Living Mary's Fiat

By Kristin Gottron

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word.” –Lk. 1:38

As far back as I can remember in my faith, I’ve always been amazed at Mary’s fiat—“let it be done”—her complete and total willingness to do the will of God, without counting the cost, without having to know every minute detail of God’s plan. She completely trusted in the Lord’s plan for her as given to her by His messenger. If I were in the same position, I am pretty sure I would have difficulty trusting so easily. I can picture myself asking for details, thinking through the possible costs of the decision, trying to decide whether it made sense. This is why I chose Mary for my Confirmation saint. I realized that I would need immense help in trusting the will of God throughout my life, and after considering her choice at the Annunciation, I knew (or, perhaps, she was the one who knew) that she was the one who could help me best with that.

Think about the enormity of the moment of the Annunciation: from the beginning of time, God had chosen this moment in history to send His Son into the world. God had this moment in mind when He created Mary, knowing that He would send a messenger to ask her to make this choice, to participate freely in the salvation of the world by bearing His only Son. All the angels of heaven were waiting for the response of a teenage girl. I can only imagine the rejoicing of all Creation when she replied with her “yes”—when Mary’s cooperation made way for the Incarnation, when God stepped into time and became Man, paving the way for redemption in His Passion and Resurrection.

As Mary was given the choice to conform to God’s plan for her role in the history of salvation, we too have the choice whether or not to follow God’s will for our lives when He asks something of us. Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman once wrote, “God has created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another…Somehow I am necessary for His purposes.” Like Bl. John Henry Newman, like Mary, God has created each of us to fulfill a part of His plan in which He knows that we will thrive and grow in holiness. He knows this because it is the calling for which He has made us. This plan may not—no, will definitely not—be easy. Look at where this fiat brought Mary—it brought her straight to the foot of the Cross. But it was there that she was able to participate in bringing Christ’s salvation to the world, walking and suffering with Him every step of the way. God’s plan for us will bring us our own crosses as well, but we can be confident that God’s love and grace will always be with us to help us along our paths of life.

May is the month that the Church especially dedicates to Mary. During this upcoming month, let us ask ourselves: in what areas of life are we least willing to give God this fiat? How are we struggling to trust in the love that God has for us? Let us beseech Our Lady this month to help us to trust God’s plan for our lives more fully, and to draw us ever closer to her Son.