As many of you probably know by now, Mother Mary Angelica, the founder of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) passed into eternal life yesterday afternoon around 5:00pm. It is fitting that Mother Angelica entered eternal life on the day Our Jesus Christ rose from the dead – Easter Sunday! I found out about her passing as I was sitting on the couch watching the New York Rangers hockey game and looking at Facebook on my iPhone. I knew she had been sick for many years, and although the news is sad, we can also rejoice to know that she is in the presence of Jesus Christ.
In the book, Little Book of Life Lessons and Everyday Spirituality, which I will draw from more shortly, Mother Angelica, says about “Your Place in Heaven” –
When we get to heaven, there will be many empty seats and many empty mansions, and they’ll stay that way forever because God has destined each of us for our specific degree of glory. My place in heaven is mine. No one else will ever use it or possess it or live in it. If I don’t get there, it will remain empty.”
Last night, after I arrived home from Easter brunch at my Mom’s with family and some new friends that my sister graciously asked to join us, I started thinking if I had any of Mother’s books in my personal library. After searching for only a minute, I came upon the aforementioned book that I referenced above. As I started to thumb through the pages thinking what I could write about, it came to me as I was laughing out loud (you know, LOL) that I could write on some of her funny, yet very truthful sayings.
Why did they make me laugh out loud? Well, being in the position I am in as an evangelist (in a parish), sometimes these types of sayings come to mind, but often the filter in my head and mouth does the job a filter is supposed to do. It’s great to see that Mother Angelica not only thought about them but also said or wrote them “out loud.”
The “little book” was published in 2007 and was edited and has some additional material in it by Raymond Arroyo. The link above will take you to the EWTN catalog website where you can purchase the book if you so desire.
As I said above, these 12 sayings that I am about to list for you made me laugh out loud. One of them made me laugh so hard, I had to get up and get a drink of water. Although they might make you laugh, as they did me, there is a truth in these sayings that really should make one think. I hope you enjoy them as I did –
1. “The apostles were dodos, dummies. But all the smart people in the world at the time wouldn’t take chances. That is the same problem we have today. The world is looking for intellectuals and the Lord is looking for dummies. That’s why I’m here.”
2. “If you’re not a thorn in somebody’s side, you’re not doing Christianity right.”
3. “If you’re breathing and you’ve got two legs, you’re called to holiness.”
4. “Don’t be afraid to get frustrated. Look at me, I take a lot of Maalox. Somebody said to me not long ago, ‘I’m surprised that a woman of such great faith would have to take Maalox.’ I said, ‘My friend, my stomach doesn’t know about my great faith.’”
5. “I’m not here to win friends and influence people. I’m here to do God’s Will. Now, if the accomplishment of that will bug a lot of people, well, that’s their problem. I can’t help that.”
6. “The apostles wouldn’t pass the seminary today. Heck, I doubt if they’d make it past the psychological screening.”
7. “The sisters say I have the eighth gift of the Holy Spirit: guts!”
8. “When I was a young novice I used to pray in the early morning, ‘Dear Lord, today I am going to be patient come hell or high water.’ And by nine o’clock came hell and high water! I blew it!”
9. “St. Jerome had a terrible temper. He would hit himself with a rock every time he lost his temper. I’d be dead as a doornail, with no ribs, if I did that.”
10. “I went to Confession one time and I told the priest, ‘I lost my temper.’ He said, ‘Keep it, nobody wants it.’ Well, I never said “lost” again because I was afraid I’d get another smart-aleck comment.”
11. “After Mass one day a woman came to me complaining about a priest’s homily. His preaching ability left something to be desired, but then it’s not the Word you listen to, not the way it’s presented. So this woman was complaining and I asked her, ‘How much did you put in the collection?’ She said, ‘A quarter.’ I said, ‘What do you want for a quarter, Bishop Sheen?’”
Lastly, this is the one that forced me to get a drink of water and made me laugh for 3 minutes straight –
12. “If you’re experiencing stress or tension give it to Jesus. Tell Him, ‘I feel like crawling the wall, but I love You and I want to give this to You.’ Do you think our Lord wasn’t tense living with those twelve screwball apostles?”
Mother Angelica’s wit and humor led many people to look at Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church. I imagine she has her mansion in Heaven and it is suited just for her.
Mother Mary Angelica…Pray For Us.