Mother Angelica - Her Grand Silence
By Raymond Arroyo. Many years ago, Raymond Arroyo, host of EWTN's World Over, promised Mother Angelica that he would "tell the full story" of her life. He kept that promise in writing Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles. This book, Her Grand Silence, is the final chapter of the life and legacy of Mother Angelica.
It is the story of Mother Angelica's full surrender of her will to God. She suffered much physical pain, mental anguish over drama within her monastery, and spiritual attacks by the devil. After her stroke, which left her confined to her bedroom, Mother shared with Raymond that her restricted speech and physical limitations served a higher purpose. "Purification, my purification," she said. Raymond Arroyo shares stories of his own personal relationship with Mother, as well as stories of her many devoted followers. In their struggles with despair, through God's grace, Mother was present for them.
In a mystical way, I believe that Mother Angelica was present to my father and me, while he was bedridden in the nursing center prior to his death. As I shared with you before in Medjugorje Magazine, my father suffered from partial paralysis and other physical and mental limitations for 30 years due to a massive stroke. He was an avid viewer of EWTN, but not a huge fan of Mother Angelica. That is, until he learned that she also had suffered a massive stroke, and was bedridden. Now they were kindred souls!
On the evening of September 17, 2014, I felt moved to reread one of my Mother Angelica books. The next morning, I continued reading Mother Angelica with my morning coffee. When I came to the Marian Center that day, my very first phone call was from a customer wanting us to set aside three Mother Angelica books. This was my first call for Mother's books.
Later that evening, my dad and I were talking about Mother Angelica, her sufferings, and her loss of speech. Sitting in a chair next to my dad's bed, I "happened" to glance down at the sheets. The name, ANGELICA, jumped out at me. It must have been the name of the company that made the bed linens.
A few days prior to that, my dad had told me that the sound of the EWTN channel on his television had been out for several days. All of the other channels had sound, except EWTN. Hmmm...my dad and I had discussed how Mother Angelica could not speak due to her stroke. Now, only the EWTN channel was silent.
Raymond Arroyo shared that over the years, Our Lady of the Angels Monastery had received letters from people who claimed that Mother Angelica had visited them during distressing moments in their lives. One girl from South America said that she saw Mother at the foot of her bed one night. A truck driver, who was at a low point in his life, wrote that Mother appeared in the seat next to him as he drove his truck. Sister Gabriel, a tiny Vietnamese nun who took care of Mother, said, "I feel in my heart that when she is sleeping deeply, she is bilocating, so I try not to wake her when she is in a deep sleep."
Did Mother Angelica have the gift of bilocation? Only God knows. But, I know that I felt her presence in my dad's room that evening. A comforting presence that God was with us and that all is well. Mother Angelica, pray for us.
Hardcover, 240 pages.