Mother Angelica is probably one of the most well-known Catholic religious women in the United States. The television network she founded, EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network), is the best-known Catholic network in the United States and beyond. A no-nonsense kind of person, Mother Angelica is very earthy, and this comes through in Raymond Arroyo’s collection of sayings and quotes from her many years of ministry to God’s people.
Arroyo, the author of Mother Angelica’s biography Mother Angelica (2005), edits this collection of quotes, providing a short introduction to Mother Angelica and introducing each chapter and its topic which many times relate to Mother Angelica’s life or experience. Some of the sayings are one-liners, while a few are some paragraphs long. In these sayings, the reader finds copious material for their prayer life and for just plain old living.
Many of Mother Angelica’s sayings involve “living in the Present Moment,” exactly what she calls her ministry. Her insights come from Brother Lawrence, who wrote The Practice of the Presence of God, and she greatly encourages us to live now, not to worry about the past or in the future. We only have to be concerned about now. We cannot do anything about the past or the future; we can do something about the now.
Another pet topic of hers is depending on divine providence - that is, not worrying about money and other things; God will provide. That is how she built her television network and her other ministries. If things are meant to be, God will provide for them. Her network survived from month to month, relying on God to provide or inspire donors to give money or other materials. Usually what came in to the network was just enough to make ends meet and maybe a little more. This is a great risk, but Mother’s faith in God was strong. She still relies on this method, and so far it has worked out very well for her and her sisters and organization. Of course, she did not just sit around and expect God to provide; she worked on getting donors and prayed that God would inspire donors and others to give.
She addresses several topics in her sayings on family life, work, prayer, pain and suffering, temptations, the saints and angels, and death. Those undergoing pain and suffering will find comfort in her advice. She has suffered pain most of her life. She knows what it is like. She is presently suffering, so she knows what is to prepare for the end of life, too.
This book is a great companion to Raymond Arroyo’s biography on Mother Angelica. It is highly recommended to those interested in her, spirituality, prayer, and the religious life.