MAGNIFICAT in Advent
Advent is a season of waiting and preparation before Christmas, set within our cultural context of too-muchness and frantic attempts at satisfying human desires with things that do not in the long run satisfy.
This powerful prayer, attributed to Mary the Mother of Jesus in the New Testament, has its origins in Hannah’s Prayers of Lament and Thanksgiving in I Samuel 1:9-20 and 2:1-10. The combination of both lament and thanksgiving used to acknowledge and convey our own suffering has great potential for opening us to the suffering of others and the jarring ways in which God’s Grace works against suffering.
Hannah’s name means grace!
She is not known for quiet obedience, but rather for audacious, daring prayer in the presence of male leaders and God. That prayer comes not from insecure rebellion, but rather as deep confidence in the promises of the Holy One to be with her and to look upon her life with blessing. She dares to hold God accountable according to her understanding that God means to be gracious to God’s people.
When we step back from Magnificat and notice the layers of lament and thanksgiving that
are its foundations, we begin to grasp how and why this prayer dares to invert what we see around us as normal. The mighty are called out to be brought down; the lowly are lifted up to dwell in grace and peace.
This is no magic process, rather an ancient well known spiritual practice where-by we realize that we cannot advocate very well for others what we do not grasp for ourselves. Love for love, compassion for compassion, and wisdom for wisdom.
Come away for a day (and a night, if you have the time), to enjoy the peace and beauty of the Priory Spirituality Center in Lacey, WA.
As the days grow shorter and darker, set aside some time for the light of faithful reflection and the deeply satisfying light and peace of a gathering of faithful people.
Bring your hopes and desires and share them with other people of faith, as we consider the richness of Mary’s Magnificat, its origins and the powerful resources it offers us for light
in the darkness.
You O God have done great things for me,
and holy is your Name.
Register by prior Friday $50 (Nov. 30th)
Bring a sack lunch, Bible and Journal, and something to represent lowliness, hunger, fear or insecurity. If there is room, you are welcome to stay at the Center.
Kathryn Rickert, (M. Div., Ph.D.), has explored various biblical, spiritual and
liturgical dimensions of lament — crying out to God in distress – through
teaching, church music and worship that keeps in mind a constructive role for lament in processes of reconciliation of both penitents and the broken-hearted. She teaches for the School of Theology and Ministry at Seattle University, the SALT (Scripture and Leadership) Program at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, in Kent, WA, and the Native Ministries Consortium of the Vancouver School of Theology.
A time for Reflection during Advent
Mary’s Prayer, the Magnificat,
…pouring out our feelings in the presence of the Holy One.” Sam 1:15
Saturday, December 8th 2012
9:15am – 3 pm
Priory Spirituality Center
500 College Street NE
Lacey, WA 98516-5339