Five Suggestions from Mother Angelica for Holy Week

Mother Angelica.

Mother Angelica, foundress of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), CNA’s parent company, once offered helpful advice for Holy Week.

In a program broadcast in March 1994 before Easter, Mother Angelica offered five ways to be well prepared when the Easter Triduum begins. Her Holy Week recommendations continue to be wise and practical to this day:

1. Repent and change your life.

At the beginning of her reflections, Mother Angelica mentioned Marian apparitions and said that they all have in common the call to “repentance, a metanoia, a change of life.”

When the Virgin’s message is followed, the person must make you “a better Catholic, a better Christian, it must make you a better individual, make you more loving, more kind, more forgiving. It has to make you appreciate Jesus more and appreciate our Mother, your family more.”


“It has to make you more loving in your family and more compassionate. We are Christians!” she emphasized.

She then referred to the Bible and said: “This book is to be lived, not just read.”

Speaking about the mercy of God and the passage about the woman caught in adultery, the foundress of EWTN pointed out that Jesus told her: “Go and sin no more. There is a condition for her to be forgiven,” she explained.

2. Remember that hell exists.

“You say well, there’s a lot of theologians who say there’s no hell. When you’re down there with this theologian, you’re gonna look at him and say, ‘You got me in here.’ Is that going to do you any good? Don’t pay attention to that rot. Better to be in heaven and look down and say ‘I told you there was one, you wouldn’t listen,’” she added.

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Mother Angelica then said that the Virgin Mary does not want her children to go to hell but rather that they be saved from it.

“Our Mother is trying to tell us: ‘You cannot defy God forever, you cannot murder children forever [through abortion], you cannot teach great apostasies and lies forever, you cannot ruin your children forever. God sees you going toward that precipice, which is eternal, and he’ll grab us.’”

3. Forgive your enemy.

Mother Angelica explained that people’s great wounds originate “when we can’t forgive.”

“Next week [Holy Week] is the week in which we must forgive. None of us went through what Jesus went through, yet he forgave. Can you imagine that? On Good Friday you go to church and imagine our dear Lord hanging like that for so long.”


This week, she said, “I would like you, before Good Friday, to call your favorite enemy, that is, the one you hate the most, the one you talk about the most and to whom you wish terrible things to happen. Call him and tell him: ‘I forgive you.’ And if the answer is ‘don’t bother me,’ which is something he might say, you don’t need to worry because you’ve already forgiven him.”

4. Pray the rosary every day.

Mother Angelica further emphasized the need to pray the rosary daily, since “there is nothing more powerful than prayer.”

Responding to a woman who called the program asking for prayers and advice to deal with a family problem, Mother Angelica recalled that “our dear Lord said ‘don’t let the sun go down on your anger’ ... What you need to know and what I want to tell you is this: You and your sister pray the rosary every day and be at peace.”

“All my life I have thought that when a person dies, there is that space of less than a second between the judgment and the moment when there are no more chances, when everything is established forever. I believe that that moment of time is the one in which through prayers a person can see Jesus for an instant. I think that vision might make them say, ‘Oh God, forgive me!’ It’s all they need to be saved.”

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“So, don’t get discouraged by looking for results. Pray with confidence. I can tell you that if you trust in the Lord, he never, but never, fails. He is like that,” she explained. “God will answer your prayers as he answered [St.] Monica’s for [St.] Augustine,” she added.

5. Learn to listen to other people’s problems.

At one point in the program, Mother Angelica heard from a man who suffers from depression and who commented that he didn’t feel like doing anything.

“Many people suffer from depression. Sometimes it’s physical, I know, but sometimes it happens that we think too much about ourselves, about the future,” she said.

“Sometimes those who suffer from depression don’t pray, they say they can’t, but you have to make yourself do it by saying, ‘Jesus, I love you, help me. I don’t want to feel like that.’ And then do something, go to a nursing home. ‘How depressing!’ No, it’s not.”

Mother Angelica then proposed doing something concrete, not only for those who suffer from depression: “You need to feel the love and gratitude of other people and in this way we get out of ourselves, out of our heads.”

“Remember, someone needs you somewhere. Someone needs your prayer, your smile, your attention,” she said.

“There are people in nursing homes who have nine or 10 children and none of them visit them. Why don’t you go? Why don’t you look around and see your neighbor? Why don’t you look him up and listen to his problems for a while? Suddenly you end up saying: ‘And I thought I had a problem.’”

“You have to do something: You have to pray, you have to trust and then do something to get out of yourself and get out of depression that way. And ask others to pray for you,” Mother Angelica recommended.

To conclude, the foundress of EWTN as well as the Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Alabama wished everyone “a blessed, grace-filled, and prayerful Holy Week: Forgive your worst enemy, love your family, and have a very blessed Easter. God bless you.”

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.