Today is Mother Angelica’s birthday. She is 86. I consider her a spiritual mother because of the role she played in my spiritual growth. What an incredible thing she did by starting a television network… i have her to thank for much of what I know and have come to love. A few years ago I wrote an essay about what Mother Angelica means for me and i submitted it for an EWTN contest (also, of course, for Mother to read as well). I won an audiobook version of her biography for it. I share it here in honor of Mother’s birthday:
Mother Angelica changed my life forever.
I am 27 years old. I have a physical disability and am in a wheelchair.
After first learning about Mother Angelica from a family friend, our family got cable and began watching EWTN. I was not very interested. My mother would leave the TV on a lot causing me to complain that electricity was being wasted. However, as long as I remained in the room i took in a few words–like second-hand TV watching. They were like seeds planted in my soul.
Once, I heard Mother speaking about the dangers of the occult–specifically, ouija boards. That Christmas someone gave my sister and I a ouija board. Needless to say, we threw it out that very evening because I rembered what Mother Angelica said.
When I had to go to the hospital for scoliosis surgery, my parents wrote to Mother. She immediately wrote back and sent me a letter along with a package of her mini books! I was sick and she comforted me.
As I grew older and into my high school years I became depressed and lukewarm in my faith. My physical condition was something that I just didn’t know how to deal with.
One lent I was inspired to give up TV–except for EWTN. Part of the sacrifice would be to watch EWTN. I was in awe as I discovered the Holy Eucharist, the Sacrifice of the Mass and riches of Sacred Scripture. I never heard many of these things before. Now I would watch the network because I wanted to–I was hooked.
The more we learn about someone, the more we come to know that person and the more we know Him the more we love Him. Mother Angelica taught me extensively about Jesus. In doing so, she led me to open the door of my heart to Him. When I heard that the upcoming year 2,000 would be a special time called the Great Jubilee, I made the decision to turn completely away from sinful ways and to live in Christ a life of holiness.
In 2000, I made many good Confessions and truly prayed the Rosary. Many graces were poured into my soul. That year that my family and I were blessed to go to Lourdes where I received the grace to accept my suffering as a blessing. In Lourdes I experienced God’s healing, Eucharistic love for me in a powerful way through the intercession of the Blessed Mother.
EWTN keeps me connected and spiritually informed. My faith continues to grow deeper each day as well as my hope and especially love. I have–because of Mother Angelica–been able to share my faith with others and to live what I have learned. Mother gives me so much inspiration and hope. I am so grateful that she said ‘yes’ to God and for the many offerings of suffering she makes in union with the Eucharistic Lord. I consider myself to be one of Mother’s spiritual children.
A priest once told me, referring to Mother Angelica: “Watch her, she will take you to heaven.” Amen!
Photo courtesy of FlickR member brumoreno3