Last night I had a spiritual “Aha!” moment. It was one of those times when so many things come together at once that it takes a while to let it all sink in. It is still sinking in, but I can safely say that it is a pivotal point in my spiritual journey. I have a fresh awareness of someone I have known all of my life. I heard, for the first time, a verse of Scripture that has been read to me all of my life. I don’t know why it took me so long to finally hear it with my heart and not just my ears.
I was watching The Journey Home television program on EWTN. The show interviews people that have converted or reverted to Catholicism and allows them to tell their stories. The guest was Marie Romine, an actress and former Presbyterian. In the midst of telling her story, she suddenly said, “Mary is a magnifying glass.” I slightly cocked my head like a confused dog and wondered for an instant, “What does she mean by that?” In the next moment, she quoted Luke1:46, “My soul doth magnify the Lord.” Then she said, “If you really want to know Jesus personally, look through Mary. She magnifies her Son.” Then, it hit me.
I suddenly realized that I had never heard that one, little verse explained so simply, so eloquently and so powerfully. All of the technical, apologetic, theological explanations about Mary that were in my head suddenly captured my heart and embraced it. Of course, I knew that Mary is all about Jesus, her Son. I knew why we Catholics honor her as we do. I knew how to argue the Protestant view and the Catholic view of Mary. I knew the purpose of praying the Rosary. Then Mary wrapped her arms around me, quieted my brain, and opened my heart to hers. After all these years, my head and my heart finally connected.
I looked through the magnifying glass of Mary’s heart and saw Jesus, nothing else. I was looking at The Master through the heart of the perfect disciple. It was like looking through pure glass, free of dirt, dust, defects or deformities. The glass magnified Jesus wherever it was aimed, and nothing could obstruct the view or distract from His beauty. This magnifying glass was a heart full of grace, and it brought new focus to my faith.
Every question that my heart had ever asked about Mary was answered by, “My soul doth magnify the Lord.” Every Catholic devotion, prayer and teaching about Mary could be summed up in her words. I realized that the heart of every disciple is destined to be like her grace-filled heart. Before John the Baptist, Peter, Paul, or any other disciple, Mary knew Jesus personally and loved Him perfectly. Her soul, like ours, was created to magnify the Lord, yet she has always fulfilled her purpose to this day. That is why, as we gaze through her soul’s magnifying glass, we can truly say,
Hail, Mary, full of grace!
The Lord is with you!
Blessed are you among women
And blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, mother of God,
Pray for us sinners,
Now, and at the hour of our death,
From now on, I will see Mary in a wondrous, new way.