Read the account of the last days of Mother Angelica HERE
Wherever she may be now, I wonder if she is a bit uncomfortable with everyone remarking how appropriate was the course of her final passing, commencing as it did on Good Friday and ending on Easter Sunday. As much as she united all her suffering to Christ and His sacrifice, she still wouldn’t feel worthy of the “comparison”. She suffered nearly all her life, and most especially the last 15 years. She suffered physical pain and she suffered oppression from wicked bishops. She was at her best when she was utterly pissed off.
This woman did more to restore authentic Catholicism in the American post-conciliar Church than anyone else I can think of. Not to say an authentic restoration has actually taken place, but rather, that she was a beacon of Truth to anyone serious enough to want to hear it. Mother and her network were essential to my true conversion in the late 90s, in a way that I knew was irreversible even then. Because once you know the Truth, there is no going back.
A few weeks ago, I had the happy occasion of being with my oldest son and his family for a few days. He is slowing returning to the faith, and his heart seems sincere. A program came on TV, I think it was 60 Minutes, with the story of Brittany Maynard, the young woman from Oregon who took her own life in order to avoid the suffering of brain cancer and wanting to spare her family the sight of it.
Of course the story was presented in the most slanted way possible, i.e. how barbaric and medieval of the other 49 states to not be encouraging assisted suicide. My son innocently asked the Church’s position on all this, and I explained it to him. I also explained how, so often, the father of lies manages to convince the world of a lie that is the polar opposite of the truth. How suffering is meant to be a tool; a tool that when properly wielded, united to the Cross, is like a battle ax cutting to the marrow of darkness. How suffering is actually a gift, and that we choose with our own free will what to do with it, just like we all choose with our own free will what to do with the gift of redemption we’ve been offered. And finally, how this woman’s wretched diabolic selfishness robbed her of that which she needed most in her last days, and robbed her family of the fruits of witness. Ouch, the truth hurts.
As much as my answer stunned him, its clarity resonated in such a way that I knew immediately there would be no follow up questions.
When the linked article was published a few days ago, I emailed it to my son with the commentary, “This is how you go out like a warrior bad ass instead of as a coward.”
Mother was an example to all of us, to her last. May God grant her eternal rest.