Recently, I was asked by a wife of a deacon in another Diocese to conduct a retreat for women in her area. When I agreed, I asked if she had a topic for the day. She said, “Saying ‘Yes’: Finding Your Unique Gifts and Purpose in Everyday Life.”

Honestly, when I read that topic, it made me pause to think and to pray. I said to myself, “How am I supposed to present that? Where do you start?” I looked at the title and prayed some more. I remembered a wise person who once said that the way you eat an elephant is one bite at a time. So, I began my reflection with the word, “Yes.”

In Scripture, we are given a cloud of witnesses who said “Yes!” to God in the midst of some ludicrous elements. Remember Noah said yes to God to build a large boat with no rudder or sail in a landlocked nation. Remember Abraham was told to sacrifice his son; the child of a promise. A young shepherd named David was to fight a seasoned soldier called Goliath with no armor or shield, and a young woman was to become a mother through the power of the Holy Spirit.

As I reflected on Mary’s particular yes to God, I came across a website that described “FIAT Spirituality.”1 Upon reading it, I thought, “What a great insight! I think I’ll share!”

First, some of you might not be aware of what “fiat” actually means. At the moment of the Annunciation, the angel Gabriel appears to Mary and announces to her that she is going to be the mother of Jesus. Her response was, “Be it done to me according to your will.” This was translated into Latin as fiat, which quite simply means, “yes.”

This “yes” as shown by Mary is a full and openhearted response to God’s plan for the redemption of mankind. In short, it is acknowledging that God is the sovereign ruler of not only the universe but also the king of one’s own heart. Or, looking at it another way, it is a personal response to God and the acknowledgment that he loves me!

As Father Walter Dziordz, MC, says on this website, “Her ‘yes’ is an invitation for us to also trust in God and to experience God in deeper ways. Her ‘yes’ is an act of mercy, not only because by giving birth to Christ she helped secure a means of our salvation, but also through her example, we learn to draw closer to God.”

When we look to Mary, we see a woman who pondered every circumstance of life. She teaches us how to live as spiritual adults. She teaches us “how to walk the life of the spirit. She is our model, par excellence, of love, trust and service.”

For the remaining days of the month of May, ponder not only on Mary’s “yes”’ to God, but how you have said “yes.” Within these moments, we find our true purpose in life!

Fiat! Yes! Give thanks to God!

By Sister Geralyn Schmidt, SCC, Special to The Witness