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Raymond Arroyo
Columns and Articles
 
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Inside the List
By DWIGHT GARNER
New York Times Permalink

GREATER SAINTS: Mother Angelica, the jowly Franciscan nun who became an unlikely cable broadcasting star — Time magazine once compared her to Benny Hill in a wimple — has the No. 8 book on the hardcover advice extended list. It’s “Mother Angelica’s Little Book of Life Lessons and Everyday Spirituality,” edited by Raymond Arroyo. Mother Angelica no longer tapes episodes of the rambling, slightly batty, ferociously conservative talk show that made her famous; she’s had a series of strokes in recent years. But the unbuttoned personality that made her show weirdly addictive is on display in this grab-bag anthology of her wit and wisdom. Take, for example, this big woman’s disquisition on her favorite jumbo-size saints. There was St. Francis Borgia, she writes, “so fat they had to cut a hole in the table so he could reach his food.” And St. Thomas Aquinas, who “would get nervous and all he did was eat, eat, eat.” And finally, she notes: “Don’t believe those skinny statues of St. Anthony you’ve seen. He was no slim Jim either. He was fat, real fat.” Mother Angelica puts pudginess where it belongs: next to godliness.
  
 NOTE: This column refers to the best-sellers lists dated April 1, 2007. On the Web, the lists are available one week ahead of the print edition of the Book Review.