Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Fearless Fiat



The Scripture readings for Mass from the past few weeks have been shots in the heart. Snippets of each day are like teeny tiny arrows right in there.  They're the kind that I could shake off and ignore if I wanted.  Gradually the little pierce would heal and I'd forget about it.  Or I could feel the pierce, allow the arrow sink in, and open my heart just a bit more for His grace to permeate.  

The other day as I read the reading Peter and John's words in the face of their arrest shot in. 

"It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard."

They probably seemed like freak shows, right?  Street preaching and all?  But there they are. They're arrested and questioned and their super fancy defense strategy is "sorry, officer, we can't not speak." Is it impossible for me?  Or can I make excuses about needing to be diplomatic and approachable (read: silent)?  Not that I need to be waving a sign on the side of the highway but how often to I just speak about Jesus unafraid, unfiltered, unabsorbed with self because it is simply impossible for me not to speak?  Because I love Him so much that I can't contain it?  I could share of how the Lord has worked in my life, of the things I have seen and heard, but really, no one listens to a Jesus freak, right?  Do I let my fear of looking ridiculous or losing a follower or opening myself up to judgement and criticism silence the Gospel from ever reaching my lips?  Do I hide behind the (false #thingsJesusneversaid) idea that it is only our silent life's witness that matters? 


Yesterday's Psalm:
I announced Your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as You, O Lord, know.
Here I am, Lord; I come to do Your will.
Your justice I kept not hid within my heart;
Your faithfulness and Your salvation I have spoken of;
I have made no secret of Your kindness and Your truth
in the vast assembly.

So, ummm, yeah.  Again.  There's that insistence that speaking of our faith is part of the deal.  Can I pray this Psalm sincerely?  It's His will for us to praise Him and share Him out loud.  But how often do I restrain my lips and hide Him within my heart?  If we have something we love that has changed our lives, we share it.  If God has rocked our world with His faithfulness and salvation and kindness and truth, it only makes sense that we speak about it.  With the Holy Spirit's guidance giving us words appropriate for the moment, YES, but we allow our mouths to be opened to speak.  

And then, the Christian witness par excellence of Mary who from yesterday's Word gives us the model of the fiat:

May it be done to me according to Your word.

His Word.  His Word where grown men find it impossible to hide their joy and a King dares not restrain his lips from singing the praise of God to all the people.  May it be done to me, Lord, according to Your Word.  Her words in the Magnificat are an unreserved exclamation of the joy of what He has done in her.  Mary kept all the things given her in her heart and reflected on them but she didn't hide them.  It was her heart-treasured memories that gave the evangelists much of the story of her son that fills the pages of the Gospels!  May my soul be so filled with that same Spirit of joy and love that I can't help but share His work in the world.



3 comments:

  1. This was just what I needed to hear. I think also as Catholics, there tends to be a perception that being explicitly Christian in our speech is an Evangelical Protestant thing, and it's not! Since moving to the Bible Belt, I've come to appreciate people being unafraid and unashamed to bring up Jesus so naturally and wish "a blessed day" to others; I want to do the same.

    Also I've read that it's a myth that St Francis said "Preach the Gospel at all times, use words if necessary". While a good quote, I know I tend to use it as a cop out of actually saying something prudently.

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    1. Yes it is! The Franciscan sister who taught a class on the life of St. Francis back in college said that it wasn't something we have any record of St. Francis saying and it's used way too often as an excuse for silence. Our actions do preach the Gospel but so must our words. Christ commanded it! God, please help me to be a person who can speak in both word and action of what God has done for us.

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  2. I read those same lines over and over again yesterday....."It is impossible for us not to speak.."And Peter knew that prison was once again on the horizon and he would have 72 men judging him and staring him down. And still he spoke. Whew! This was a great post to think about today. Thank you for your thoughts!!

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