Witnesses to God’s Mercy


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Run Time: 14:10. Gospel: Jn 20:19-31.

This girl Rita, who would become Mary Angelica, found the love of Christ. And when she found it, well there was no way she was going to let it go. In some of the testimonies they talked about her response to God’s call. I think once God first nudged the rest of the time was her chasing Him down. That there was a passion and love in her heart. That she was no reluctant bride being dragged to the altar. She was eager to live as a bride of Christ. And did so as a contemplative Poor Clair. And then at an age when most people are getting ready for … pondering retirement (she was right about 60 when she started the Eternal Word Television Network, an effort to make Christ known by whatever means possible: Little books, and talks on TV, and a television station, and then radio, and the internet). And now throughout the world as a witness again to God’s mercy.
…And what these two have in common, two things in particular. St. John Paul II and Mother Angelica. The first was their witness to redemptive suffering. Both of them suffered greatly…
This is the first thing, the second is so closely related to it and not a surprise for those who, as St. Paul says, ‘in their bodies made up for what was lacking in Christ’s.’ They were witnesses to that gift that Jesus had entrusted to the Church when He said to the Apostles, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them.’ For both of them had a part in the revival of that treasured gift to the Church in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Both of them tirelessly preached the value of confession and the importance of that sacramental forgiveness, which God gives through the Church. They stood both by their own example and by their preaching as witnesses to the mercy of God – not as an idea, not just a concept, but as an encounter as an engagement and a lived reality.