Mother Angelica wasn’t only the creator of the best Catholic radio and TV programming (EWTN Radio and TV), but she also knew how to teach and put heavy theological topics into easy, sometimes funny, terms to understand. We are very blessed that she put these ideas down onto paper, ten of which have been bound together into one book, Mother Angelica on Prayer and Living for the Kingdom. You know the book has to be good, since it was handwritten while Mother was in front of the Blessed Sacrament.
Here are eight questions about prayer that Mother Angelica answered in her book. Mother, teach us to pray!
1. What if I struggle with memories of the past?
“God has given each one of us a gift greater than a thousand IBM machines. It is called a Memory, and everything that passes through our five senses is stored in this faculty….The memory of past failures can be of great benefit in the present moment if used properly. St. Paul never forgot how he persecuted the first Christians and that memory made him humble under trials and understanding during persecution.”
2. Why is there pain and suffering?
“Our difficulty in seeing God in the present moment usually stems from the realization that we are often the victims of the failures, weaknesses, evil and bad intentions of our neighbor. We find it near impossible to see Jesus in these kinds of situations. God is love, He is good and He is merciful. We cannot equate a tragic or difficult situation with His Attributes. Perhaps this is our mistake. We must realize that God does not cause evil but He does permit it. Jesus told us that the world would hate us but we were not to worry because He overcame it.”
3. What type of prayer is most important?
“It is not important which way one is led to pray, for the best way to pray is the way one prays best. It is only important that each one in the praying community understands that his prayer is essential to the growth, development and holiness of both Shepherd and flock for, “we are members of one another.” (Eph. 4:25).
4. What prayer should I pray before bed?
“The battles of today are over, and I come home wounded but determined to attain greater heights tomorrow. Your Grace in me is more powerful than my weaknesses.
I give You my sleep tonight and I ask that as my body rests, my heart and soul my rest in Your love. Let Faith quiet the fear that torments me in the night. Let Hope relax my conscience with trust in Your Mercy. Let Love surround me like a blanket so the silence of the night may be like Your gentle voice singing me to sleep.
Instill within me that confidence that knows “no disaster can overtake me for You have put Your Angels in charge of me to guard me wherever I go. You rescue all who cling to You. You protect me because I now Your Name. You answer me whenever I invoke You and You are with me when I am in trouble” (Ps 91:10-11, 14-15)
Protect me from the Enemy as I lay down my defenses to prepare for new battles tomorrow. Let my thoughts be in Your Heaven as my body rests in exile. Listen to the pleas of Mary as she intercedes in my behalf. Do not remember my sins, but rather clothe me with the cloak of innocence.
Good Night, dear God, and may every breath I take this night praise Your Holy Name.”
Mother Angelica also has beautiful prayers for throughout the day in the book!
5. How do I live in the present moment?
“If only I could live in the Will of God – in His Spirit – in His Love. If I could only see His Providence, His Spirit at work in the present moment. He works, arranges, permits every facet of my life, every moment of my existence. His Presence is in the midst of my everyday situations. The only Reality is within the reality of whatever is happening. If only I could embrace the present moment as if He were in front of me. The present movement is like a chisel in the hands of God. He uses it to round off jagged corners, smooth over rough surface, reshape and remold my soul. It is precious, for it brings God to me in a personal way. It calls forth the very best of the One who lives within me. My God, let me embrace the present moment with love.”
6. How does God see our souls?
“My life is like a jar filled with sand. Some of the sand is clean, some darkened by the wind of sufferings, some has become chunky and hard from disappointments. The Father looks down on me with compassion. He doesn’t take out large scoops of sand at cone time. He knows it would be more than I could endure. He permits me to cooperate with Him so the sand and debris slowly disappear and I hardly feel the loss. He begins by pouring Living Water into my jar – He adds before He takes away. That Water stirs up my soul – I begin to see the dirty sand, the debris and garbage. Then suddenly it settles, and there is less sand and more clean water.”
7. How do I recognize God’s love?
“There is a need in every human being to love and to be loved. A husband may prove love by being a good provider, and a wife by being a good cook. Children prove love by being obedient, and an absence of obedience brings true love into question.
We miss signs of love because we refuse, consciously or unconsciously, to accept the way others prove their love for us. As we miss signs of love from our neighbor, we also miss them from God. God is constantly doing loving things for each one of us. He is always providing, protecting, nourishing, forgiving, and loving us. Not a moment of our life passes that He has not done something good to us or for us.
Why do so many of us go through life with never an act of praise or thanksgiving to God for all His consistent, loving attention?”
8. Is there an unforgivable sin?
“The Trinity desires each one of us to be saved, but unless we accept that salvation by humble repentance and loving adherence to His Will, we cannot obtain salvation. The unforgivable sin that Jesus spoke of is the refusal to admin one’s guilt before God. God cannot forgive a sinner who does not acknowledge his sin. There exist two opposite wills – God requires repentance so He may forgive, while the sinner refuses to admit anything to be forgiven. There is created a spiritual impasse that can end in the soul’s eternal rejection of God. There are many who believe that the acceptance of Jesus as Savior is sufficient to be saved, but Jesus assures us that this is not so. [There is] a condition attached to salvation, and that condition is that we do the Father’s Will.”
Mother Angelica has always been sharp and poignant when she talks about our faith. She has a beautiful way of gently, yet sternly, pointing out that we are to always be living for the Kingdom. Mother Angelica on Prayer and Living for the Kingdom is an inspiring collection of her mini-books for anyone who would love to fall in love with our Lord the way Mother Angelica loved Him. This book would be a wonderful gift or prayer guide to bring to Eucharistic Adoration, just as it was written by Mother Angelica.