The Magnificat of Mary…
When did Mary sing this song of praise? She had hurried, as the Evangelist Luke reports to us, from Nazareth to a city in the highlands of Judea, in order to stay with her relative Elizabeth. When they met each other, Elizabeth shouted out: “… Who am I that the Mother of my Lord comes to me… blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.” (cf. Lk 1:39-45). As a response, Mary does not look at herself, but referring back to the chant of Hanna in the Old Testament (cf. 1Sam 2:1-10); she sings her hymn of praise. Mary has conceived God at the annunciation of the angel. Through her belief, she carries the blessedness of grace in herself, which is God himself. Through this a special position has come into being for her toward the One whom she has conceived. And she sings for Him. She has a new eye; she has a new heart that sees God very great, as the great lover. One, who gives life, Mary recognizes God, and she realizes that she is completely filled with Him.
Each one receives God to the extent that she/he gives room in her-/himself for the greatness of God, and becomes aware of one’s own truth. But Mary is not complacent because she has conceived and carried God, but she rejoices in God, her Savior.
In this encounter between the two women the works of God were sung, so quite different than human actions. This song of praise is a personal song, and it is at the same time universal and cosmic. Mary is the mouth of the daughter of Zion, of the whole humankind and the whole creation, who sees that God’s promise is fulfilled. In the first part, Mary thinks for that which God has worked in her, then she declares the reason for it and in a further section, she refers on to all people that which God has worked in her.
Mary, the Mother of the Lord who has visited Elizabeth, came also to Mother Clara, and she comes also to each one of us individually, and we speak with Elizabeth: “From where does this happen to me that the Mother of my Lord comes to me?” Mary gives us HIM on whom we wait, for whom we long, on whom our whole life is centered. Through Mary, we come to Christ.
She says to us: “Do whatever he tells you!” (Jon 2:5). With her we sing the Magnificat. Let us look at Mary’s song of praise now, in order to sense how Mother Clara Pfänder sang this song of praise in her life and concretized it.
How did Mother Clara sing this song and put it into practice?
Mother Clara’s life was – like the life of Mary – a song of praise of the greatness of the Lord. Since her childhood she sought for nothing other than HIM, whom she carried within herself. Her mother instilled in her a deep faith, and after her mother’s early death, she developed a special relationship with Mary. Her way, her vocation was to thank God, to praise und glorify Him for His love his Mercy. She understood herself as one beloved by God, one redeemed by God. In the Heart of Jesus she found the unspeakable realization of the mercy and the love of God (cf. Founding Constitution 53). She felt urged to praise the greatness and love of the Lord in her personal life and above all, through the Foundation of the Congregation.
Always she was eager to seek the glory of God in all things, both in prayer of praise and thanksgiving as well as in the works of love (cf. FC 1). Contemplation and action belong together. In the Founding Constitutions she says with the Psalmist: “I will praise the Lord at all times, His praise shall be ever on my lips” (FC 13).
Is it surprising that Mother M. Clara – next to adoration – puts in the first place the prayer of the hours for the Church? To pray with the words of the Church, in the Church, for the Church, this fills her heart with joy. In this she knows herself connected with the Angels and Saints who constantly sing his praise in God’s presence. - Let us think about the many prayers of thanks, of dedication…, she gave to us… until the prayer which we pray still every day by leaving the chapel/Church, namely to praise Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.
Deeply convinced of our vocation and mission, Mother Clara could sing: