In a monastery chapel in Alabama, a Franciscan sister wrote down her thoughts about living a Catholic life on a legal pad. Those legal pads would eventually become Mother Angelica’s mini-book series, which were originally published by Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in the 1970s. Today, you can explore the sacraments with Mother Angelica as your guide with her mini-book, Mother Angelica’s Quick Guide to the Sacraments.
The mission of Mother Angelica’s order, the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, is a dedication to the Holy Eucharist. It seems fitting that Mother Angelica’s thoughts on Catholic living were composed in front of Christ Himself.
If you want to know more about the incredible graces Christ has in store for you in the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, Mother Angelica’s miniature book is the perfect place to start learning. Each chapter is filled with short reflections, scripture passages, prayers, and ways to apply the graces of the sacraments to your everyday life.
Here is a quick sneak peek of the book with Mother Angelica’s thoughts on the sacraments of Confirmation, the Eucharist, Marriage and Confession.
In the sacrament of Confirmation, the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit are poured into us. These gifts enhance the beauty of the temple of the Holy Spirit – our very souls.
“The foundation of this Temple is Faith, Hope, and Love,” Mother Angelica writes. “The Seven Gifts are the tools and material used by the Spirit to construct a fitting dwelling place for Jesus to abide in.”
2. The Eucharist
The Eucharist held a special place in Mother Angelica’s heart. When she wrote reflections on the Mass in the presence of Christ in the Eucharist, she often wished she had been present during Christ’s passion on earth. Yet after reflection, she realized that she was called to be present at the Sacrament of the Mass and minister to Christ at Calvary. She writes,
“Somewhere, someplace, there is a Mass being said – a Calvary to be present at – a Communion to receive, either sacramentally or spiritually – an opportunity to be more like Jesus, the privilege of helping my neighbor, a time to say, “I thank you, God,” a situation to choose Jesus over myself or a chance to make a sacrifice.
Truly, the Mass will go on and on until one day the Father will say, as His Son once said, ‘It is finished.’ Yes, the Lamb of God shall reign triumphantly with all those who have been washed clean in His Blood.”
According to the Catechism, a sacrament is a visible sign of an invisible reality. Although today’s culture would tell us otherwise, marriage is a sacrament. It is a sign of the invisible presence of God among us. Mother Angelica reflected on how a married couple can make the love of God present every day, and wrote,
“Everything a couple does, singly or together, is a living out of their sacrament. Simple things like washing dishes, running a sweeper, driving to work, struggling to make a living, budgeting a small salary to meet big expenses – yes, these and all other facets of life together have power hidden within them to make them holy. Married life is the ground of holiness; love is the seed planted by God.”
Although confessing our sin is a large step in the process of striving for sainthood, Mother Angelica realized that knowledge of our sin is only the first step to healing.
“To know we offended God and our neighbor is the first step to self-knowledge, but it cannot end there,” she wrote. “We should discern what defect of character or soul is the real cause of our failures. To merely seek out effects is like taking an aspirin for a headache when the cause of pain is a tumor.”
Looking at the contents of Mother Angelica’s Guide to the Sacraments whets your appetite for more of her thoughts on Catholic life. Reflections such as “Why Do You Stay Away,” and “Struggles of a Soul’s Purification” offer ways to grow in the sacramental life of the Catholic Church. Check out this mini-book today!