Sunday, April 3, 2016



Photo: Catholic News Agency

Catholics around the world mourn the loss of Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation, the Founder of EWTN Catholic television network and Foundress of Our Lady of the Angels Monastery.  After the funeral, when Mother's body was being processed to the crypt for burial, an image of her headstone was shown in which her favorite Scripture passage was inscribed:

And we, with our unveiled faces reflecting like mirrors the brightness of the Lord, all grow brighter and brighter as we are turned into the image that we reflect; this is the work of the Lord who is Spirit.
(2 Cor 3:18) This translation is from the Jerusalem Bible.

The preceding text of this passage refers to Moses. Moses veiled his face when he descended Mount Horeb after having conversed with God. St. Paul, sees this veiling as a failure of the Jews to recognize Jesus as the Messiah. He exhorts us to act boldly, because we have our hope in Christ. He states again in his Letter to the Corinthians:

Therefore, since we have such hope, we act very boldly and not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the Israelites could not look intently at the cessation of what was fading... 
(2 Corinthians 3:12-13), St. Paul refers to the glory of the Lord that endures forever.

Mother Angelica was bold in proclaiming the Gospel. She didn't seem to have any fears in regard to the network, because she had such great trust and confidence in God who would accomplish his will through her. 

As secular Carmelites, we are called to be witnesses in the world of God's love. We must boldly travel up and down the "mountain" in prayer, with unveiled faces to proclaim this love to the world. This is the heart of our Carmelite vocation. As Carmelites, we should be very familiar with Carmelite Friar, Fr. Aloysius Deeney's description of a secular Carmelite:

A Secular Carmelite is a practicing member of the Catholic Church, who, under the protection of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and inspired by Saint Teresa of Jesus and Saint John of the Cross, makes the commitment to the Order to seek the face of God for the sake of the Church and the world

Our Lord tells us We are the light of the world...A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket... (Matthew 5:14-15)

We must let our light as Carmelites shine in this world. If we never make an effort to evangelize, whether at home, at work, or in the marketplace, we are not being true to the prophetic roots of our Order. Our main call of evangelization is to be a witness to prayer, then sharing the fruit of our prayer with our neighbor. This is lived out on a daily basis in the spirit of the Beatitudes.

The Israelites were shielded by a veil from seeing the fading of glory in Moses' face.  Sometimes, we fall into this in regard to spiritual consolations. St. John of the Cross teaches us that many people give up the life of prayer when spiritual consolations cease, "the fading of glory," we could say. We have to be true prophets in this world, witnesses who will bravely ascend the mountain, whether we feel like it or not. It is the Spirit's gift of perseverance that keeps us on the road of prayer despite dryness, temptation to complain, and no spiritual consolation. These are not punishments from God, these are necessary for purification. For this is where we live-we are a pilgrim people on this earth, travelling through the desert with God before us, leading us to the promise land. 

Mother Angelica knew this. May God reward her perseverance and trust in him. And may we follow her bold example of being a witness to the love of God in this world.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

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