“Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum”—
“Let it be done unto me according to thy word.”
(The Annunciation by Fra Angelico /the Museo Nazionale di San Marco,
Florence, Italy/ 1440–1445 /Julie Cook / 2018)
So I was reading through a few emails yesterday when one in
particular caught my eye.
This particular email opened with a question.
What does the word “fiat” mean.
Well naturally my mind immediately jumped to that of the Italian car
maker of that same name.
When we were teens, my cousin had an old school blue fiat..
that was almost 50 years ago and of course he had to trade it in for
something new and shiny red.
The email I was reading had nothing to do with cars but rather with
the original word that is actually Latin for ‘decree’.
According to dictionary.com the word fiat is
“taken from the Latin meaning “let it be done,”
this word appears in the Latin translation of Genesis,
the first book of the bible, when God proclaimed “let there be light” (fiat lux).
As a result, many early uses of fiat were biblical allusions,
as in John Donne’s 1597 poem The Storm. I
n it he writes that there will be darkness unless
“God say/Another Fiat.”
It was not until the 1630s that English speakers started using fiat
to describe an “authoritative decree,”
often issued by royalty or clergy—two groups that depended on divine
right for their power.
By the turn of the 19th century,
English speakers applied fiat’s meaning to less-than-Godly legal manners.
The phrase “fiat in bankruptcy” gained popularity at this time.
Later that century, the concept of “fiat money,” or currency
that has no intrinsic value,
but that the government gives a value to by declaring it legal tender,
took its place in English-speaking minds.”
Isn’t that interesting…fiat money, currency that has no intrinsic value…
kind of like our currency today…just print and spend with nary
a thing to back it.
So it IS true…??!! There really is such a thing as monopoly money!!!!!
I knew it!!!!!
Oh but I digress again, today’s post is not about our Federal Banking System…
but maybe it should be…no, no…I’ll save that notion for another day.
So each day I receive an email devotional from the Catholic company…and no
I am not Catholic, but I probably should be…but again, I digress…
another post, another day..
So like I was saying, I get a daily devotional via email…
I also get a few other emails from this group entitled
“Get Fed, bite-sized faith”.
These little offered nuggets, or bites, are always informative and
So in yesterday’s “bite” they posed the question, “what does “fiat” mean?”
And since this wasn’t about cars, I was intrigued and read on.
Like the info I listed above, they explained that the word fiat did indeed
refer to a type of decree.
And so naturally when we think of decrees, we usually associate decrees with
authoritative institutions such as governments or leadership.
An “off with their heads” sort of dictatorial decree.
One that sweeps in fear and dread—something that is given as a command,
an order to make the little people, us serfs, quake.
But the fiat that Catholic Company was speaking of was far
from authoritative—rather it was one of humble surrendering.
Here is a portion of what they wrote:
“Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum”—
“Let it be done unto me according to thy word.”
Certainly no “fiat” before or since has had such drastic consequences
When we refer to Our Lady’s “fiat,” we mean not only the words she spoke,
but also the spiritual attitude verbalized by these words.
This small phrase encapsulates her spirit of obedience,
her profound humility, and her boundless charity.
Unlike so many other fiats, she wasn’t enacting her own will
but embracing God’s will. She wasn’t exercising her own authority
but assenting with a full and joyful heart to her role in
God’s glorious plan of salvation.
I loved this kinder, simpler take on what is usually considered
an authoritative word.
Rather than the command ordered for the troops to go forth and conquer,
here we have a humble submission of the will…acquiescence to the
Great I AM–“Let it be done to me according to your will…”
In Mary’s submission…therein lies the reality of strength…our strength.
A holy segue from humble submission to Omnipotent Greatness.
Having watched and read about what is unfolding with our botched
withdrawal of Afghanistan, knowing that horrible things are currently
happening to individuals and families…knowing that our leadership
made an uncalculated fiat…
knowing that the Taliban has announced their own fiat…
conquer at all costs…
a fiat which stands in stalk contrast to Mary’s fiat to God…
humility and submission vs brutality or else.
What of a former President and his grandiose birthday?
What of Madame Speaker and her cohort Schumer
who proclaim that their inner circles should go out and party…
dance, drink and eat cake while they in turn pronounce their own fiat…
telling us, the simple populace, to mask up, fall in line or else.
What of the Border crisis?…
What of the Administration’s fiat that says to one and all, come then go
while never minding any sense of legality, a pandemic, or placement?
Fiat of folly or fiat of humble purpose..
Let it be done unto me according to YOUR will!
Luke 2:1-20 NIV
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census
should be taken of the entire Roman world.
(This was the first census that took place while
Quirinius was governor of Syria.)
And everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea,
to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.
He went there to register with Mary,
who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,
and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.
She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger,
because there was no guest room available for them.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby,
keeping watch over their flocks at night.
An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord
shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy
for all the people.
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you;
he is the Messiah, the Lord.
This will be a sign to you:
You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel,
praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven,
the shepherds said to one another,
“Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened,
which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off
and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby,
who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him,
they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,
and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the
things they had heard and seen, which were just as they
had been told.
I am sorry that your blog has become political. I include your words in my morning meditation time, however, you, like many, just seem to want to stir the pot.
Sent from my iPad
Hal— I’m not stirring a boiling pot, rather I, like many Believers in the West, am simply saddened by the current events taking place all around us.
As Believers I feel we have a responsibility to speak out against tyranny and oppression—both here at home as well as abroad—
In today’s post I wanted to share the vast chasm between a government’s fiat, or its decrees, verses a vastly different decree-earthly vs heavenly.
Obviously our earthly decrees will always fail but to declare that we will submit to our God’s— then there is no failure, only Glory— the would may never see that Glory but that matters not because we will—
God’s decree is the only one that makes sense.
That it does— as we currently are living with the folly of man’s
As to the “party hardy” folks…maybe they understand their time is short and are trying to go out in style.
Before they experience a heat wave?? 😉
Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging and commented:
Awesome post SC!! GW hugs 🙂
Fiat? Oh, that is an old phrase in a forgotten language. It means “I will break down and leave you stranded at the worst possible moment, and I will do it often”. At least that is where the car name came from.
You are right, Julie. Fiats now come raining down on us. Regarding governmental matters, fiats should only be based on what is Constitutional. Spiritually fiats come from God as revealed in his Word. God gives free will, so we comply or not. Mary made the decision to comply. (You left several rabbits which you need to come back and chase. Another story, another time.)
I know— too many rabbits, too many holes for one day — but the contrast between God and Mary vs us and our current government – each with their own type of fiat really was a powerful image— as there was / is such power in Mary’s simple yes— as in Lord, thy will be done and not my will!!!
I had no problem with the rabbits. They just sounded like you do need to pursue them. For instance, I’d like to know more about the Federal Banking System. But does that sound like something I am going to research? No way. I’ll let Julie run that down. 😀
Government fiats unfortunately have become the norm as have illegal executive orders and unfathomable heights of hypocrisy from our political unbetters. Good post.