I wonder what Mother Angelica would have said
Mother Angelica was a cloistered (enclosed) Catholic nun who founded a television broadcasting station on a shoestring from a garage. It currently airs all over the world. Her TV shows can still be seen on EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) and are worth watching for her teachings and humor.
Mother Angelica always spoke her mind, no matter how many people she offended by her pithy remarks. She always spoke the absolute truth even if it was the “brutal truth.” I would like to be more like her. Some of her most famous quotes are:
Here is my story.
I attend a group here in my senior’s residence where one woman announced that she was a fallen-away Catholic, although she had attended Catholic schools as a youngster. Imagine my surprise to see her at Mass the following week, where she was introduced to the visiting priest. She announced to him she was a fallen-away Catholic and did not want him to convert her. They had given her the parish bulletin prior to Mass and she read the bulletin throughout Mass and during father’s homily. (I thought this extremely rude and disrespectful). Then at communion, she held out her hands to receive communion just as everyone else did. As father approached her, he placed his hand on her head but did not give her communion.
At our next meeting, this woman complained that she had not received communion. She neglected to mention her behavior before and during Mass. All she wanted to do was complain about the Catholic Church and how she was mistreated. This gave her the excuse for remaining a fallen-away Catholic.
She turned to me and asked, “Did you notice Father didn’t give me communion?” Since I was sitting behind and to the side of her during Mass, I could not help but notice and said so.
This is what I would have liked to say to her:
“What did you expect? You told Father you were a fallen-away Catholic, so why should he give you communion?
“Don’t you remember your lessons in Catholic school about the proper reception of the Eucharist? Or did you ignore the lessons? Why did you put your hands up to receive the Eucharist up anyway?
“And why were you reading the church bulletin throughout Mass and during Father’s homily? Did you think he wouldn’t notice? Or were you doing it on purpose to show him how much you were distancing yourself from Mass and from him?
“Why did you come to Mass in the first place?”
How I wish I could have said these things to her.
The following week I shared my impressions with another woman who had also been at Mass. I asked her if she had noticed that the woman had read the parish bulletin throughout Mass and she replied “yes,” she had noticed. When I said I thought it was rude and disrespectful, she replied that she was surprised the woman had stayed for the whole Mass and had not walked out. When I asked if she had noticed that the woman had put up her hands for communion, she responded that she had not seen the interaction. When I asked her for her thought, she replied that she too was confused. Why would the woman want to receive communion? It made no sense.
We agreed that we wondered if she would show up at Mass again. We also agreed that if she did show up, she would not receive the Sunday bulletin before Mass.
I wonder what Mother Angelica would have said to her.
“Those not in full communion with the Church — those who, by their public actions, have shown their rejection of an essential truth of Catholic faith — should have the integrity not to present themselves for reception of the Eucharist. The first burden of obligation rests on those men and women…… To receive the Eucharist is more than an expression of personal piety. It is a statement of one’s full communion with the Church. Making that clear, by instruction if possible and disciplinary action if necessary, is a pastoral obligation. ‘It is not,’ Pope Francis said, ‘a punishment.’ Nor is it ‘weaponizing’ the Eucharist. It is calling the estranged to deeper conversion to Christ. That is what good shepherds do.” Catholic World Report 10/21/2021