History credits the Polish astronomer Copernicus with being the first to confidently announce that the earth is not the centre of the universe. Today this is widely accepted and our knowledge of the cosmos continues to grow.
Centuries before Copernicus Jesus taught that there was life beyond our limited personal and communal perceptions, and reminded us that a time will come when the earth on which we are so focussed will pass away.
But we are slow learners, often caught in our own plans and projects and restrained by our limited perspectives and are in need of a personal copernican revolution to shift our focus from ourselves to Christ.
Mary understood this and communicates this new era in her revolutionary canticle of praise announcing a God who is looking on the lowly with favour, scattering the proud, tipping the mighty from their thrones and lifting up the lowly, filling the hungry and sending the rich away empty.
This great prayer is a daily Gospel Canticle of the Church prayed at every Evening Prayer concluding with the life-giving reminder that the promise made to Abraham is for us his descendants in the family of faith in the one God.`
You might like to pray today Mary’s Canticle of Praise, the Magnificat, prayed across the world daily as a part of the Evening Prayer Liturgy of the Hours. Here is the commonly used form:
My soul glorifies the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.
He looks on his servant in her lowliness;
henceforth all ages will call me blessed.
The Almighty works marvels for me.
Holy his name.
His mercy is from age to age,
on those who fear him.
He puts forth his arm in strength
and scatters the proud-hearted.
He casts the mighty from their thrones
and raises the lowly.
He fills the starving with good things,
sends the rich away empty.
He protects Israel, his servant,
remembering his mercy,
the mercy promised to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his children for ever.
Glory be to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit
as it was in the beginning
is now, and ever shall be
world without end