This weekend, I went to South Jersey and did not take my computer with me. This was almost like going through a weekend of withdrawal, but I am glad that I did it. I got caught up on some knitting and started crocheting (very poorly)...and I watched television for the first time in a very long time. For the most part, I tend to catch up on television via internet...so watching something on a television (with cable) is something that I am not used to. Needless to say, however, there was nothing to watch besides a nail-biting Bayern Munich vs. Chelsea Champions League win. However, once the match was over and I had the TV to myself, I quickly realized that today's television really stinks. I tried watching the Tale of Despereaux for a while, but ultimately ended up channel surfing until I came across...Mother Angelica.
It was an old taping of one of her live shows from 1998. I did the math, and realized that I was still in middle school when this first aired. At that age, I would never have imagined my 26 year old self ever watching EWTN for fun...and I CERTAINLY would have never imagined myself hanging on Mother Angelica's every word. Holy Moly, she is well-spoken. On top of that, she spoke in a way that made it seem like she was in the room with me. The way she looked at the camera made it seem like she was in the living room with me, simply speaking with me. Some viewers asked some questions that I've had bouncing around in my mind before...and the way she answered these people really was almost magical.
One of the viewers, for example, wondered why the Blessed Sacrament was not exposed during the mass. My apologies if I end up butchering the response, but she said something about how mass transports us all back to Calvary at Christ's crucifixion. She explained how God always exists in the present and that the present takes place along with the future and past without distinction. The sacrifice at mass is, essentially, performed simultaneously with the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. As we sit, stand, and kneel in mass, we are present with Christ at the last supper and present with him as he dies on the cross for us. We are there during the suffering, the sacrifice, and the immense, sorrowful beauty of the entire Passion as it unfolds. She explained how even though everything is possible with God, you cannot have the end result of the sacrifice (ie. the body, blood, soul, and divinity of resurrected Christ) while Christ is being crucified before us...and before the transubstantiation occurs.
I truly am butchering her explanation...but it really was beautiful and it certainly helped me understand a little more about the mass...and how essential it is to attend mass. Mother Angelica mentioned how we are all there at Calvary with Christ whenever we go to mass....and as crazy as it sounds, I have felt this to be true for some time. I have felt the presence of others before during mass. I have felt the presence of the departed during the funeral mass. I have felt like I was one with 2000 odd years of Catholics during the Triduum masses. Though my mom has been gone for 8 years, I still hear her voice as strong and beautiful as ever in the choir whenever I go to the Portuguese mass. I could even almost swear that I once felt an angel brush up against my arm when I was a child during mass.. I am, to this day, even convinced I once saw an angel kneeling on the floor during mass when I was slacking on my own kneeling (even with the comfy, padded kneeler in front of me). Ever since then, I kneel properly because I just can't get that thought of the intense humility and sincere reverence displayed by this angel. You can call me crazy and you certainly don't have to believe a single word of any of this...but as far as I am concerned...Mother Angelica essentially summed up many of the powerful feelings and experiences I've had in the past 26 years...into about 2 minutes of response time.
I know I have only scratched the surface as far as Mother Angelica's wisdom, faith, and intense understanding of all that is good and Catholic...but as far as I'm concerned, she's certainly worthy of the Catholic Science Geek Cool Catholic Award.