Mother Angelica, Apostle of Radical Trust
EDITORIAL: The more time passes, the more clearly Mother’s legacy as an apostle of radical trust in God’s goodness comes into focus. It’s the thread that traces the twists and turns of her incredible life story.
In observance of the 100th anniversary of Mother Angelica’s birth, the Register spoke with several of our colleagues who worked beside her at EWTN during its miraculous evolution from an inauspicious garage start-up to the largest Catholic media network in the world.
Something that EWTN Chairman of the Board and CEO Michael Warsaw shares about Mother in that piece bears repeating here. He says that Mother once asked the Lord why he chose her to undertake this seemingly implausible task.
“The answer she heard was that she wasn’t the first person he had asked, but she was the first person who said ‘Yes,’” recalled Warsaw, the Register’s publisher.
There are volumes of theology packed into that one little word, “Yes.” This was Mary’s response to St. Gabriel the Archangel at the Annunciation. It was the apostles’ answer to the Lord’s invitation to come follow him.
As saints great and small down through the centuries and Mother Angelica herself understood so intimately, “Yes” isn’t so much a word as it is a decision, a commitment — and that carries with it a risk.
The more time passes, the more clearly Mother’s legacy as an apostle of radical trust in God’s goodness comes into focus. It’s the thread that traces the twists and turns of her incredible life story.
“We use the talents we possess to the best of our ability and leave the results to God,” she wrote in 1973, years before EWTN came into existence. “We are at peace in the knowledge that He is pleased with our efforts and that His providence will take care of the fruit of those efforts.”
Even more than her words, Mother’s personal witness stood out and made such a deep impression on those who had the good fortune to know and work with her. Time and again, in the face of unpayable bills, insurmountable opposition and crippling physical challenges, Mother reached for the Lord’s outstretched hand and squeezed tightly.
“The need we have for assurance and the absolute lack of willingness to take a risk for God is appalling to me,” she told her biographer, Raymond Arroyo. “I’m sure Our Lord asked a lot of people to build a network. There has to be a reason that He chose a few nuns who didn’t know anything, in the wrong state of life, with no money, because it goes against reason. The Bible says that God chooses the weak to confound the strong.”
“Some people say I am a woman of great faith,” she said. “I’m really a coward who keeps moving forward.”
Always one to cut to the chase, Mother might interject here: Enough about me. What about you?
What is it that God is calling each of us to do for him? In what way are we being asked to “gamble all and trust the Lord,” as Mother did?
What will our answer be?
Mother loved a good party as much as anyone, and by all means, we ought to celebrate the occasion of her centennial. But if you’re looking for a fitting way to honor her memory and the inspiring legacy she left behind, consider a simple gift: Say “Yes” to God’s invitation.
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