View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Mother Angelica: The Book

I finished Raymond Arroyo’s biography of Mother Angelica last night.

I don’t have cable, and even when I did, I didn’t always have access to EWTN, so I had never had much viewing contact with her.

I hadn’t realized how much physical suffering she’s experienced most of her life.

The fact that she never let the suffering hold her back is admirable.

I hadn’t realized that she was a charismatic for a time. Given her personality, it made sense, but given her later traditionalist views and actions, I found it interesting. (I, too, was a charismatic – even speaking in tongues!)

I also hadn’t realized that some of her traditionalism was added later. I’d only known her to be that way.

In addition, I hadn’t realized how much of a struggle it had been to get EWTN on the air or to sustain it.

Because I was a Catholic journalist during the time of her battles with the U.S. bishops over her criticisms and the fight about CTNA, I was aware of them. The book filled in some gaps.

Basically, the book is a hagiography. The author clearly likes her (heck, she hired him to work for EWTN).

He paints her in a positive light, touching on some of her warts, but not really examining them.

The book basically reinforced the impression I’d had of her.

I suspect fans of Mother Angelica will like it.

Those interested in understanding some of the personalities and issues that affected and shaped the current U.S. Church will find it worth reading.

I found the information about her suffering, and the ways she offered it up and refused to give in food for some spiritual reflections. I was reminded of Pope John Paul II.

But on the whole, I found myself reading the last few chapters more for the sake of finishing the book than from a desire to learn any more.

The book did not turn me into a fan.


Blogger tom said...

lee..check out Peggy Noonans book John Paul the Great...good riff on the priest abuse issue, and takes the pontiff to task on some issues..well done...almost finished.

4:43 PM  

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