“Fiat” — “Let It Be Done…”
Tomorrow, March 25, is the Feast of the Annunciation. As all creation began with the Creator’s words “Fiat lux,” (“Let there be light”), so also the entire new creation began through a word: Mary’s “fiat” in response to the angel Gabriel, when she said: “Let it be done unto me according to thy word.” And the consequences of her “fiat” have unfolded to this day, and will unfold
By Robert Moynihan, reporting from Rome
Special alert: Our Marian dialogue, to be held tomorrow, Thursday, March 25, in Rome, will be available on the internet via live streaming video, worldwide, for free. For background on the event, see this article: https://www.zenit.org/article-28508?l=english. To access the live streaming, go to our website, or use this direct link: https://insidethevatican.com/conference-live-streaming.htm.)
Special note to all readers: In a few days, we will be publishing an expanded special “commemorative” or “keepsake” edition of Inside the Vatican magazine for April, 2010.
The issue, still in preparation, will commemorate the 5th anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II (April 2, 2005) and the 5th anniversary of the election of Pope Benedict XVI (April 19, 2005).
We are seeking donor support for this special, expanded edition. We will list the names of all those who support this edition — or the names of those in whose name a donation is given, as the donor prefers — on a special page in the magazine itself.
The page will say: “In gratitude for the life and work of Pope John Paul II on the 5th anniversary of his death, and in spiritual communion with and thanksgiving for our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI on the 5th anniversary of his election to the See of Peter, we offer our prayers that God grant repose to the soul of our beloved Pope John Paul II, and that He continue to grant a spirit of wisdom, joy, and unswerving faith to our present Holy Father, Pope Benedict, as he continues on the difficult pilgrimage of leading the Church and of bearing witness to Christ in our time,” followed by the names of all donors.
There is no minimum donation amount; every donor will be named.
If you or your group would like to support our special issue, and be included in it, please email [email protected]. –The Editor
ROME, Wednesday, March, 2010 — Today in Rome I received the following email:
Mr. Robert Moynihan
Founder and Editor of Inside the Vatican
Dear Mr. Moynihan:
This is to tell you that the Marian Cenacles in this area are praying for the success of the Marian conference you have organized to study the Fifth Marian Dogma of Mary the Co-Redemptrix. We are asking the Holy Spirit, the Spouse of our Blessed Mother, to fill the hearts and the minds of the participants, so that they may be able to make a strong recommendation to the Holy Father and the CDF for the declaration of this dogma, which is needed for the Triumph of the Twin Hearts and the issue to the Era of Peace and Glory. Please accept our gratitude for convoking this conference of Marian scholars. May God abundantly bless you and guide you.
Sincerely yours in Jesus and Mary,
Fr. John B. Wang
Missoula, Montana, USA
Why a Marian Dialogue?
It is true that tomorrow, on the Feast of the Annunciation, here in Rome, at #141 via Borgo Pio, under the shadow of the Vatican’s walls, in a Russian icon shop, we will hold a small round-table discussion of the role of Mary in salvation history, and of whether it might be opportune for the Church now to consider a solemn definition of aspects of that role under the titles of “Co-Redemptrix,” “Mediatrix of All Graces” and “Advocate.”
I am aware, of course, that many think the time is not opportune, for ecumenical and other weighty reasons.
And I acknowledge that these many may be right in their judgment.
But it is precisely because a few think the time is opportune, though many think it is not, that I felt it was fitting to continue a conversation on this issue — to dialogue on this matter in the spirit, as it were, of the Second Vatican Council, which called for a discussion of many contested and controversial matters on which opinions differed, precisely in order to come to a deeper and clearer and wiser judgment on these matters. (The dialogue will be able to be viewed live, worldwide, via live, free streaming video, at the following link: https://insidethevatican.com/conference-live-streaming.htm)
I felt especially moved to invite theologians to participate in this dialogue because of a truth that Scripture bears witness to, a truth which has always seemed to me to be of fundamental importance for understanding reality, and for understanding the final end of reality.
I refer to the two great “Fiats” in Scripture.
I mean, firstly, the first utterance at the beginning of all things: the “Fiat lux” (“Let there be light”) spoken by God the Creator spoke before the dawn of time and space.
And I mean, secondly, the decisive words spoken by Mary at the moment of the Annunciation, “Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum” (“Let it be done unto me according to thy word”) after the angel Gabriel announced to Mary 2,010 years ago that the Spirit of the Most High would overshadow her, and cause her to bear a son.
The occasion we commemorate tomorrow is thus the beginning of the Incarnation, the moment in time and history when the eternal God took on flesh — through Mary, the chosen vessel, the flower of the people of Israel, the daughter of Zion.
The Council’s Teaching
The Second Vatican Council (Lumen Gentium [“Light of the Nations”], Par. 61-62), said:
“… in suffering with Him as He died on the cross, she (Mary) cooperated in the work of the Savior, in an altogether singular way, by obedience, faith, hope, and burning love, to restore supernatural life to souls. As a result she is our Mother in the order of grace.
“This motherhood of Mary in the economy of grace lasts without interruption, from the consent which she gave in faith at the Annunciation, and which she unhesitatingly bore with under the cross, even to the perpetual consummation of all the elect. For after being assumed into heaven, she has not put aside this saving function, but by her manifold intercession, she continues to win the gifts of eternal salvation for us.
“By her motherly love, she takes care of the brothers and sisters of her Son who are still in pilgrimage and in dangers and difficulties, until they be led through to the happy fatherland.
“For this reason, the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adiutrix, and Mediatrix. This however it to be so understood that it takes nothing away, or adds nothing to the dignity and efficacy of Christ the one Mediator. For no creature can ever be put on the same level with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer….”
At a time when the Church is deeply troubled by the sins of many of her members and ministers, and is under attack from many who wish to see the Church diminished or dissolved, recourse to Mary seems in keeping with this conciliar teaching.
Second special note: Three years ago, we participated in a concert in Rome (on March 29, 2007) in which a Russian choir and orchestra, flying in from Moscow, performed a new version of The Passion According to St. Matthew composed a few months before by the young Russian Orthodox bishop (now archbishop and “foreign minister” of the Russian Orthodox Church, Hilarion Alfeyev).
That moving concert, in which one or two of the exhausted women singers fainted on stage and had to be carried off, was broadcast live worldwide via a Vatican Television Center feed by EWTN.
No DVD or CD was ever made of that concert — until a few days ago. After nearly three years, we have finally produced the DVD and CD of that historic concert, and they aqre now available for sale.
I believe the sound of this music, and the sight of the performance, especially duing Holy Week, when we recall Christ’s Passion, will bring tears to your eyes.
The DVD and CD of this historic concert are now available on at website at the following link: https://insidethevatican.com/products/concerts-dvd-cd.htm