Mary’s Magnificat remains the most complete encouragement to the essential virtues of Christian life. Poverty, humility, lowliness, fear of the Lord, servitude, etc. are so difficult for our pride to accept as the way to salvation. Mary not only exemplifies these qualities, she also bears witness to the satisfaction, peace, and joy that we may experience already in this life by living as true Christians. Mary doesn’t take on any of these attitudes because of a lack of self-confidence or out of self-hatred. She doesn’t take them on ostensibly as a form of penance for her own failures – she has none – or the failures of others. Mary’s magnificat is a hymn of wisdom that praises the proximity of God, and the conditions and attitudes that benefit fully from His nearness. Spiritually, Mary speaks as the daughter of an All-Powerful Divine Father. Her greatness is simply God reflected in the purity of her heart – she does not need any greatness of her own making.