Fiat. Much has made by the secular media of the little Italian-made car that transported the Holy Father these past days, during his visit to the United States… Rightly so, as the unpretentious car was seen as an outward sign of the Pope’s inner poverty, simplicity, and humility, practiced in full view, in full witness, for everyone who looked to clearly see.
Though the media has not been making a spiritual connection (at least none that I have read or heard), it strikes me that “Fiat” is a perfect name for a car in which the Pope travels. How Providential, it seems to me, that the Italian manufacturer choose that name for its little automobile in which the Pope was cheered on by enthusiastic crowds lining both sides of some major American roads and streets.
Fiat. Latin—Let it be done.
In a spiritual sense, then, what we were seeing and cheering—literally–was the lived experience and expression of the Pope’s Fiat. His “let it be done” promises of obedience and fidelity, promised to God, from his Baptism and Confirmation, through his Ordination, and now, in his Papacy. His willingness to be used, to serve, to go where the Lord sends him.
What brought the Pope to the United States was his Fiat to the Lord, expressed in and through his commitment of service to Jesus’ lambs and sheep–to His Church.
Fiat. Not content to have us watch him live out his Fiat, was not the Holy Father, by his presence among us and through his words spoken in his many addresses to us, challenging and cheering us on–reminding us of our own Fiats? Was he not saying to us—as Our Lady told the attendants at the Wedding Feast of Cana—“Do whatever He tells you.” ..Now. Get moving–as he quoted the motto of the new Saint Junipera Serra, whom he canonized, “Siempre adelante! Keep moving forward!” Open your eyes and your hearts. Reach out in loving service to the poor and needy around you.
And lest we (wishfully) think that the Fiat directive was meant just for clergy or individuals of particular importance, did not the Pope emphasize the call to each one of us, by virtue of our Baptisms to fulfill the mission our Lord has entrusted to us? “Et tu?” the Pope asked during his Mass at Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Philadelphia. “What about you?” A “you” addressed without exception to every Baptized person.
How fitting, too, that in every church which the Holy Father visited, he presented flowers to Our Lady, the woman whose Fiat brought us the Savior of the world, the Redeemer Whose Church Francis serves as its visible head on Earth, an Earth–the “footstool of the Lord,” as Scripture says, which is entrusted to our use, not abuse.
Viva, Papa Fransicso! Viva the Fiat that brought him through American highways and byways. Viva! Maria, Mother of Mercy, Mother of the Church, Mother of each one of us! Viva her Fiat that makes all our Fiats–for all humanity, for all eternity– more fruitful in, with, and through her Son, the Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity.
As the Holy Father continually asks for our prayers, let us pray on his behalf the prayer Jesus taught us, the Our Father prayer that contains, in its Latin version, the call to Fiat—fiat voluntus tuas; Thy Will be done. Amen.
Fiat. May our Fiats bring us safely home, and may we bring home many others. The Lord will welcome us–and them–most royally–in vehicle parades that far outdo the fanciest vehicles we have ever seen this side of heaven! (Not that we live our Fiats for that reason!)
We know about the Pope. What about you and me? What Fiat are we living?