Darth Vader: Your powers are weak, old man.
Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi: You can’t win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.
Star Wars 1977
Yesterday on Easter Sunday Mother Angelica died at the age of 92.
She was a living contradiction.
She was a poor nun who lived with a group of sisters while at the same time the founder of a media empire that reached the entire globe.
She was an old woman dehabilitated by a stroke who could do very little, yet she loved live regardless of her state and wanted to live.
She was a person steeped in self denial, Yet the more she gave the more she continually got.
All that she preaches has been attacked and to some degree rejected by the larger culture lately yet through her efforts and God’s help she pretty much saved the Catholic Faith in America.
The most amazing contradiction is that while Christianity has lost or is losing the culture war in America while at the same time she has fought the culture war and winning it in the Catholic Church first in America and now extending it throughout the world.
Consider when she started EWTN with nothing, what the state of Catachresis, that is understanding of the Catholic faith was in America. It was poor at best and nonexistent. The message of Vatican II had been twisted by the left to the point where the message of Christ became: “Don’t offend anyone, get along with the world.” This would be news to Christ who said:
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man ‘against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household.”
If you want to ask what kind of vocations the church of don’t offend anyone by the truth produced in the Church simply look at the biggest headlines concerning the Church since 2000 nationally and internationally about the Catholic Church has been?
I submit and suggest that is not a coincidence.
At the same time the church abandoned it’s mission to push back at the world and be shy about truth Mother Angelica started EWTN as a tiny television in 1981 in Alabama.
While other people were running away from Truth she ran toward it saying blunting talking about faith, heaven, hell and above all speaking truth even as the greater culture was rejecting it.
And as EWTN grew those looking for an anchor in the faith found her as her network expanded on both Television and in Radio where it became the defacto goto choices for the Catholic faith.
While other orders with a watered down faith died Mother Angelica continued to inspire the young. You would be hard pressed to find a young priest or nun in America who had not spent many house watching EWTN or listening to EWTN radio.
And while the secular media spun the church, the faith and the Pope(s) EWTN gave things as they were from the Mass every day so that people could see it, steeped in scripture, as it was and not as others described it.
They covered and do cover the Pope live so that when the media spins him faithful Catholics would be able to see things as they happened and not as it was cut.
And the priests and faithful that she attracted spread the word knowing that it was all about souls, all about telling the truth that Christ has given through the church with spin or apology.
There were plenty both inside and outside the church who pushed against her but St. Michael The Archangel was with her. One story:
It is customary to place short-wave antennae in flat open fields,
making it all the more peculiar that Mother Angelica should decide
to place her antennae on a mountain top. According to Mother
Angelica, St. Michael (the Archangel) appeared to her when she
first visited the mountain. It is there, on the site where St.
Michael's appeared, that Mother would decide to erect the
antennae. Flying in the face of all the experts, the antennae
reach millions a day. But no one can explain just how. Even the
British Broadcasting Company has sent a team of experts to try to
unearth the reason. They are still baffled. The folks at EWTN have
their own answer: divine providence.
Can one measure the fruits of the decades of EWTN? The number of manhours of service to others by those inspired by Mother Angelica is incalculable, and the reason is that it was never about her, it was about God and souls.
And that’s why she was and will remain hated by many, because her life,in constant pain, was a living testament against the message of the world and in death she leaves behind not only EWTN the sword that Christ described to fight against the world for the souls of man, but now finds herself in a position to intervene in a way even beyond the reach of the worldwide network that brings the message of Christ.
Closing thought, I often link to Robert Stacy McCain as he writes about various feminist women railing against the world. Ask yourself if they are stronger than this little Italian Nun. Ask yourself if they will have will have the impact and the consequence of this woman.
The answer of course is, they CAN, if they choose to embrace the path she did and follow Christ and live accordingly and it is not too late for anyone one of them to do so.