Monday, May 23, 2011


A word today about Magnificat, which has been my constant companion for many years. Magnificat is a handy little pocket-sized monthly magazine with the daily liturgy, an abbreviated form of Morning and Evening Prayer, two versions of Night Prayer, profiles of the saints, consistently gorgeous art work, a daily reflection, culled from far and wide, that I, for one, find invaluable, and much, much more.

Yesterday, I discovered to my surprise, that reflection was from me!

Here's a link to a series of lectures by Father Peter Cameron, O.P., the it must be said brilliant editor-in-chief.

At the behest of a mutual friend, got in touch with me awhile ago and has signed me on to do several Lenten reflections, Advent reflections, and now a series of reflections on Luke.

One of the best things about that assignment, so far, has been Andrew Matt, one of Fr. Cameron's editorial assitants (maybe the only one, I'm not sure). Andrew is one of these cradle Catholic, Catholic-educated insanely smart folks who will send you (or to be more accurate will send me, as I am constantly making huge, ignorant-convert faux pas) a whole piece on how to distinguish between Mary of Bethany, the Mary in Mary and Martha, Mary Magdalene, the Virgin Mary, Mary, the wife of Cleopas, etc. and is constantly urging me to purchase a volume of verse by some obscure German poet (Gertrud von le Fort, to be exact, who by all accounts was/is brilliant) ("Hymns to the Church is available in English – I implore you to ask your librarian to poke around on the Interlibrary loan thingy they have and find it for you – it’s there, for I got Fr. Peter to check her out and he’s used some of her poems in the Meditations of the Day. I think it was translated by a certain Margaret Chanler for Sheed and Ward, 1942. She’s a convert and is up there with Flannery and Co.").

Or  "Here’s another one to add to your list, if you haven’t read it yet: Charles Péguy’s book-length poem The Portal of the Mystery of Hope (Eerdmans, 1996)...He’s got a section in his long poem that treats the parable of the prodigal son that is enough to die for. I’m telling you, I practically well up whenever I talk about it. It’s stunning. If you read French, the original will make you swoon. The whole thing is a miracle. I could go on and on. The English translation is magnificent though, and so I’m bending your ear with my final plea about this poem because it is so moving, so Catholic, so much about the rough and tumble flesh and blood sacramentality of life itself. It’s the best poem on hope, ever."

The point being that, as usual, I think I am "doing" something, or working for someone else, and all the benefits and gifts seem to redound to me.

Thank you, Fr. Cameron, for your beautifully-selected reflections that have enriched my life and for your whole great magazine. And thank you as well for Andrew Matt!



  1. :) I was reading the reflection in Magnificat last night, and thought to myself -- hey, this sounds familiar for some reason -- and when I got to the end, lo and behold, there was your name. Congratulations!

  2. The Portal of the Mystery of Hope!!!!!!

  3. I noted the meditation as well and I thought I need to read your blog more now. I love Magnificat. My pastor based his homily on your meditation. God bless you!

  4. When I saw the meditation in Magnificat, I wondered if you knew about it. Obviously you do now!

  5. Heather,

    I absolutely love your blog. It's a new discovery and a very happy one.

    I'm a neurotic Catholic convert, a failed Christian (failing at being a Christian is my vocation), and -- here's the best part -- a recovering Pharisee.

    I also have a strong bent toward poetry and literature, which is another reason that I'm attracted to your work.

    I look forward to following your blog and sharing in the discussion. God bless!

    In Jesu XPI Passio,

  6. I love Andrew Matt's description of Peguy's The Portal of the Mystery of Hope. While reading the poem I was constantly amazed that something so beautiful could exist in writing. It is a miracle!

    And thank you Heather for all your great columns. You are a blessing in my life.

    Barb in NJ

  7. I have used Magnificat since we became Catholic in 2003. I loved finding your name at the end of the reflection on Sunday. Thanks for all your thoughtful writing.

  8. "Yesterday, I discovered to my surprise, that reflection was from ME"!

    A repetitive motif, it would seem.

  9. Oh Joseph, is that you again? So ANGRY!...

    Everyone else, thank you, thank you--this is really lovely to know your pastor used the reflection, Terry, and nothing tickles me more than a neurotic Catholic convert, so welcome aboard David.

    Magnificat has been such a constant and faithful companion--good to know many others feel the same...the kind words and support are much appreciated.

  10. So, can you pass on the info about the various Maries? I get confused too and I'm cradle!

  11. I'm an ex-lawyer

    my year of wandering



    With my EXPERT HELP, you, too, can contribute to the ongoing good of creation and write probing,

    No emoting, just observing...

  12. Anon 7:47, you are implying, apparently, that Heather is vain and self-promoting. Writers need to promote their work to earn a living. As for vanity, I believe it was Chesterton who said that vanity is a relatively benign vice compared to the deadly sin of pride. Just observing ...


  13. I thought it was about promoting Him.

  14. Hmmm ... one of the reasons that I frequent this site is that it so beautifully promotes Our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is the throbbing heart of the "Shirt of Flame" project, as far as I can observe. It is all for Him.

    Others might take away something different. To each his own.


  15. I'm an atheist, but I just like the way you write.

  16. Yay, Mary! That is just the way it should be!

  17. If even Heather King can have detractors, I don't feel so bad anymore ;)

    As for Magnificat, I think I may have to start subscribing--anything edited-in-chief by a Dominican has my vote :)

  18. And? Perhaps people WOULD like to buy my books. They would hardly be led to, or even know about them from my posts, in which, during the course of nine months, I've mentioned them maybe three times.

    You take joy, gratitude, a sense of fun, hard work, a love of writing, and excitement at the unfolding of the strange and beautiful little community that is forming here and try to twist that into something sinister?! I feel sorry for you.

  19. It appears that there is previously unreleased information about the popes and the 4th Secret of Mary’s Prophecy on these audios:

  20. Your writing on "The Presentation" moved me. I believe I now have an image of how to turn my son over to the care of God. Thank You Heather for your beautiful writing. Dave, sober working on shameless & free.

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