Warsaw noted of Mother Angelica: “She always said to me that she believed that would be her witness to the world after she was gone, to trust in Providence. In his biography of Pope St. John Paul, George Weigel referred to him as ‘a witness to hope.’ I’ve often referred to Mother Angelica as the witness to Providence because that’s really always been at the core of her life. It’s instilled into the DNA of EWTN.”
The archbishop agreed. “The real heart of Franciscan spirituality is seeing the world as a daughter or son of God. And if God is our Father, we can trust Him. And if God is our Father, we are sisters and brothers in one another. … [Mother Angelica] demonstrated to us through her life that there’s no problem with trusting God because God is always faithful to His promises.”
Chaput offered two pieces of advice to those engaged in the New Evangelization, as Mother was.
First, he said: “No matter how old we’re getting or how much we’re suffering, if you look at things you should be grateful for, it gives you a joyful heart. …I don’t know what eternity is going to be like. St. Paul said we don’t have any idea what God has in store for those He loves and who love Him, but I’m looking forward with anticipation and joy to the adventure of Eternity, which I deeply believe in and am confident about.”
Second, the archbishop suggested that all who are involved in the New Evangelization should rise above discouragement and despair and maintain a sense of adventure.
“The world around us has changed and become so much more difficult than it was before. The temptation then is to despair…or, at least, to be discouraged…You stop seeing life as an adventure, but just something you have to endure,” Chaput said.
“I think it’s important for us to maintain a sense of adventure about the faith, that God has given us a difficult world, which should make the business of evangelization more exciting rather than less exciting. But we can’t do it in the old way. …We have to be creative and try to really respond to the world as it is rather than what we would hope it to be."
Chaput continued: “So I encourage people to be enthusiastic, to be zealous, and to find friends who are the same so they don't give in to discouragement and they make the world that God is giving us a place where his Word can be proclaimed with joy and confidence.”
Further information about the Mother Angelica Award and the ceremony can be found at www.ewtn.com/award.
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