It’s amazing how someone you have never met can impact your life. I learned about the passing of Mother Angelica yesterday evening. As I read the news on Catholic News Agency, I had a mix of tears and joy! Knowing that she leaves this earth completely different than when she entered, after all she’s done to build the Eternal Word Television Network, a global media empire that began with just $200, a garage and a tenacious and quick-witted wise nun.
My Mom had been telling me to tune in to Mother Angelica’s nightly show since the early 2000s. For whatever the reason I rarely ever did. It was probably my ideals at the time and that they were not exactly in line with some of the Church’s teachings.
But around this time last year, I began tuning in to EWTN channel at 9:30 PM ET every night just to pray with Mother Angelica and the Poor Clare nuns. Every night we prayed for 30 minutes. It brought me so much comfort, peace and hope during a very rough time in parenting my college aged children.
Praying the rosary with Mother Angelica brought me back to my childhood when I would pray the rosary with my Grandmother. And at the same time a strange thing was happening. My faith increased, my worries and doubts lessened. I had been living a tough nightmare that a parent would not ever want to go through. And I was able to have peace throughout it all.
It was through my praying with Mother Angelica, who Time magazine called the superstar of religious broadcasting, that I started watching and listening this network, EWTN, consistently and every chance I could really. The programming on EWTN was plenty to satiate my appetite for learning, questioning and understanding more about the Catholic Church and the Bible.
I started watching Mother Angelica’s program. Her wisdom, intellect, wit, and humor drew me in more. For the second time in my life I saw a nun smiling, laughing and being quirky. The first had been my 2nd grade teacher, Sister Lenore. I learned to not be so wimpy in my faith. It was while watching her program and praying with her I felt very close to her and it was as if a good friend was instructing me and giving me advice.
I mentioned to my husband that I hoped we would get to meet her someday if we had the chance to go on pilgrimage to Our Lady of the Angels Monastery & Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament as well as the EWTN studios in Irondale, Alabama. However, I found out that she had been ill since her stroke in 2001 and seeing her in person may not happen.
One of the reasons this nun from Canton, Ohio, is such an inspiration to me and so many American Catholics is her perseverance and feistiness. She had a mission, God’s mission. And she got it done. She wasn’t afraid to fail mainly because she had God on her side. Because of Providence.
“I’m not afraid to fail…I’m scared to death of dying and having the Lord say to me, ‘Angelica, this is what you might have done had you trusted more.'”
Yes. Point taken. This is how I want to approach each day. With this very thought Mother Angelica had. Can you imagine if more of us had that same thought every morning? To trust God more. Mother Angelica is a model of someone who trusted God daily.
And because of her trust, God definitely was able to work through this amazing feisty Sicilian woman who has a heart for the Lord. Her work ethic and tolerance for people of all walks of faith is something to be grasped daily. As we celebrate Easter and now the life of this woman, I pray that there be more Mother Angelica’s in the making. My prayer is for young women and girls, including myself to have that same fearless, God trusting, tenacity in accomplishing God’s will for this world.
Although we never met in person, I feel that somehow you kept me and my family in your prayers. I prayed for you as well. Thank you Mother Angelica for your prayers, your ministry and love that you poured out to your audience around the world.
This Easter was truly a special and blessed Easter I was blessed to celebrate Mass with my husband, son, daughter and the latest addition to our family, Joel, our soon to be 4 month old grandson. I want to say that it’s because of my renewed faith and prayer life that began through something I watched nightly that everything is as it should be, but Mother Angelica would only point it to two things. Faith in the Blessed Sacrament and to Our Blessed Mother. Those two alone have more power over all the darkness in this world.
What is some of the wisdom you’ve learned from Mother Angelica over the years? Have you ever watched her program? How has EWTN impacted your life?