A common expression in the Latin Scriptures is the word, “Fiat.” It is usually translated, “Let it be,” or some variation. On the surface, it appears a form of acquiescence, a reluctant acceptance. However, in reality, it is a channel of great power.
The first instance in Scripture is in the first chapter of Genesis. God spoke space, time, and the universe into existence with the command, “Let there be light.” Fiat lux.
Another fiat we are all familiar with is the affirmation of the Blessed Virgin given to the angel Gabriel at the Annunciation. “Let it be done to me according to your word.” Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum. And at that moment, God became Man.
A third fiat I offer for reflection is spoken by the priest during the Mass. “Let these gifts of bread and wine become for us the body and blood of you dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. The wording varies between Eucharistic prayers, but the understanding remains the same as the traditional Latin mass, Fiat ut nobis Corpus et Sanguis dilectíssimi Fílii tui Dómini nostri Jesu Christi. And common elements of bread and wine are transubstantiated into the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord.
Fiat, of course, is not a magic word. It will not reveal secrets or win a lottery for us. However, when spoken sincerely in accordance with the perfect will of God, it releases the power that created the universe and brings the natural world into submission to its Creator. That is the power of surrender.
How often in life do we find ourselves confounded and in need of a miracle? That miracle awaits us in the act of our will and the power of our speech. Fiat mihi secundum voluntatem tuam Domine. “Let it be done to me according to your will, O Lord.” We too often miss the miracle because we want it on our terms. We want God to submit to our will and purpose like a magician for hire. But when we, by act of will and word, offer ourselves in submission to God, we receive His miracle. Perhaps we desire deliverance but receive martyrdom instead. Perhaps we want physical healing but receive redemptive suffering instead.
We do not know the road God has for us, but submission means we trust him without reservation. We do know that the God who loves us so much that he suffered and died on a cross for us has chosen a road that leads us to salvation, fulfillment, and joy. Let us trust God enough to offer him our fiat, and watch the miracle happen.
One thought on “Three Fiats”
Father thank you for continuing to share your knowledge of scripture. I believe that your unique background in scripture and language as a protestant helps you to bring the word to Catholics in a new light. Please continue to unpack the word in a way that is open to all to understand. When I first read it I thought of the Doris Day song Que sera sera whatever will be will be.