On Easter Sunday, a very dear nun, Mother Angelica passed away. She has been in my living room off and on for years on her EWTN television show. Her words were often opportune. However since her death, she seems to have come in a whole new way. EWTN is running clips of her all day and she has been speaking directly into my world.
My life is at a very difficult point for a variety of different reasons. Yesterday was particularly difficult. I was driving with my severely autistic son when he had a massive temper tantrum in the car hitting and punching himself just in the seat behind me.
I normally drive my van where I have taken out the middle seat so as to keep some distance. He has in the past reached out and grabbed my head while I was driving. This time I was in my husband’s car. I reached home safely and sent him to his room but I was very shook up. I turn on the TV and there was Mother Angelica saying, “Are you afraid of somebody?” She proceeded to give me the council I needed.
We are currently in a predicament which if you look back you can see warning signs that we missed along the way. There were choices I would have made differently. So Mother Angelica comes on the TV and says, “You can’t live your life thinking, “I would have, could have or should have. You need to show yourself the same mercy you show other people.”
She spoke to me again. I have been working on a book for years and have gotten very discouraged. I have no qualifications to teach these things yet God has given me a gift for seeing how parts of the Bible fits together. God doesn’t give you gifts for yourself, it is always for the uplifting of the body, but being told you can’t weighs you down and slows you down.
But yesterday, I heard stories of how Mother Angelica was told she “couldn’t” all her life. She said the one thing she was afraid of was going to Jesus and seeing what her life would have been like if she had only had the faith to believe. So, she has gotten me started again. Where did I leave off? The communion of the saints! Thank you Mother Angelica. You are not among the dead, but among those most truly alive.
Jesus said, “I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am constrained until it is accomplished!” After His death and resurrection, He was able to send His Holy Spirit upon the earth. No longer could only a few people be close to Him. Now He could dwell in everyone’s heart and speak personally to them, guiding them their thoughts, or leading them to scriptures.
When a holy person on this earth dies, they do not leave the Body of Christ! No, they are more intimately connected to it. Their place in the Body has changed. They no longer see through a glass darkly, but they God face to face. They do not love less. No, their love and concern for other members of the Body is magnified because their hearts are more conformed to God’s.
Much of what St. Paul spoke of regarding the Body of Christ speaks to this. “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” All of heaven is not indifferent to our struggles and God’s triumphs in our lives. We might be indifferent to the saints, but Paul says that we cannot say to another part of the Body, “I don’t need you.” Jesus prayed that we might all be one.
Each cell of our body is individually fed by tiny capillaries, so it is with us. Each Christian should have a personal relationship with Jesus and be fed by Him. But the individual cell may be ignorant of how the rest of the body co-operated to bring it that precious blood. Also, that individual cell is part of a larger organ that has a function that serves the Body as a whole.
It was never “just me and Jesus” and it never will be. At least have gratitude to the Apostles and writers of the Bible. Have gratitude also for all those who held onto the faith and passed it down through the centuries until it reached you. A common mistake is that people think we are praying to the dead. But Jesus spoke of Jacob and Abraham as living, when He said, “For he is not the God of the dead, but of the living; for all live to Him.” So I ask as the angels of the resurrection did, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”
As Mother Angelica has joined the mighty cloud of witnesses who watch as I run my race. I know that she is cheering me on, encouraging me and praying for my spiritual success. Thank you Mother for what you did for me while I was alive. Thank you for what you have done for me since.
Referenced scriptures; Luke 12:50, 1 Cor. 13:12, Luke 20:38, Luke 24:6, 1 Cor. 12, Hebrews 12:1