Mary's "Yes" and ours

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

…she was of all creatures the most utterly submissive to God. Her reply to the angel when she said simply: “Be it done to me according to your word” contained all the mystical theology of our ancestors. Everything was reduced, as it is today, to the complete and utter self-abandonment of the soul to God’s Will under whatever form it was manifested.

This beautiful and lofty disposition of Mary's soul is admirably revealed in those simple words: "Be it done to me". Note how perfectly they agree with those words which Our Lord wishes us to have always on our lips and in our hearts,: "Thy Will be done"...
If anyone has read the book *Abandonment to Divine Providence *by Father J.P. de Caussade, SJ, you may recognize the quote above. I wonder how often we repeat our own "Yes", our own "Be it done to me", when we are faced with difficulties and trials. It is good to ponder as Mary did and to live our "Yes" as she did in whatever happens from day to day, from moment to moment, depending solely on God's Grace to work all things unto good.


I have read the book and highly recommend it. Father Caussade really stresses that one should strive to “live in the present moment.” I have come to find that living this way, i.e., like our Blessed Mother’s fiat, is the most liberating way to live (i.e., to actually be indifferent whether God sends you roses or thorns).

In many things, I’ve gotten to this level of abandonment and, until a couple of days ago, I was holding onto one troublesome thing that was causing me much grief. I am now striving to have *no expectations *on this one thing which has been very difficult, almost impossible until now. Thanks to God He is helping me surrender it to Him. Without His intervention, it would be impossible.

What this entails for me is removing any thoughts of hopes for a certain outcome from my mind. Instead, I try to focus on the present moment praying to God, “What must I do to love you and my neighbor at this present moment?” As my expectations reenter, I keep handing the thought/hope back to God saying, “Here, please take this. You are better than I am at managing this. You know what I want and You know what will give me the best outcome. So, here You go. I trust You completely. May all of this be for Your glory and not mine.”

Thanks for sharing. I’d glad that you reminded me of that book.


Dear houston 1,

Thanks so much for your reply and your willingness to share your experience. I was introduced to Fr. Caussade when I was in my 20’s by someone much older and wiser, but it may have been premature for me. I was blessed with a strong devotion to Mary and her “Fiat” from my teens, but God had much more to teach me through the years before I could appreciate the deeper beauty of Mary’s “Yes” and our own “yes” to His Will.

My recent taking up of this book on Abandonment to Divine Providence occurred by God’s Grace as I experienced some severe back pain. A nurse friend assured me that cold weather is notorious for causing back spasms, and since I’ve had this at other times I began my usual regime of heating pad, alternating with cold pack, taking ibuprofen every 4 to 6 hours. After the first day, I began to ask the Holy Spirit and Our Lady for wisdom as to whether or not to try going to our usual Thursday morning Legion of Mary meeting. When I woke up Thursday morning, I was still experiencing back spasms so I could not go and that is when I decided to read again, this beautiful book.

I posted the quote from Chapter One, because I firmly believe the graces we receive are never meant solely for ourselves but we are gifted for others. I wanted to share the wisdom I found in this book. I hope to read and ponder more today, as I’m still enduring some back pain. I believe it is getting less difficult to walk, and hopefully I’ll be able to help my husband in our “Returning Catholics” meeting tomorrow and also our Bible Studies on Sunday. Whatever the Lord provides, by His Grace, I will to say with Mary: “Behold the Handmaid of the Lord. Be it done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)

De Caussaude’s book is excellent and one of my favorites. God bless you.

Dear ready,

Thanks for your reply. God bless you too, as we continue to receive all the wisdom God offers us through spiritual writers like Fr. de Caussade. In the introduction to his book on Abandonment to Divine Providence, Father’s writing is compared with St. Francis de Sales and St. John of the Cross. In some ways, his focus on finding God’s Will in everything reminds us of St. Therese’s “Little Way” also.

Having read the work of those three saints, I can agree that there are resemblances between them and Fr. de Caussade’s book. Yet, isn;t it wonderful how every soul is unique, having slightly different gifts to share with all of us? It is similar to knowing children of the same Father and Mother who are distinct in their own physical features and personalities, but all share the same unmistakable family resemblance.

I am so grateful to the Holy Spirit Who inspires me to take up a particular book just when I most need it. :slight_smile:

I, too, have read St. Francis de Sales (Introduction to the Devout Life), St. John of the Cross (his collected works) and St. Therese (Story of a Soul). The more I read the saints the more I see how total abandonment to the Divine Will is absolutely necessary in our spiritual life if we wish to become happy saints. I’ve read several books about divine Providence and conformity to the Will of God and have LOVED every single one of them. They are my absolute favorite works (along with Ven. Mary of Agreda’s Mystical City of God)! God bless you!

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