Our FIAT is a program for this time in the Church. It combines the formation of small faith communities within parishes, as recommended by Saint John Paul II, with the practice of “Lectio Divina” (Latin for Spiritual Reading) and encouraged by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
Our FIAT is a structured prayer program utilizing scriptural mediation and prayerful listening which draws you into a deeper personal relationship with Jesus. As you progress, you will become more aware of God’s loving action in your life and your spiritual life will be strengthened to help you meet today’s complex challenges.
Our FIAT has proven its ability to teach men and women ways to listen to what God longs to tell us. Although the program can be completed individually, it is ideal for small faith groups. In small groups, individuals share their prayer experiences and learn from one another. As your group shares, you will find that others have also been touched by God, but in different ways. Through these differences you quickly realize how God is dealing with each of us in a unique and personal way.
While completing the daily exercises of this program, you will grow in a personal relationship with Jesus through insights, inspirations, and thoughts. Past participants have learned that God wants to communicate with each of us on a personal level. He wants to help us with our daily conflicts and struggles – we only need to learn to listen.
In 1998, Saint John Paul II wrote to the church in America: “It seems timely, therefore, to form ecclesial communities and groups of a size that allow for true human relationships in the parish to which such groups belong….in such a human context, it will be easier to hear the word of God, to reflect on the range of human problems in the light of this Word, and gradually to make responsible decisions inspired by the all-embracing love of Christ.”
In 2005 and 2006, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI called on various occasions for a return to the practice of “Lectio Divina”. He has said that he believes the reinstitution of this practice will lead to a “new spiritual springtime in the Church.”
“An authentic spirituality of the Word demands that prayer should accompany the reading of Sacred Scripture, so that God and man may talk together; for we speak to him when we pray; we hear him when we read the divine sayings.”
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, The Instrumentum Laboris, (n. 41)
“In this sense we should follow the `Lectio Divina’, listening in the Scriptures to the thought of Christ, learning to think with Christ, thinking the thoughts of Christ and thus having the same feelings of Christ, being capable of giving Christ’s thought and feelings to others.”
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Synod on the Eucharist – Oct 3, 2005
Pope Francis has reiterated this encouragement to pray with scripture. He has said:“There is one particular way of listening to what the Lord wishes to tell us in His Word and of letting our-selves be transformed by the Spirit. It is what we call Lectio Divina. It consists of reading God’s Word in a moment of prayer and allowing it to enlighten and renew us…”
Our FIAT provides an easy to use, modern day program embracing the principles of “Lectio Divina”. It also provides materials to help members small groups to mature in spirituality and develop a meaningful interpersonal support system .
Begun in small groups in the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida, Our FIAT has been reviewed by ecclesial authorities and given the designation “Nihil Obstat”. The program has been endorsed by Bishop Robert Lynch of the St. Petersburg Diocese and Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, former president of the Franciscan University of Steubenville.
“This program has gained the respect of the pastors in the parishes where the program currently exists. Our Fiat invites Catholics to renew their faith and to develop a deeper prayer life. I heartily recommend this program for both personal spiritual growth and building bonds of community within parishes.”
Most Reverend Robert Lynch, Bishop of St. Petersburg
“I want to encourage you to complete this program. If you do so you will be in a better position to hear God and respond to His will for you. The importance of this program is that it is written for the ordinary person who is caught up in the ordinary responsibilities and cares of daily life, working and raising a family.”
Fr. Michael Scanlan