Mother Angelica: Holy Hours Help Us ‘Become Aware of the Awesome Presence of God’
BOOK PICK: ‘A Holy Hour with Mother Angelica’
A HOLY HOUR WITH MOTHER ANGELICA
By Mother Angelica
EWTN Publishing, 2021
292 pages; $17.95
EWTN Item: 81906
To order: EWTNRC.com or (800) 854-6316
In the early days of EWTN in the late 1980s, Mother Angelica would televise a Holy Hour. These 60-minute prayer segments were sealed with her inimitable presence and style, which brought viewers not only to a greater love of God but also to a stronger realization of the faith, especially in many basic aspects of Catholicism that should be simple to live out but were so often neglected or maybe not realized properly.
Mother Angelica was so devoted to the Blessed Sacrament and imparted her love of the Eucharist.
Now comes a wonderful book, A Holy Hour with Mother Angelica, that takes transcripts of those Holy Hour broadcasts and brings Mother Angelica to us once again. In every chapter and page, we can easily picture her speaking to us, as she did on so many television shows through the years. She made us both laugh and think deeply as she scattered the seeds of the faith along with her observations, inspiring and motivating us through vivid, everyday examples.
In all 29 chapters of A Holy Hour with Mother Angelica are her witticisms, her Mother Angelica-isms, her no-nonsense presentations and defenses of the truths of the faith, all with the intention of making us love God more, Jesus and Mary more and our faith more, even as her words inspire us to live our lives more fully for God.
Take this example:
“And so you and I have been given great work from God — the greatest work in the world — and that is cooperation. This earthenware jar becomes like God’s — strong, holy, bright. That’s what abandonment is all about, you see. It is emptying myself of me and being filled with Jesus. It is not easy, but it was not easy for Him. It’s not difficult, though it is humiliating, because we think we are pretty hot stuff when in fact we are earthenware jars, full of cracks. But Jesus loves our little cracked jars. I think we should substitute here that ‘earthenware jar’ means ‘a crackpot.’ We are all little crackpots! I had a crackpot when I was a kid, a little cup it was, and I would drink from that cup. It just kind of fit in my hand. It was all cracked, but I loved that little cup. You and I are God’s little cups, and He loves us and He keeps filling us with His love and His grace.”
With this clear, homespun wisdom, how can we not both chuckle and learn a deep truth for our lives? The book can be used for meditation. At the same time, these meditations in each chapter have companions in the form of short, spontaneous prayers Mother would say that connected directly to what she was talking about. She also has us join her in a litany. Depending on the topic of the chapter, it might be the Litany of the Heart of Jesus, Litany of Loreto, Litany of the Holy Spirit, Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus or Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus.
If anybody can convince sinners not to be discouraged but to see the need of admittance of sinfulness, repentance and confession, it is Mother Angelica. In the chapter “A Deeper Understanding of Repentance,” plus in other pages such as the chapter on “Our Lady’s Special Appeal for Repentance,” she does so directly and beautifully, and in a way that emphasizes the “Mother” in her name.
In other illuminating chapters, the beatitudes come to life, as does the Parable of the Sower. In yet another, Mother laces into an extremely blasphemous, sacrilegious treatment given Our Lord in secular media. How much over the years she would get offended by the way God was mistreated in the public arena, warning, “It’s a movement we are dealing with — two battles for your soul.”
To win the battle, she discusses resisting temptation, healing, trusting in God, God’s compassion and more. We can picture her showing us her rosary as one of the main ways to win the battle as she gives these words of wisdom: “This is the chain of power through which we can keep the Church from the error and darkness and the lack of faith that seems to be rumbling through it. It will keep nations at peace. There are those who are so brokenhearted over things that are happening in our society, in their families, neighborhood, communities, and in the Church, and I think we can become so disheartened that we lose our reality — our reality is the power of prayer and the power of the Rosary. I was once told by an exorcist that the Rosary and the Hail Mary are so powerful that the enemy cannot stand it. Saying the Rosary is something we as a people need to get back to.”
“The main point of this Holy Hour,” said Mother Angelica about each chapter, “is for you to luxuriate in God’s presence. To forget all your problems and frustrations, and to just become aware of the awesome presence of God. I want you to listen to what is being imparted to you and to take it to heart …”
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