Mary’s Fiat: Saying Yes to God – Advent 2017


Mary talks about Our Lady’s Fiat to God, and her foundations and trust in Him. She reflects on the meaning of this and how we can seek inspiration from Our Lady to find our own fiat to the Lord in our everyday life. 

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Reflective Study Guide Questions

“Be it done unto me according to Thy Word.”

Luke 1:38

“Sometimes we know what we have to do but we lack the courage to do it. Let us learn from Mary how to make decisions trusting in the Lord.” 

Pope Francis
  • The first step to saying, “Yes” to God is through prayer, through having a relationship with God. We have to be aware of God’s presence in our lives to know how to respond to Him. How often do you talk to God? How often do you listen for Him to respond? What was the last decision that you brought to God for discernment?

  • Because Mary knew who God was, she had faith. She knew to trust and believe in Him. How can you practice having greater trust in God, little by little?

  • When God wants us to say, “Yes” to His will, He is inviting us to see our roles as divinely ordained. Think about how profoundly Mary’s, “Yes” changed her life… What is God asking you to do? What is He asking You to say, “Yes” to?

  • Mary Lenaburg says in this video that the only way to know God’s mission for our lives is to pray, have faith, and trust in God’s plan. Which one of those three aspects do you do practice well, and which one of those three aspects do you need to practice more?

Text: Mary’s Fiat: Saying Yes to God

Hi everybody. My name is Mary Lenaburg, and it’s an absolute joy and privilege to be with you today. Today we’re going to talk about Mary’s “Fiat,” her “Yes” to God, and how it’s a blueprint for our own lives to help us to say yes to God in whatever it is He’s asking of you. Before we begin, we’re going to bring our Lady, she’s right here, we’re going to bring her into our conversation with a prayer. We’re going to say the Hail Mary. Shall we do it together? 

Hail Mary

In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen. 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 our sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Fiat For Everyday

So, what I want to do with this talk is give you some practical ways that you can use in your everyday life to help you discern, figure out maybe what God’s asking of you, and how you can say yes to that without fear. So we’re going to take a look at Mary’s “Fiat,” at her “Yes,” as our blueprint for this. So let’s begin in the garden, shall we. The angel Gabriel appears to Mary, and Mary does not run away. This Mary, this one might get a little freaked out. As I was doing study for this, and preparing for this talk, I was struck several times by the fact that Mary, the Blessed Mother, did not run away, the fact that she remained calm, and the third thing, that she even recognized that an angel was present. And I was praying about this, and thinking about this, and reading the scriptures over and over again, and what I realized was the first step in today’s talk: How can we say yes to God?

Well, the first step is prayer, right. Mary already had a relationship with God. She was already in love with God. She was already talking to Him, and aware of His presence. She was born without Original Sin, and so there was nothing blocking her relationship with God. But even though she had no Original Sin, God did not force Himself upon her. She still had free will, just like you and I do. And she still had to choose to say yes. But even before her “Yes,” she was listening. She was talking to Him. She was in relationship with Him. She was in prayer with Him, so that when the angel Gabriel came into the garden, she was aware that the angel Gabriel was in the garden, because of her openness to His will in her life, because of God’s presence in her heart. There was nothing blocking that, and so when the angel appeared, she was unafraid. She knew he came from God, because she knew who God was. And she did that and knew that through prayer and relationship with Him.

So how do you say yes in your life? You start first with prayer. You start in that relationship with the Lord. You talk to Him. You discern His will in that relationship. What is He asking of you? Well, we’re not going to know what God’s asking of us unless we have a relationship with Him and we can hear His voice in our life, like Mary heard in the garden.


Because Mary knew who God was, she had faith. She knew she was made in love and for love by a God who was infinite. That word doesn’t even seem to contain the greatness and awesomeness of who God was, but this relationship that she had with God led to her faith in God. That’s the second step for us. In relationship, we learn to trust and believe in the other person. Because we’re in conversation with our Lord, then we learn to believe in Him, have faith in Him, trust Him. Because relationship, prayer, leads to faith, which leads to trust.


So here’s Mary in the garden, and the angel Gabriel tells her what’s going to happen, or actually asks her first the question. She says yes, and then she’s a little discerning. She asks a question. “How can this be?” Because she knew what the ramifications were in her time for being an unwed mother. She was betrothed to Joseph. She didn’t know what Joseph was going to do or was going to say. She had some practical concerns. She’s like “How can this be? I mean yes, I’m going to do it, but can you just maybe let me know how it’s all going to work out?” But she trusted Him, she had faith, because she had relationship, which leads to trust. She asked the question, Gabriel answered the question, and even though she didn’t know all the details at the time, she trusted that God was going to take care of her. She trusted that He was going to work it all out, and that everything would be okay. And she did that because she was in relationship with Him. She had faith in Him. She believed in who He said He was, because He had shown her who He was throughout her life. She had no reason to not believe, and this led to a deep abiding trust with our Lord.

So how can we imitate Our Lady? Well, it takes prayer. It takes faith. It takes trust. That’s what God is asking of us. He’s given us a perfect example in Our Lady. She still had to choose God. She was not forced by God to say yes. She still had the choice. We are never forced by God to say yes; we are always given the choice. When we prepare our hearts through prayer, it’s very important, that preparation, because we’re preparing ourselves for saying yes to a future that we don’t know all the details to. We’re not sure how it’s all going to work out. But it’s in that right relationship with God that the answers come, so we have to be talking to Him. We have to be listening to Him. Like Mary, in our ongoing relationship with God, in our ongoing love affair with God, that’s what sustains us and supports us in our daily efforts to answer His call. Because we are in right relationship, we have faith, we believe, therefore we listen, therefore we say yes, trusting that He’s going to work it all out. And He does every time. He doesn’t always do it the way we think He should do it, but He does work it out.

God is With Us

No matter what, one thing is for certain: God is with us. God was with Mary the whole way. He later appears to Joseph and says “This is happening.” And so Joseph, who was really questioning, because his betrothed had come to him and said “I’m pregnant with God’s child.” But Joseph, even in his human weakness, didn’t run away. He questioned, he wrestled, he grappled with it. But once the angel appeared to him, he had faith, and he trusted in God’s plan, and there was no longer any hesitation in his heart. Why? Because he too was in right relationship with Christ. He too was talking to Him, in prayer with Him, in discernment with Him. So he knew that when the angel appeared to him in the dream, he knew it was of God. And so he trusted in His plan.

In our life, when we say yes, God is most often inviting us to something that is already within our capacity. He’s inviting us to see our lives as sacred. He is inviting us to see our roles as divinely ordained. Think about how profoundly Mary’s “Yes” changed her life. She still had to do all the things of a mother. She still had to get on a donkey while pregnant and go to Bethlehem to even have the baby in a cave. But she did it, and she did it because she loved God, and she knew that God would get them there safely, and she trusted that He would work it all out.

What is God asking you to do? What is He asking you to say yes to? How is He stretching you this Advent season? Are you listening? Are you in prayer, in discernment, in right relationship with him? Are you being still, and listening for that still, small voice speaking directly to your heart? Are you caught up in what you think you can’t do, because there’s a lack of trust between you and God? If that’s the case, look to Mary, look to our Blessed Mother, look to the example of her “Yes,” and her through her “Yes” the ordinary became extraordinary. The inconsequential became sacred. Because that’s what He’s asking of you in your life. Each one of us has a mission that no other individual can do but us. And the only way we know what that mission is, is to pray, have faith, and trust in God’s plan for our lives. The only way we will ever accomplish that mission is to say yes to God every single day.

As Mother Theresa said, “When we say yes in the small things, then we are more prepared when the harder things come.” So say yes today, my friends. God is there waiting for you to enter into relationship with Him. He knows you, He loves you, He wants only the very best for you, for those you love, for those you care for as well. But in order to know who He is, we need to sit down and chat a while. We need to be in prayer. And by being in prayer, we learn who God is, and who we are in God. And then we learn to believe, believe in Him and all that He can do. And in turn we trust His plan for our lives, even though we have no idea how it’s all going to work out. It’s the grand adventure, isn’t it? So say yes, as Mary said yes, fully, freely, and completely. And see what great Adventure God has in store for you. Let’s end our time together today praying the prayer that our Lord taught us, shall we? The Our Father. Say it with me. 

Our Father

In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen. Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen. 

I pray that during this holy season of the Advent, you look to Mary’s “Yes,” to her “Fiat,” to be a blueprint to your own yes for what God has in store for you in your everyday life. God bless you my friends.

About Mary Lenaburg

Mary Lenaburg is a writer, speaker, wife and mother sharing her witness and testimony about God’s Redeeming love. After suffering a miscarriage, she gave birth to her son Jonathan in 1989. After another miscarriage, her daughter Courtney arrived August 1992. On September 27, 1992, while being baptized, Courtney had the first of many grand-mal seizures. Going from the church to the emergency room, Mary’s world changed forever. For the next twenty-two years Mary and her family took a spiritual journey that led them to Lourdes, France, numerous hospitals and specialists with their daughter and finally to home-based hospice. Courtney took her last breath this side of heaven on December 27, 2014, the feast of St. John the Beloved, while in her mother’s arms. She is now her parents and big brothers most powerful intercessor. Mary lives in Northern Virginia with her husband of 28 years and her grown son. She continues to embrace her father’s advice: Never quit, never give up, never lose your faith. It’s the one reason you walk this earth. For God just this time and place just for you, so make the most of it. Mary can be found on-line at