Mother Angelica, the Poor Clare nun who founded EWTN, died today. She was 92.
(Image via EWTN Facebook Page)
Mother Angelica was, to say the least, a significant factor in my reversion to the Catholic Church in 2002. It was a process that stretched over several years, but ultimately came to fruition when I was felled by my alcoholism and would up doing nothing but laying on my Mom’s couch for weeks on end as I was too ill to go anywhere and do anything. Mom watched EWTN every morning, mainly the Daily Mass and several devotional programs, particularly the Divine Mercy Chaplet. All of that, as well as Father Angelus Shaughnessy’s homilies and Father Benedict Groeschel’s programs. These all helped me straighten out my thinking.
My Mom had taught the Divine Mercy Chaplet to me during the years before my reversion and recovery. I think Mom knew something wasn’t quite right concerning my relationship to the Church, but she never said anything. Maybe she just taught it to me because I didn’t know it. Whatever, God knew, though! Mother Angelica’s broadcast of the Divine Mercy Chaplet devotion as well as the annual Divine Mercy Sunday celebrations from Eden Hill, MA slowly drew me back home. Although I wasn’t practicing the Faith, the annual Divine Mercy Sunday telecast was an annual event. I actually looked forward to it. The seeds were planted and slowly took root. Alcohol masked the interior growth. When I finally succumbed to it, being too physically weak to go anywhere, exposure to EWTN finally brought the Faith out from the dark nether regions of my soul where it had lain dormant.
Mother Angelica and EWTN helped me a lot in early recovery when I knew AA’s 12 Steps weren’t going to be enough. I had looked at them, thought them interesting and valuable, but felt they were at the shallow end of the spiritual pool. I needed something deeper. EWTN illustrated to me that Catholicism wasn’t something that you did for an hour on Sunday, but was a way of life, infusing your heart and mind with a manner of living and thinking that draws you closer to God, and ultimately, to our true Home, Heaven.
She had much to say about how to apply the Faith to daily living. Several books of hers directly dealt with problems and coping and just “How do I get through this…life…?” I have them all.
(Image courtesy of EWTN)
EWTN has a full scedule of events this week, including her funeral, listed on their: Memorial site on Mother Angelica. The site also has much information on her life and work."The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"