I'm in a bit of a grumpy mood. There's the subject matter of the last post, which I've been discussing elsewhere, there's some general crabbiness, and to top it off we're about to head off for what will be a lengthy and complicated and, well, lengthy (yes, I know I already said that) choir practice tonight, to get ready for Palm Sunday and the Triduum.
Today is a feast day, of course--the Feast of the Annunciation.
When we think of Mary's role on this beautiful day, we think of her "yes" to God. The angel tells her God's plan, she raises one trifling little objection relating to her previous promise to God, the angel reassures her that God Himself will miraculously preserve her virginity and conceive the Child in her womb--and Mary says, "yes." Her "fiat," her "let it be done to me," is our model as Christians as to how to accept God's will for us, in all things, great and small.
But we really have to avoid the temptation to see this "fiat" as an isolated incident, a momentary action of grace in Mary's life. Mary's whole life prepared her for that moment, and Mary's whole life after that moment continued it: Mary always says "yes" to God. The angel called her "full of grace," and to me, that signifies just how true that constant "yes" really was.
We, too, are supposed to say "yes" to God, always. But it is a bit harder for us, who bear the stain of Original Sin. Our intellects are darkened, our emotions and appetites sometimes too powerful, our wills too weak. We get bogged down in the big picture, trying to figure out God's will, thinking that He always has big plans for our lives, and forgetting that sometimes He has tiny plans for our hours.
Plans that require a little cheerfulness when we're inclined to be grumpy, maybe. Plans that don't let us harshly dismiss our Internet-conversation sparring partners as misguided fools and intransigent blowhards (however temporarily satisfying that might be). Plans that require us to go to choir practice anyway, and do our best to set aside our selfish desire to stay home and re-read old Agatha Christie stories instead (reveling in her decided ability to describe human character in a few pithy sentences). Plans that are infinitesimally small--yet that still require a "Fiat!" as a response.
We're so much smaller in the ways of grace than our dear Mother. But she encourages us with the gentle patience of a mother, smiling at our efforts, and drawing us ever closer to her.
A blessed Feast Day to everyone!