Sunday, March 9, 2014

Voluntas Tua

There's a word.  Two syllables, four letters.  Latin.  Third person present subjunctive, if anyone's interested.  Translated, it means may it be done, or as in the gospel, fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum: let it be done to me according to your word.

I said it to Jesus tonight after my roommate had gone to bed and I was sitting up playing solitaire on my computer because if I let myself go to sleep I may not be able to get up for Mass tomorrow morning and it's easier just to stay up all night.  I turned my music up to drown out my thoughts, thoughts that I am a failure, that I have spoiled everything I've tried to make of my life so far, that I'm condemned to be ruled by the demons in my brain forever and nothing I can do will make a difference.  In the pauses between songs, when the thoughts rise up, I mutter it aloud again and again, as if doing so will keep the thoughts at bay, and it does, sort of.  Fiat.  Fiat.  May it be done, Your will, whatever it is, even if it makes no sense to me, even if it seems to contradict everything I know of You.

It sounds depressing, it sounds pathetic, it sounds passive.  It's not.  That word, two syllables, four letters, it's not an ellipsis to me, it's an exclamation point.  It's the choice to jump not knowing where you will land, to start driving without a map or known destination, to get in a rubber boat and start rowing across the Atlantic.  Any kid will tell you those are the things adventures are made of.  If everything is really God's grace, as St. Therese says, and God's glory is man fully alive, as St. Irenaeus says, then every blind step and leap and fall (because we do fall) is meant to be something wonderful and exciting and surprising.  Saying may it be done isn't an act of resignation, but the first step into Faerie.

I sit here with my computer, music turned up loud to drown out the thoughts, and I type this, and I wonder what's the point really, whether anyone will even read it, and whether I believe it myself.  Apart from your own actions, if you can't help what happens to you, does it make a difference whether you see it as depressing or wonderful?  Is it even worth the effort to choose?

I don't know.  But I think I'll risk wonder.



  1. Thank you for this. It's something I am going to try to remember.

  2. Clare, I will keep you in my prayers. I don't know how I found this; I'm an American Catholic college student, I haven't ever felt that feeling of abandonment but I understand that one day I will, since God uses it to test souls' faithfulness. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

  3. My love. I pray and fast for you. mama