January 01, 2008

The Leap of Faith

Today, I joined the Militia Immaculata, Saint Maximilian Kolbe's movement that "encourages total consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary as a means of spiritual renewal for individuals and society."

I will be entirely honest - I do not fully understand what it means to be consecrated in this way. I don't fully understand what it will mean to be an M.I and in what direction it will take my life. Is that important?

I don't think so. I don't think it's so important to fully understand, at least not yet. I have been hedging, and hemming, and hawing about this for quite some time. Yesterday, I decided to forge ahead with little time to prepare and little time to rethink myself. Not thinking things through, in this case, was likely the best decision I've ever made.

In The Lord of the Rings, it was Frodo's acceptance of the quest that lead to the triumph of good. When the great minds and great powers discussed the best course, one small voice piped up and said, "I will take it, though I do not know the way." Without that leap of faith, good could not have triumphed.

In today's Gospel reading, it was Mary's sudden acceptance, her fiat ("let it be done"), her "yes", that brought Christ into the world. Can you imagine what would become of us if she'd asked to "sleep on it"?

God is not most concerned with our understanding; He is most concerned with ourselves. There is a saying that if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for one day. If you teach him to fish, you feed him for a lifetime. That's true and admirable, but you must still feed him on that first day. Teaching him to fish while he starves to death does no good. We must be fed, even if we don't fully understand how we're being fed.

I don't need to understand electricity to use it. I don't need to understand how my food is grown to eat it. And that is exactly what this is about. Being fed, being handed things without fully knowing how they work or why I'm receiving them. That is the leap of faith - the fiat, the yes. Mary didn't ask how it would all work out. She didn't look at the angel and say, "that's great, but isn't that physically impossible?" She said, "yes".

We don't have to know how to grow the food. We just have to eat. We have to say "yes".

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