Our Lady Said “Yes!”

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Hail Mary

During this beautiful month of May, dedicated to Our Lady, it is fitting to consider the qualities of Our Lady’s character that we so love. Of the many attributes of Our Blessed Mother, one that shines out through all her virtues is her total openness to the will of God. For most of us, it’s not always easy to have the courage to say “yes” to God. One of the first words many babies learn to say is “NO,” and there is a reason for this inclination. When someone asks us to accept something—be it a task, or their help, or even a gift out of charity that we feel too proud to take—our natural reaction, as fallen human beings, is to reject it. We want to “find our own way.” Yet Mary knew that there was no way better than God’s. What is more astounding, she was not afraid to give Him her full and open “yes.”
Our Lady’s openness to God was a direct result of her trusting love in Him. For those of us who struggle with trusting as much as we long to love God, we must keep in mind what this love of Our Blessed Mother meant: that she knew she was making herself susceptible to pain and suffering in following His way. As C.S. Lewis noted in his work “The Four Loves”, love involves becoming vulnerable. From the Latin root, “vulnus, vulneris,” vulnerable means, literally, “wound.” The truth is: love can hurt! Indeed, Our Lady’s loving Fiat led her, ultimately, to the cross of her Son.
But Our Blessed Mother did not let the thought of losing her own temporary joys sway her choice: she was not afraid to trust in God, in spite of the real possibility for sufferings. Fixing her mind on the reality of God’s beautiful plan for her life, and the life of the Messiah to be brought into the world by her willing consent, Our Lady was free to surrender herself wholly to God in a profoundly courageous and loving way. Without understanding what was to come, yet without doubting the mysterious movement of God’s plan for her in her life, Mary opened herself to Him in humility and love. With all the fears that must have pressed her, she took the graces God offered and chose the way that God placed before her. Unlike so many of God’s children who tell God “maybe, someday,” or even “no,” Our Lady stands as a bright and shining example of the purest and strongest love of God, as she expressed this love in her deep and yet simple response that may be summed up in one word of three letters: “Yes!”

Marissa Standage

Marissa Standage

Marissa Standage is simultaneously studying at Holy Apostles College and Seminary and Angelicum Academy to earn her bachelor's degree in philosophy and theology, and also loves her teaching post at Highlands Latin School of Pasadena. As the oldest of six, Marissa was home schooled right through high school, and has enjoyed a deep love for the Catholic faith, family, and education based on Socratic discussion. Between her college work and teaching, her favorite past-times include spending time with her family and friends, writing epic fantasy stories, reading, baking sourdough bread (and all kinds of other sourdough goodies from chocolate cake to crackers), and knitting socks. In the midst of this full and wonderful life, she is striving to discern God's plan for her in this world, and to cultivate the virtues in the daily opportunities to grow in His love.

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1 thought on “Our Lady Said “Yes!””

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    While meditating on the significance of Mary’s “yes” at Christmas once these thought came to me.

    We should recall the birth of Christ was a really very personal thing for one young woman as well as the amazing singular moment in time which changed the course of history for mankind’s existence.

    This awesome moment came about as a result of the decision that a young woman made nine months earlier when asked if the Spirit of the Most High God could be allowed to come into her very soul and body in order to bring salvation to suffering humanity. Frightened by the very presence of the Spirit of God to which she had dedicated her life there before her, yet certain of her desire to please her Lord, she humbly surrendered herself to His personal plan for her and His universal plan for mankind. That decision, that surrender and that act of faith formed the foundation for what we proudly cherish as Christianity today.

    Knowing this we need to view the joy of Christmas not only for God’s great gift of His redeeming Son but also the opportunity to thank Mary for her most gracious and humble offering of total personal submission to the will of God for the benefit of all mankind. The shouts and praise hailed to all the kings of this world for their triumphs over the centuries are mere whispers compared to Mary’s gentle but earthshaking voice that night when she softly answered “Yes” to God and said “be it done unto me according to your Will”.

    So, with this perspective, whether we realize it or not we can and do in fact celebrate Christmas every time we devotedly and faithfully say Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary mother of God pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

    Peace to All Mary’s Children

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