Mother Angelica's Little Book of Life Lessons and Everyday Spirituality


This collection compiled by Raymond Arroyo is a delight from start to finish. You may not learn much about Catholicism, but then this is a book compiled by a disciple. It is, in essence an ana revealing a great deal about Mother Angelica in her short, pithy sayings.

Mother Angelica, to her great credit, has nothing new to say to us. Indeed, she should not have. After all, what we know we have known for at least two thousand years, and some of the truths we reflect on today stretch back to the dawn of time. What Mother Angelica adds to them is a way of viewing them--a pithiness and punch that will help some readers internalize them.

For example, take this succinct restatement of Danish theologian Soren Kierkegaard's famous dictum:

If you're not a thorn in somebody's side, you're not doing Christianity right.

Mother Angelica takes the abstract, but still clear message of Kierkegaard and applies it to our evangelical life. Kierkegaard: "Those who are comfortable with Christ do not know Him." It's this subtle turn and practical bent that adds the gloss and highlights to what Mother Angelica tells us.

Later she speaks words of comfort:

Suffering in itself does not make us holy. It is only when we unite it, out of love, to the suffering of Christ that it has meaning. Suffering without love is wasted pain.

Once again, we hear the old adage that suffering has meaning. But Mother Angelica, in her straight-to-the-bone manner tells us exactly how it can have meaning.

Once again, a bit later:

The Father judges no one until He calls them home. Did you ever think of that? He doesn't judge you at all in this life, so why should we?


This is a book of a disciple and admirer, an attempt to catch the spirit of the woman while sharing with us some insights that may help, or which may give us a slightly different way of viewing something we have always known. The stories are engaging, the voice even more so.

I don't watch much of EWTN, but in the few times that I whirl by it in my race for the Food Network and I see Mother Angelica, I pause to hear that thick voice and see that lovely face as she reels out another story or shares with us some insight. In this book I can hear the voice and see the face and so the editor, Mr. Arroyo does his subject justice--he captures her spirit on paper for the benefit of all who wish to receive.

Best of all, for busy people, these are short snippets--a book to be dipped into, sampled and savored as needed. A resource for helping us to break out of our own patterns of thought and to look at the same design and see something utterly new.

In short, I cannot recommend the book enough to those who like Mother Angelica or who would like a little lift in the middle of a day--a morsel to chew on and to perhaps to be transformed by.

Highly Recommended to all.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on February 28, 2007 7:58 AM.

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