As I mentioned in the post below this one, today is the great Feast of the Annunciation of Our Lord, when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to tell her that she would be the mother of Our Savior. Mary's "Yes!" to God has been the subject of many reflections and wise meditations; alas, it has also sometimes been something more like a hammer used as a weapon against each other.
Mary, of course, was the one merely human being who was, from the moment of her Immaculate Conception, perfectly attuned to God's will. When the angel voiced his great message, Mary's one question, "How can this be since I do not know man?" must be understood in that context: she, who already perfectly understood God's will of pledged and perpetual virginity for her, was asking how this new aspect of God's plan would accord with what she had already perfectly discerned. I sometimes think this point gets missed, a little; unconsciously, we think of Mary as like ourselves, saying, perhaps, "Oh, wait--I thought God wanted me to live a life of virginity. Okay, so He has something else in mind?" That's not it at all: Mary knew as we with our clouded intellects and imperfectly attuned wills can't possibly know what God had already revealed about His plan for her--and as that part which she knew about was perpetual virginity, she was asking the angel, "How will this new part of God's plan for me include the part I already know about?" She asked the question trusting that the angel's answer would make sense of it all--as it did; reassured as to God's plan of virginity being part of this new plan, Mary's "Fiat!" was swift and joyful.
We, unfortunately, as I said, having intellects darkened by original sin, emotions and passions not perfectly subordinated to our wills, and wills themselves that are inclined toward weak vacillations, do not always perceive God's will in our lives as clearly and distinctly as Our Lady did. Sometimes we are completely, peacefully convinced that He has told us exactly what He wants, and we begin to act, only to discover that we are muddling disastrously though something that we ourselves wanted strongly enough to convince ourselves that He was calling us, when in fact we were only hearing the echoes of our own desires. The opposite can be true, too--we can take action hesitantly, uncertainly, doubting ourselves and what we are doing, only to find that we are indeed doing His will, and are being abundantly blessed for it.
Since it is so difficult, so fraught with peril, for us to determine God's will in our own lives, is it not the height of hubris to think we can tell God's will for someone else? I speak here not of the general duty every Christian has to follow God's laws, to listen to His Church, and to form our consciences in accordance with His teachings and commands; I am speaking here of specific and individual calls to--well, to specific individuals--which we can't really determine from the outside. Yet we are so good at pretending, even to ourselves, that we know with no doubt whatsoever what God wants someone else to do, even if we insist that we don't know what He wants us to do.
Are people who use NFP doing God's will? Are providentialists and quiverfulls? Are homeschoolers doing God's will? Catholic schoolers? Public schoolers? Are stay-at-home moms doing God's will? Moms who work outside the home? Men who are self-employed? Men who work for huge corporations? Men who travel on business, or men who never do?
Are bloggers doing God's will? Non-blogging Facebook posters? Twitterers? Authors of deeply scholarly theological books that everyone pretends to have read but almost no one actually has? Authors of popular theology books of the sort that are displayed like coffee-table credentials in some Catholic homes?
Are Extraordinary Form Mass attendees doing God's will? Are Novus Ordo Mass attendees doing God's will? Are male altar servers doing God's will--and are female ones? Are lay Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion doing God's will? Are permanent deacons who are married and who don't think they're excused from paying the marriage debt to their wives by virtue of ordination doing God's will?
Are we, when we rile each other up about these and dozens of other things, doing God's will?
If we are very devout, very much in pursuit of holiness, very humble and very wise, we may sometimes have a tiny fraction of Mary's certainty that we might just maybe be doing God's will in our own lives. It is impossible for us to know with even that tiny fraction of certainty if anyone else is. And using that phrase, "But you're just not saying "yes!" to God!" as we try to convince others to do what we do or join some cause or apostolate or get involved with some political party or take upon ourselves some extra work or duty outside of our vocation's requirements is trying to use Mary's "Fiat!" as a hammer, to beat other people into submission not to God's will, but to our own.