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


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More from Raymond Arroyo
Raymond Arroyo masterfully captures the complexities, humanity, and tenacity of Mother Angelica, the founder of the Eternal Word Television Network, in his books. Visit Amazon's Raymond Arroyo Page.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 221 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Religion; First Edition edition (March 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385519850
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385519854
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

MOTHER ANGELICA established Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1961, and twenty years later founded The Eternal Word Television Network, which has grown into the largest religious media organization on the planet. Her program, Mother Angelica Live, remains one of the most popular programs on the network and has made her an internationally beloved spiritual figure. She lives in her monastery in Hanceville, Alabama.
RAYMOND ARROYO, author of the New York Times bestseller Mother Angelica, is the news director and lead anchor of EWTNews. As creator and host of the newsmagazine The World Over Live, he is seen in more than 100 million households each week. He has worked at the Associated Press and the New York Observer, and for the political columnist team of Evans and Novak. His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New Yorker, and many other publications. He lives in northern Virginia with his wife and three children.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

1

ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES


THE BEGNINNING OF THE END

Mother Angelica fervently believed in maintaining an eternal perspective for everyday living; a constant awareness that we must account for our actions in this life, and that a final judgment awaits each of us. Of course she put it more succinctly:

Everyone drags his own carcass to market. So be careful.

GOD LOVES YOU

I didn't know God loved me for a long time. Many feel that way. Because we are so aware of our faults, our weaknesses, our sins, we have an impression that God couldn't love us. Well that's not true. God is infinite. There is no end to His love. He doesn't love you for anything you possess. He loves you because He is love. We're all imperfect. We're all sinners, and many of us would be much worse than we are given the opportunity.

SEEING GOD

It is easier to see God in the sinner because I must make an effort to do so. It is one of the paradoxes of life that I run the risk of losing sight of God in those who are easy to love, because I begin to seek my own good in them.

LITTLE THINGS

God chooses little things to do big things.

GOD CHOSE YOU

God knew you, loved you, and chose you before there was an angel, before there was a world, a universe or a star.

THIS LIFE

You have to enjoy life without resting in it. You have to have zest for life but a desire for heaven. And you must see God in all things, realizing that He transcends them all.

HUMILITY

Ask yourselves: How little am I before God? Am I poor in spirit? Do I accept my weaknesses, my past, my sins, my idiosyncrasies, my eccentricities, and my failures? Do I accept them cheerfully? To accept one's miserable self, cheerfully, is humility.

THE WAY TO HEAVEN

You must laugh your way to heaven, because tears won't get you there.

CRACKED POTS

The Scripture says, "We are only earthenware jars" (2 Cor. 4:7). Cracked pots! That's what you are, a cracked pot that holds this great treasure. We are, all of us, imperfect, but we must remember that God is inside each of us.

MYSTERY AND FAITH

St. Augustine, one of our greatest minds in the Church, was walking on the seashore and he saw a little child. While he was walking, he tried to comprehend the Trinity: how there could possibly be three persons in one God. Further down the shore, this little child kept scooping a bucket of water and pouring it into a little hole on the beach. St. Augustine watched the child run back and forth, trying to fill the hole with water. Finally he said, "Son, what are you doing?"

The boy just looked at Augustine and said, "I'm trying to put the ocean in this hole."

"You can't. That's impossible," Augustine said.

"Neither can you understand the Trinity," the child responded. Then he disappeared.

So remember when you come upon a mystery--either in your life, or in Scripture, or in the life of Jesus--your mind can't accommodate all that is contained in the infinite, Holy God. Kinda like trying to put the entire ocean in a small hole, isn't it?

SUNKEN TREASURE

The riches of heaven are the things we should be desirous of--not the things of the world. The only treasures we know are the sunken variety. We've all seen those movies where the pirates open the trunks filled with diamonds and rubies, and we know there is tons of stuff buried at sea. It shows you what God thinks of them--they're down at the bottom! God's concept of treasure is a soul that deeply loves Him and deeply loves its neighbor. That invisible reality is far more valuable than the passing trinkets of this world.

GOD'S CHOICE

God is not hindered if He wants to use you, whether you are holy, perfect, imperfect, good or bad. He can speak through an ass if He wants to. And He did. Remember, that's how He spoke to Balaam the prophet (Num. 22:28-30). So there is hope for all of us.

SPEAKING THE TRUTH

We don't like to speak the truth about evil because we're going to hurt somebody. Let me tell you, you are going to hurt somebody, but that Somebody is God. If you would rather hurt God than your neighbor, there is something wrong with your spirituality. It's your obligation to speak the truth and everyone can either take it or leave it. But truth must be in us. We live in such poverty of the truth today.

THAT OTHER COMMANDMENT

Boldness should be the eleventh commandment!

MAKING DEALS WITH GOD

In 1957 Mother Angelica faced a hazardous spinal operation. The night before the procedure, the surgeon informed Angelica that she had only a fifty-fifty chance of ever walking again. She prayed zealously that night and made a pact with God. She told Him, "If You allow me to walk again I will build a monastery to Your glory in the South." With the aid of crutches and several braces, she did walk again. From then on she would advise:

"When you make a deal with God be very specific."

FEAR NOTHING

When you have Jesus, what is there to fear?

LOOKING FOR DUMMIES

The apostles were dodos, dummies. But all the smart people in the world at the time wouldn't take chances. That is the same problem we have today. The world is looking for intellectuals and the Lord is looking for dummies. That's why I'm here.

A MASTER'S DEGREE

We're all trying to get master's degrees, and so often we forget the Master.

THE DEGREE THAT MATTERS

Where most men work for degrees after their names, we work for one before our names: "St." It's a much more difficult degree to attain. It takes a lifetime, and you don't get your diploma until you're dead.

LEADERS LIKE YOU

Who was Jesus looking for in His apostles--to be the leader of the leaders? Simple sinners, just like us. He looked for men who loved much, whose love made them unafraid, and whose love never put a stop to God's grace. When Jesus said, "Go out without scrip or shoes" (Luke 10:4), they were dumb enough to go--they were loving enough to go.

ONE PERSON

Everything starts with one person. God loves to work with weak people--like David, a little teenager with a slingshot defeated the fearsome Goliath. Gideon with only three hundred men saved the Jewish people from slaughter and slavery. I don't care if you're five or one hundred and five, God from all eternity chose you to be where you are, at this time in history to change the world.

STEPPING OUT IN MYSTERY

We don't want to step out in faith and say, "God, the only hand I have is yours, even though I don't know where You're going." I think that's the most thrilling experience: not to know what God is doing--but going out and doing it anyway.

It's very difficult for a real Christian to mess this up. If you try something and you fail, you've been humbled. You're a little smarter the next time; you learn to depend upon God and not yourself. You can learn much in failure. If you succeed: you are aware of God's spirit, aware of His using you in extraordinary ways. So from a spiritual perspective, you can't fail no matter what happens.

THE GREATEST POWER IN THE WORLD

The greatest power for good in this world is retarded children, the deaf, the dumb, and the blind--those who suffer loneliness. They have time to live with God, to experience the joy of God, to experience the presence of God, and their prayer is powerful before the Lord.

LIFE IS PASSING

No matter how successful one is, or how famous, there comes a time when he passes on. He's like a ship going through the ocean. The ship makes a little ripple, and when it has passed through, the ocean closes in.

Isn't that what life is all about, each of us passing through? Why lament over the things you wanted and never got? Why lament over what could have been when it is all passing? Right now, you are not the person you were a half hour ago. We are one half hour closer to the journey's end. For some this is a distressing thought. Why is it that we find death so depressing? We can imagine everyone dying except ourselves. Have we lost sight of this world being a pilgrimage? It's a journey. You're not home yet. A Christian must never lose sight of this passing reality of life; and it should be faced with peace, not constant surprise.

GRUDGES

Don't waste your time in life trying to get even with your enemies. The grave is a tremendous equalizer. Six weeks after you all are dead, you'll look pretty much the same. Let the Lord take care of those whom you think have harmed you. All you have to do is love and forgive. Try to forget and leave all else to the Master.

FORGIVENESS

Forgiveness means "to give." It means to give before your neighbor does.

LIGHT AND FAITH

I believe if we want this world to stop going to hell, if we really want to do something about the darkness--then you have to light the light. There is no other way to banish darkness. You can sit in a dark room and fuss and complain about it, but all you have to do is turn on a light. God has placed us all in a dark room, hoping that we will have sense enough to turn the light on and not yell and scream and panic over the darkness, because we know where the light is--we know who the light is! And we have Him. The tragedy of this age will be if those who have the light do not let it shine. Christians of all denominations have literally put the light under a bushel.

HALF FED

Can you imagine our Lord today, in present-day Jerusalem, under such stressful conditions? Can you imagine Him getting up and saying: Blessed are the peacemakers? They would laugh Him to scorn. Because today, my friends, we only want to eat, drink, be merry, and grab all we can. "Don't talk to me about eternity, or love, or Jesus, or the Church. I want what I want--now! Give me bread now!" So we feed half the man, and then we wonder why he is empty.

GOOD ACTS

Don't kid yourself. The ...

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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I will probably reread this book again a few times.
Robert Yuhasz
This was a very inspiring and interesting insight into the Catholic faith, practices and lessons from Mother Angelica!
PJ
She helps each of us realize how God will forgive us, lift us back up, & have a try again.
Eastern Shores of Beauty

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Kayla P. on March 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I was suprised by this book, because it is really a collection of thoughts, sayings, etc. by Mother Angelica. However, I was wowed by the contents. The contents of this book are moving, funny, inspirational,and at at the same time hard-hitting. This book is like a spiritual shot in the arm. I especially love the bit about fat saints. Her saying was if your'e fat, be fat and holy, and she lists several famously fat saints. This is a great book for someone who has neither the time nor the inclination to sit down with a heavy theological work, but still wants somthing with meat to it. This is exactly that book, and it is hilarious. I would like to say that some have criticized Mr. Arroyo for having a simplistic writing style. I say that yes he does have a SIMPLE writing style, but that that style reflects the tone of Mother's message. So he is being faithful the original message. I definitely recommend this book!
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Angel's Mom on March 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Thank you Raymond Arroyo for packaging Mother's words for us. She makes everyday spirituality so important, very real, and even entertaining for all of us, from the contrite to the confirmed.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Miller VINE VOICE on March 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I found this to be a really excellent book. I also really enjoyed his first book which was a biography of Mother Angelica and found the new book to be a perfect companion to it. Raymond Arroyo has really done an excellent service by providing a sort of compendium on the teachings of Mother Angelica in the new book.

Raymond has selected passages of her writings from her mini-books, from what she has used to teach her nuns, and from her television show and placed those writing into chapters designated by an overall topic. You are not going to find some new profound truth in her writings, but more than likely you will come to understand a truth better. She has built upon many of the treasures handed down by spiritual writers and then translated them in her own distinct way.

No one will accuse Mother Angelica of teaching via flower words. Most of what she says are more like arrows shot between the eyes using language that is quite straight forward. For example she says the following on the importance of humor.

Humor is a gift that Christians should be filled with. You must laugh at yourself so you are able to take your neighbor's faults with a grain of salt. Give him the privilege of being imperfect -- just like you, sweetheart.

She is probably also the only spiritual writer that can get away with using dodo, of which she frequently has recourse to do. If you have ever watched Mother Angelica Live you will probably be familiar with some of what is in the book. Many of her well-homed stories are repeated, but there is also much material that even fans of hers show will not have heard. Besides culling from her writings and shows, Raymond Arroyo also publishes many of her prayers that she had taught her nuns and many of those are worth the price of the book.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By C. Wimer on March 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This little book is a treasure trove! This is the best of Mother Angelica! As I read through the book, I could hear Mother's voice reading it instead of my own voice. I do so miss seeing Mother on EWTN.

She is one of a kind. Mother tells it like it is, and it's all right here in this book! So, buy this book and soak up Mother's wisdom. As Mother would say, "I don't care if you're 5 or 105, God from all eternity chose you to be where you are, at this time in history, to change the world." Now, isn't that awesome?
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By bookscdsdvdsandcoolstuff VINE VOICE on April 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This little book is like having an excellent spiritual director at your beck and call 24 hours a day!

This is a remarkably deep and profound book. Most striking for me was Mother's emphasis on a spirituality of the "Present Moment." We are called to be faithful NOW. Not yesterday, for that is passed; not tomorrow, for that is yet to be. We can only be holy if we focus on the now. The "Present Moment" is really all there is.

However, like all of Mother's talks and broadcasts, this book's depth and profundity come to us in a humble and easy to understand format. Mother uses simple and humble language, and shares deep eternal truths.

Most touching for me is her compassion. There is no one on TV today quite like Mother. EWTN is still going strong (PRAISE GOD!) but everyone there would readily admit that the network has lost something very special since we now can only enjoy Mother in re-runs of her classic shows. People used to call in with their problems, for advice, for help and support. Everyone just trusted Mother, and for good reason. Today the network focuses on matters of the faith: on apologetics and catechesis. However, then, Mother did all that, and touched us personally as well.

This book is an absolute treasure. I am convinced every person of good will would do well to read it. (Putting it into practice... that is a little harder!)

God Bless Mother Angelica!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Vincent Lim on April 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Very interesting and life enriching book from a beautiful person. I love it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. Sample on May 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anyone who wants to seek some guidance in this mixed up world will find what they are seeking in this powerful little book. Mother Angelica is wise, spiritual, homey, motherly and practical. Something for everyone.
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