Dear Members of the Mother Angeline Society,
Greetings in the Lord! We thank God for another year as we continue to pray and work for the advancement of the Cause of Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa, O.Carm, and to trust that in God’s time, her merits and virtues will be recognized and her progress toward beatification and canonization move forward. We hear of many favors that individuals believe they have received through the intercession of Mother Angeline and even more so, we see over and over again the effects of her inspiration in the lives of people, in the work of caring for the elderly and ill, and in promoting the value of life and the sanctity of life as it comes under attack in so many subtle but lethal ways. Mother Angeline is a wonderful patroness for the cause of life, and her values and virtues indispensable in maintaining the attitude of charity and respect for the vulnerable that should mark the lives of Christian people and human society.
This year we are remembering Mother Angeline as a Model of Hospitality. This is more than a phrase or slogan. It goes to the heart of our Venerable as a person. By habit, by virtue, she was hospitable to others. It seems not to even have been a decision she made, but rather her way of being. Welcome others, offer a kind and consoling word to those needing to be comforted, help those in distress and make a home for the elderly where they can enjoy their golden years with respect, peace and security. An important part of Mother’s hospitality was spiritual as well. She counseled that the elderly should be welcomed and treated as if, first, they were our own parents, and then, welcomed as if we were welcoming Christ Himself. The chapel, the Tabernacle where Christ dwells in the Eucharist, was to be the center of each Home, because Mother knew that Christ was the supreme host who alone could grant all who came to Him what they most needed. She taught her Carmelite Sisters by example and word to bear this sense of hospitality and to offer without measure the charity and welcome of Christ to others. Thus, pastoral care must be an integral part of the care of the aged and infirm, because Christ is always the “pastor” that cares for His flock. Truly, Mother’s sense of hospitality was nothing less than the application of the beatitudes, the gospel of Christ: to care for the poor, naked, lonely, and hungry and to do so as if we were caring for Him, and to care without measure. Hospitality must come from the heart, from the soul. The interior disposition of each of us needs to be refreshed and purified by God’s love, by prayer, and by constant practice so that we can offer what is needed generously. We thank Mother Angeline for her sterling example of hospitality, and pray for some portion of her spirit so that we can make our world a more welcoming and Christ-filled place.
Very Reverend Mario Esposito, O.Carm. – Vice Postulator