy person is beatified they receive the title “blessed” in front of their name. It struck me, as I read that verse of the Magnificat, that indeed God was doing to Solanus exactly what God had done in Mary…raising up the lowly to be honorably remembered as “blessed.”
What has stuck with me is that this great elevation in holiness is ALL God’s doing. The miracle and the decree are all by the power of God for all of us to grow in our faith and take that leap into God’s open arms. God didn’t raise Mary or Solanus to the level of blessed for the title alone. They are raised by God’s power of love for each one of us to let go of what holds us back from being united to God.
Solanus and Mary point to the attitude of lowliness or humility. They give us the direction, but essentially it is God’s power that raises them, just like it was God’s power that raised Jesus in the Resurrection. God’s love is all about raising up. When we see God’s power raising others up, we are having a glimpse of God’s presence in our midst. Fr. Solanus’ beatification is truly a sign of God’s presence in our midst. Alleluia!
by Sally McCuen