In everyday language, a stoic is one who can endure pain or hardship without complaint or without any display of emotions or feelings. But as a philosophy or even as a way of life, stoicism extolled virtue as the highest good. And virtue is based on knowledge of the world and nature, of the self and the other. There is virtue in knowledge and wisdom. The wise live in harmony with the divine Reason, also identified with Fate and Providence, that governs nature. Because of this knowledge, they are indifferent to the vicissitudes of fortune and to pleasure and pain. They live life not as they would want it to happen but they wish for life to happen as it should and for them to be able to deal with it, no matter what.
Life, in all its myriad manifestations, exists. It was here before I was. And it will be here long after I am gone. I can sometimes direct some slices of life hither or thither but it goes on for the most part where and when it wills. I cannot therefore pray for life to unfold as I would want it to. I can only pray that life unfolds as it should and that I know and become aware of how and when life is unfolding. Then, I pray for the courage and the strength to live life as it is meant to unfold and happen.
This is ssence of Mary’s “Fiat”. She acknowledged the power of the Divine over her life and simply prayed, “May it be done to me according to Thy word,” It is obedience to the Divine Will, a detachment from the things of this world, a freedom that yearns and hopes for the fullness of life that will given us in the fullness of time.
Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.
~ Psalm 24
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.