The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

Book Review: Magnificat

Authored by Colleen Rainone in Issue #29.4 of The Sower

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Reflecting on Sr. Mary Michael’s article in this issue of The Sower, “The Spirituality of the Catechist”, I realized that many of us involved in catechesis identify with the “hallmarks of the catechist spirituality”.  However, we may also contend that we don’t have time to go to daily Mass or pray the Liturgy of the Hours, and some of our volunteer catechists may not even know what the Liturgy of the Hours is. Does that mean we are “disqualified” or “unqualified” as catechists? No, it just means we need to be more creative.

When I was Confirmation Coordinator of our parish, in the pre-children stage of my life, Mass and meditation were part of my daily routine. Now, married with six children ages 10 to 2, my time is no longer my own. My path to holiness comes through being a wife, mother, housekeeper, laundress, tutor, chauffer, referee, cook and catechist, not to mention a catechetical publications director. In this day and age we are all multi-tasking, but this busy activity of doing God’s will needs to flow from the “wellspring of worship”, as Sr. Michael noted.

The monthly publication Magnificat has been the creative resource that allows me to continue to pray weekday Mass, without being physically present in the pew. More than a missalette, Magnificat is also the busy layman’s Liturgy of the Hours, giving an abbreviated version of that which priests and religious use.

Rather than carrying multiple prayer books, I can carry the compact, lightweight booklet and have at my fingertips Prayers for the Morning and Evening; the Prayers and Readings of Daily Mass with accompanying meditation; Saint of the Day reflection, and monthly spiritual essays. Granted, I am not able to pray all the prayers everyday; however, as Magnificat is always in my purse, in my car or on my nightstand, I can more easily seize prayer moments with the Church. Whether waiting in the doctor’s office or outside my children’s school, or taking advantage of nap time and that quiet of the day before they rise or after they go to sleep, there are ample opportunities if I look for them and have my Magnificat near at hand. All I have to do is turn to the date of the day and begin. There is no flipping back and forth to different sections of the book, with the exception of the canticles that are repeated daily, which are conveniently located on the back flap.

While I may not be able to derive the spiritual benefit of receiving Communion at weekday Mass, I may be united to Christ in a spiritual communion and upon reflection of the Liturgy, and consequently united with the Church. The publishers of Magnificat have responded to the need of our multi-tasking, transient world by creating a wonderful resource for every Catholic who calls him or herself “busy”. The bad news for us “busy bees” is that we have lost our excuse for not praying, as we ought. The good news is that we will draw from that “wellspring of worship” light for the mind, soothing balm for the soul, and strength for the journey.

To learn more about Magnificat and their children’s missalette MagnifiKid, visit their website at

This article was originally printed on page 42 of issue 29.4 of the Sower.

This article is from The Sower and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of Maryvale Institute. Contact

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