What’s Your “Fiat”?


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.

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