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The mysteries of Magnificat

Fr. Aquinas Guilbeau, OP - published on 10/16/18

Three important graces shaped the recent Magnificat Day of Thanksgiving in Brooklyn.

On Saturday, October 6, the newly refurbished Kings Theater in Brooklyn was the setting for Magnificat’s Jubilee Day of Thanksgiving. Thousands gathered for a day of prayer, music, drama, and preaching to mark the monthly magazine’s 25th anniversary in France, and its 20th anniversary here in the United States. With the unique aesthetic that informs Magnificat’s dozen language editions, the day was drenched in beauty: beauty for the mind, beauty for the heart, and beauty for the senses.

Three graces were on plain display at the Day of Thanksgiving. They pervaded the entire event. The first was the grace of the Word. Magnificat exists to put the Word of God into people’s hands—literally. Accordingly, the Day of Thanksgiving was an extended meditation on God’s plan of salvation, and on the important moments recalled in Scripture when God announced and advanced his plan for us. Jesus Christ stands at the beginning, end, and center of the Father’s plan. As the Incarnate Word of the Father, Jesus reveals that God’s Word is first a Person before it is a text; the text exists to reveal and communicate the Person. Magnificat puts the text in our hands in order that we might carry Jesus in our minds and hearts. Centered on Scripture, the Day of Thanksgiving centered on Christ.

The second grace was the grace of beauty. Christians have long known that what is true and good is also beautiful. Similarly, what is authentically beautiful is also true and good. Magnificat trades in this truth. The beauty that encompasses its monthly presentation of the Word was reflected in the beauty that encompassed the attendees of the Day of Thanksgiving. Everything from the beauty of the theater to the beauty of the music to the beauty of the speeches impressed on everyone that something true and good was taking place. The beauty of the day inspired the right kind of awe that makes it easy for the Word to rest in those who hear him.

The third grace was that of the Church’s universality. The crowd in Brooklyn gathered to celebrate Magnificat reflected the diverse face the Church. People of various ages, backgrounds, and professions—and of diverse races and nationalities—sat side-by-side in common appreciation for a publication that, regardless of their particular circumstances, draws them into the common prayer of the Church. Together they thanked the one God, who in his only Son, through the mediation of the one Church, draws all nations and peoples, in all times and places, to himself. By putting the Scriptures into people’s hands, which places the Word in their minds and hearts, Magnificat plays its small part in transcending human distinctions and building up the Church one living stone at a time.

Aleteia congratulates Magnificat, whose publisher we share. With Magnificat, Aleteia endeavors to arrive at truth—namely, Truth Himself—by reveling in the good and beautiful.

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