by Sr Julie Myers, OSF
Lent summons us to engage with God on a journey that leads us to embrace our faith on a deeper level. I believe this journey also calls us to embrace our own selves, and the situations we find ourselves in, with an effort of understanding, acceptance and love.
It is not a misfortune that we are where we are at this time in our lives—it’s a blessing! This place we find ourselves is exactly where we need to be in order to grow into the next, deeper place. Where we live, what we do for a living, the people that surround us—it’s all part of the journey we walk. But, have I made God part of that journey?
Over these past four weeks of Lent, during my time of prayer and meditation, I’ve been somewhat distracted and more so attracted to Mary’s fiat—her “Yes” to God. The word “fiat” means an official decree or giving sanction to something. In Latin it means “let there be” or “let it happen/exist.” This simple three-letter word changed not only Mary’s life but the life of all humanity. Why is that so?
In reading and re-reading this story from Luke’s gospel, I was struck by the fact that Mary didn’t just fall on her knees and give a blinded “Yes” response. The lines of this story tell us that Mary and Gabriel engaged in conversation about this bizarre request of God. It leads us to believe that she asked clarifying questions and interjected humbling responses.
So, in praying with this scripture, I started to focus on one simple word: “Yes.” It’s only three letters and phonetically easy to pronounce. It starts with the letter “Y” and summons the question “why.” Yet, in its simplicity, it packs power, potential, and possibility! Most people do not say “Yes” without first asking a few “why” questions, right?
For me the letter “Y” is in itself a reflection of the path we walk. There are, and always will be, situations on life’s journey when we come to that “Y-split,” calling for a choice to go left or to go right, to choose this or to choose that, to say no or to say yes. This “Y-split” hopefully serves as a sign to stop and ask the thoughtful questions before plunging ahead in an unthought-out response, to first ponder the deeper meaning of what our eventual Yes will require of us, and to draw us into prayerful conversation with God to better understand how we are highly favored and chosen.
Life’s journey naturally holds different paths and various choices for each of us. May the “Y-split” of every path you face give you cause to stop and ask the “why” of it, invite you into thoughtful, prayerful conversations with God, and stretch you to proclaim your “Yes” response, like Mary, believing that “nothing is impossible with God.”
How do you bring the events of your journey into conversation with God? We have a commenting system attached below our blog post and would love to hear from you!
Quite a profound essay here, Jules. Well done. Gave me much to ponder when I see a
Sr. Julie, thank you for this wonderful reflection . Today in my own reading this morning I reflected on God’s love for me no matter what happens in my life each day. I look at my own failures and faults and get frustrated because it seems I try my best asking God for strength to get through each day, and the “why” always comes up when it doesn’t go the way I had hoped, yet, there is our Loving God who is ever at my side and in HIS time His will is fulfilled. During this Lent I keep being… Read more »
Thanks, Sister Julie, this came at the right moment for me and offered a keen insight into the y of every yes. I appreciate your thoughtful reflections.
Thanks for your comment Shannon! I do write because I trust that God will speak through my words to the hearts of those who need the message–it’s God’s message!!