Rick Warren is the pastor of Saddleback Church, one of the largest and most influential evangelical Protestant mega-churches in the world, as well as the author of the best-selling book The Purpose Driven Life.
Which makes a few things he revealed about his spiritual life in an interview very intriguing: he regularly prays the Divine Mercy Chaplet with his wife, he watches EWTN more than any other Christian TV channel, two of his heroes are Pope St. John Paul II and Bl. Mother Teresa, and he admires the ministry of Pope Francis.
“I’m an avid fan of EWTN,” Warren told Raymond Arroyo on the EWTN program The World Over in 2014. “I make no bones about it. I probably watch it more than any Christian channel.”
When Arroyo asked why, Warren explained: “Because you have more shows that relate to history.”
“And if you don’t understand the roots of our faith, that God has been working for two thousand years, regardless of what brand of believer you are, God has been working for two thousand years in his Church. And if you don’t have those roots, you’re like the cut flower syndrome or a tumble weed.” (Convert to Catholicism Bl. John Henry Newman’s famous quote comes to mind: “To be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant.”)
He then revealed he particularly likes the Divine Mercy Chaplet. “One of my favorite shows, which you repeat often, is the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, which I love.”
“When I’ve had a very stressful day, I’ll come home, I’ve got it taped, and Kay and I, we’ll both listen. We’ll put it on, and just sit back and relax, worship. And in that time of reflection, meditation, quietness I find myself renewed and restored.”
Arroyo then asked Warren about three large images in his office of Billy Graham, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mother Teresa.
“Well, the only one who’s missing is John Paul II,” Warren answered. “Those four people were the greatest influences on the 20th century without a doubt. Each of them represent lessons I’ve tried to learn.”
He then gave an example: “Mother Teresa taught the world that the face of Jesus is seen in the poor. That we need the poor. Not only do the poor need us; we need the poor.”
Earlier in the interview, Warren also expressed his admiration for Pope Francis. “Love always reaches people. Authenticity, humility – Pope Francis is the perfect example of this. He’s doing everything right. You see, people will listen to what we say if they like what they see.”
“As our new pope, he was very, very symbolic with his first Mass with people with AIDS; his kissing of the deformed man; his loving the children. This authenticity, this humility, the caring for the poor: this is what the whole world expects us Christians to do.”
“There’s a headline here in Orange County, and I loved the headline, I saved it: ‘If you love Pope Francis, you’ll love Jesus.’ That was a headline!”
It’s impossible to know what impact these things might have on Warren’s faith. But one thing seems clear: that Warren is a godly man who is passionately seeking after Jesus. Let his faith be in inspiration to all of us!
Here’s the part about EWTN and the Divine Mercy Chaplet:
And here’s the full interview (we recommend you watch the whole thing!):
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