“Yes.” “No.” These are some of the first words that a child learns – presumably from hearing them a lot. They are also some of the most important words in our lives.
In some ways they are words that act as walls or gates. The “yeses” allow things to happen – involve us in others’ plans – permit access to our life. Our “no’s” stop the same processes.
God is unceasing in His proposals to us. We are unfortunately very, very often guilty of ignoring Him. I remember clearly various instances as a child where I would simply ignore my mom or dad as they spoke to me to instruct or correct me. It must have infuriated them. But I see clearly now how very often I do that to my Creator, Redeemer, Best Friend and Beloved Savior.
The Trinity holds me in existence – they approach me with respect and even reverence with a constancy no human lover can equal – they speak to me words of kindness, correction, command and encouragement which are all for my good. But with frequency the Lord encounters a hard heart – a deaf ear – a man caught up in his own affairs and oblivious to the love being showered upon him.
Today we celebrate a woman – the Woman – who did not miss Him. She let Him approach her – she listened to what He said – and then the key: she always answered, “Yes.”
I miss the simplicity of it. I think I need to figure it all out – think how to fix all my mistakes (as if that could ever be possible) – to be in control – to get it all perfect. I have been struck this year how often my perfectionism (wanting it all to be just right and the way I think it needs to be) is one of the major obstacles to my being perfect like the Heavenly Father (see Mt 5:48).
No. Rather like the Blessed Virgin Mary – if I want to find MORE Mercy – MORE Love – MORE peace – MORE joy – what I need to do is not to somehow get it all perfect, but rather to listen and say, “Yes.” Easier said than done. True. But as the angel said to Mary, “…nothing will be impossible for God.”(Lk 1:37) It is true – and it is true for you!
Ask Blessed Mary to teach you to listen – to pray – and to say to Him time and again, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Lk 1:38) Here we have the simple path into the very Heart of God – a path open for every one of us.
Today, practice your “Yes” – take a few minutes to sit with Jesus. Ask Him to teach you to recognize His Presence and Voice in your life. And ask Him for the grace to say, “Yes” to Him always. Ask Big – He likes to answer big prayers.
-Fr Francis Mary Roaldi, CFR