Category Archives: From the Editor

A Return to Normalcy

A Return to Normalcy

By: Kierstin Richter, Editor

For nine long months, we’ve carried a weight that’s become heavier and heavier. We’ve waited in anticipation of when everything goes back to “normal.” Like Mary, as she carried her child, we’ve carried the weight of anticipation within us, unsure of what the next year would look like. For her, I’m sure she had her doubts. Honestly, I’m sure she was so scared. An unexpected pregnancy in a time without modern medical care when many women died in childbirth? In a time when you would be stoned for adultery, and you’re carrying a child who isn’t the biological son of the man you’re married to?

In addition to the thought of actual childbirth, Mary also had the thought of the new journey of motherhood in the next year, something she had never experienced, nor had she expected to come so quickly, I’m sure. What was her future going to look like?

Even when God tells you everything is going to be okay, we still have moments of fear – of apprehension and skepticism of the unknown. Even when we truly feel God has told us everything is going to be okay, and it’s all in His plan, we’re still human. We still have moments of doubt. But the dynamic nature of our faith is what makes it worth living.

Being scared doesn’t mean you don’t have faith. Being frightened of the future is a very human response. But the problem doesn’t come when you feel scared, it comes when you make rash decisions because of that fear. That’s not having faith.  The opposite of faith isn’t fear. It’s the need to be in control. Mary could have said no. Mary could have told God she wasn’t up for it, and she wanted a normal life for a normal girl. But if she wouldn’t have taken on this challenge, we wouldn’t have much of a nativity story, would we?

So what do we do in this anticipation of a new year? We take a deep breath, and we trust that this year has truly prepared us for anything. Whether things get easier or harder, it won’t matter, because regardless, we’ve built a faith that can carry us through anything. On the advent of this new liturgical year, we have a moment to rest. Anticipation can be exciting, but it can also be exhausting.

A lot has changed this year. We’ve found new ways of coping and new ways of living. We’ve lived in anticipation of a time where the world goes back to normal. But even for Mary, her long pregnancy may have been over, but that doesn’t mean things went back to normal. Her life changed substantially with this new baby, this new life.

But things didn’t go back to normal for Mary, did they? Her next year looked a whole lot different. And yeah, it was definitely harder, but wow, didn’t it make a heck of a story?

 

What’s Your “Fiat”?

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By: Kierstin Richter, Editor

What’s your fiat?  No, not the little Italian car.  The word “fiat” comes from the Latin “let it be done.”  Mary’s “fiat” was saying yes to God, or “let it be done to me” as it is written in Luke 1:38. To know your “fiat” is to know your “yes.” What are you saying yes to? What are you letting God do in your life?

We say no to things from fears of inadequacy, failure, or even other people’s opinions. Despite what God puts on our hearts, we still try to take control. Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, whom this issue is dedicated to, said yes to a heck of a lot. Who would say yes to bear a child as an unmarried woman in a time you could be stoned for such a situation? Who would say yes to watch your own child be tortured and crucified? Who would say yes to hold the lifeless body of your only child in your arms after you’ve seen him executed like a common criminal?

Your fiat won’t always be easy. Your fiat may be the most difficult thing you’ve ever done. But I can say it’s worth it. It’s worth every bit of pain because pain is what transforms us.  All good theology is what we do with our pain.

Being a Catholic can be painful. Our faith asks a lot of us. It asks us to trust, to give up control, to jump into the unknown with the knowing that even where we fall, we are still enveloped in the goodness of God’s grace – the grace that keeps us at peace even when our world is falling apart.

2020 is no doubt a year of growth. It’s been a year of waiting, uncertainty, unpredictability and immense animosity between a whole lot of people. But these are the times when our faith is tested. These are the days that build our hearts for something greater. Learning to wait. Learning to let go. Even learning to love the people who are sometimes very hard to love.

“To live without a faith,” Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati once said, “without a heritage to defend, without battling constantly for truth, is not to live, but to ‘get along.’ We must never just get along.”

To answer your “fiat” is to step into uncertainty with a sense of peace. It is what it means to be Catholic. It’s not to do everything right. It’s not to know all the answers. It’s to tread into unknown waters with the faith that you will not sink. And if you do, God’s hand is there to pull you up again.