Monday, July 5, 2010


For all you Catholic readers out there...

I wrote a post last May titled Revelation, in which I related my experience in listening to a tape by Fr. Larry Richards, wherein he exhorted Catholics to remember that we aren't supposed to be going to church on Sundays to get something: we're supposed to be going to church on Sundays to give. It was a relief to hear this because one of my pet peeves with American Christianity is hearing people whine about how they don't "feel fed" by whatever church they're attending, whether Catholic or Protestant, as if any one church with any one pastor could ever be expected to shoulder the burden of nursing a bunch of people who are old enough to be feeding themselves.

In that post, I listed a number of ways that Christians can find the spiritual food they're hungering for, although in the bounteous ways of our merciful and practical God, who is always generous with His gifts and sometimes sneaky about the way He delivers them: even when we're there at church to give back to Him with our worship and praise, He gives us quite a feast with the liturgy of the Word and the Eucharist.

One of the ways I listed for spiritual food that we can consume for the good of our souls outside of Mass was through Magnificat, a monthly magazine that lists the daily Mass readings plus morning and evening prayer. But I just found out that there's so much more than that to this lovely little missal, the current issue of which is pictured above.

On Saturday evening's vigil Mass, Father told the congregation that some member of the parish had found himself with fifty copies of the July 2010 issue of Magnificat and that he'd brought them to the church for whoever wanted to pick one up. Meelyn picked up a copy for me and as I've used it over the past few days, I've come to realize how really nice Magnificat is.

First of all, it's more than just a missal -- a booklet that lists the daily/weekly Mass readings. The daily readings are there, along with the morning and evening prayer I mentioned before, but there's also a handy liturgical calendar on the first page that lets you know where we are in the liturgical year -- today, for instance, is the beginning of the fourteenth week in Ordinary time. There's also Night prayer, which comes in very handy for the insomniacs among us. You can also read about the Saint of the Day and reflect upon the Meditation of the Day (which goes along with the interconnected topic of the daily readings). There is some beautiful religious art in each issue, which brings me to my last point, which is that Magnificat is simply lovely to look at. Printed on high quality paper with a readable font, it's simply nice to have.

There are four ways to subscribe to Magnificat's hard copy version: You can do a six-month subscription, a one year, a two-year or a four-year. This might be a good time to point out that if you opted for the four-year subscription, you'd be able to read the entire Bible (minus the genealogical tables, which I'm not really sure anyone ever reads anyway, with all that begatting going on unto the tenth and lo, the twentieth generation) and have a head start on going through it all again.

But here are some alternate techie ways to get fed through prayer and the Word: Magnificat can also be launched as an app on your iPhone -- your daily prayers will come right up on your little screen for only $1.99 a month. Or you can subscribe to Magnificat online in either six-month or one year terms of service.

This is what I was talking about when I said in my Revelation post that there's just no excuse for any of us to have this lazy attitude of sitting in our high chairs with our mouths hanging open, waiting for some food to be shoveled in on a little spoon, or worse yet, offered to us in a bottle or a sippy cup. We need to see to our feeding through prayer, through reading our Bibles, through learning about Jesus through our faith by reading the Catechism or about the lives of the saints. There are so many ways available to us that it's just a terrible shame to hear about people leaving the Catholic church -- and incidentally, Jesus in the Eucharist, the cornerstone of our faith and the reason why -- because we think that a rock band playing up in the front of a different church is going to provide us with what we need. Good grief.

Magnificat is a particularly nice way to feed ourselves a good, satisfying helping of the Holy Spirit.

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