Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving: Living the Magnificat; a Eucharistic Life

"My Soul Glorifies the Lord."
Note the Eucharist behind Mary.
"Gratitude is an act of humility: it acknowledges that what it has does not belong to it, but is gratuitously given….” Blessed James Alberione 

The Magnificat is the ultimate song of humility and thanksgiving. Alberione would often say, “Everything is from God; everything leads us to the Magnificat.” This year we sang a year full of Magnificats during the centenary celebrations of the Daughters of St. Paul. The opening of the Pauline Family centenary in 2014 began a continuous Magnificat as each community and institute of the Pauline Family in turn celebrates 100 years. The Pauline Cooperators will celebrate in 2017. Magnificat! 

We glorify the Lord who has looked on his humble Pauline servants in his mercy. This coming year of Mercy will also be a year of Magnificat, beginning on a feast day of Mary, the Immaculate Conception. Paulines join the Church in this extraordinary Jubilee by telling the Gospel of Mercy through the means of communication, in our witness, and through our prayers. At the opening of the Daughters of St. Paul centenary the sister's Superior General expressed thanksgiving in a letter written in the style of Alberione and Mary. Sr. Anna Maria Parenzan recalls our littleness and poverty and then moves into a heartfelt Magnificat. 
“Our Centenary offers us the opportunity to celebrate the memory of the marvels the Lord continues to work through our poverty and littleness. Contemplating the international and universal face of our Congregation, we see how much the Pauline charism has been enriched by the contribution of such a diversity of cultures! We note the continual developments in the field of technology, which give an always new face to our mission and which challenge us to always start afresh, with the faith that marked our beginnings. We think of the strength and courage of [Paulines]: especially those who live in perilous socio-political situations and those who dedicate themselves without reserve to the Lord through illness and advancing age, transforming themselves into ‘living Gospels.’”
She concludes her letter by mentioning the great gift of the Pauline Cooperators.
“One of the signs of the future among us is a more vibrant awareness of the role of the Pauline laity. We are coming to understand what the Founder underscored in 1958: “Don’t you think we need to leave behind us persons who will continue the apostolate? By yourselves, you work too hard. I hope you will strive a little harder to find [other] apostles.” (1) 
 On the fiftieth anniversary of the foundation of the Pauline Family Blessed Alberione said:
"Live the Pauline Life in Habitual Joy."

" …The date August 20, 1914 is remembered in all our Houses by means of solemn events, [Eucharistic] expositions, inaugurations, etc. But above all [it is commemorated] through the preparation and holding of days of prayer marked by thanksgiving, praise of God and proposals for the Pauline life and apostolate. Our fiftieth anniversary! We can compare it to the beginning of a discourse; a path that has been pointed out and can now be securely followed. The tracks were established in the Constitutions and put to the test and consolidated through experience. Our journey in time will be happy if the Institute as a whole and the individual members of it keep to those tracks with humility and faith in Jesus Master, Way, Truth and Life, under the protection of Mary, Queen of Apostles, and following the example of St. Paul, who used technical instruments more than any of the other apostles, that is: the letters which he associated to his words. To fully live the [Pauline] life in habitual joy, is a foretaste of eternal joy!" 
"The life of each of us, and the life of the whole Institute, is an ongoing story of grace upon grace…for sanctification and spirituality in Christ; an apostolate suited to the needs of the times, and always more shining vistas of heaven…. A reminder to everyone: the works of God are performed by people of God." (2)
Eucharistio is a Greek verb used to mean to thank, to give thanks, to be thankful, to be grateful. St. Paul in Colossians 3:17 writes, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” 

Let us live a Eucharistic life of Magnificat. 
"An ongoing story of grace upon grace."


(1) Sr. Anna Maria Parenzan Rome, 5 February 2015 Opening of the FSP Centenary Year.
(2) Homily, Cf. San Paolo, n. 6, July-August1964, in CISP, p. 207, 210

Photo Credit Alberione and Paul:

Sr. Margaret Kerry, FSP, celebrates 40 years of life and mission as a Daughter of St. Paul. With a Masters from Boston College School of Theology & Ministry, she gives presentations on the vocation and mission of the laity, media literacy, and evangelization. She directed the Association of Pauline Cooperators for 15 years and was creative editor of The Pauline Cooperator magazine. An author (St. Anthony of Padua: Fire & Light; Strength in Darkness: John of the Cross), Sr. Margaret is working on a young adult book. You can reach her at

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