Servant of God, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Archbishop Fulton SheenServant of God, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Today isn’t an important date in the life, death or Cause for Canonization of Fulton J. Sheen; he’s topical only because I found a copy of one of his books at a thrift store so am reading Life is Worth Living, a book published in the 50’s from transcripts of his show one season. I haven’t even finished it yet, but am impressed with the relevance of his topics in today’s political climate. He talks about various things, such as Communism and the Constitution and while he’s talking about the USSR, so much of it resonates with current events in the US.

He invokes Article 2 of the Constitution, in which we find the establishment clause, namely, our First Amendment rights; Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Many of these rights are currently under fire.


3 Responses to Servant of God, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

  1. Right from my early age as a Altar Server, I have been hearing of Archbishop Fulton John Sheen. As a I seminarian started appreciating his thoughts though without reading any of his works. Behold now am studying and about to write my Thesis on: “The Priestly Spirituality according to Archbishop Fulton John Sheen” I appreciate most profoundly his Theological and Spiritual works boarding on Priesthood and other Sacraments. I pray that the Cause of Beatification and Canonization be quickened.


    Each year as the celebration of the Great Easter remains just a week, we journey towards this liturgical Feast of Feasts and Week of Weeks beginning with Passion (Palm) Sunday in a most solemn liturgical, spiritual, moral and social ways. This entire preparation anchors on one and one or Father and child spiritual relationship. I need to ask myself, is this just celebration like any other celebration? Certainly no! This is a celebration with the most profound reflection, contemplation, meditation and oratio culminated in my personal and strict private life with a high spiritual cum moral spectrum constantly ringing in my ears these words: NOSCE TE IPSUM. Ipso facto, Holy Week is:
    H – HOLINESS ought to envelop you in all ramifications and at all times. Cfr. Matt.5.
    O – OBEDIENCE to God’s commandments ought to be holistic, do not leave any for your own selfish satisfaction. Cfr. 1Sam.15:22-23.
    L – LEAVE completely and sincerely that which gives joy and annoys God. Cfr. Sirach 21:2-4; Ezk.18:23; Ps.119:9-10; Lk.18:9-14.
    Y – YOU are the only person that can truly leave off your obstinacy in sin, through the grace of the Holy Spirit if you want, wish and ask. Cfr. Matt.7:7.
    W – WICKEDNESS should not be associated with you, in so doing God listens to your prayer when you pray. Cfr. 2Chron.7:14-22.
    E – EMPTY yourself for the good of others in a most sincere way. Cfr. Phil.2:7-9; Joel 2:13; Mk.1:15.
    E – EMULATE the good things from others, in this way it increases your spirit and act of almsgiving. Cfr. Lk.18:22; Acts.9:36; 24:17; Tobit 4:16-17, Matt.6:1-4; 25:31-46.
    K – KNOCK constantly at God’s Meek and Compassionate Heart through His Sacramental Cleansing Mystery; by this you continue to be holy even after Holy Week, for Christ said: “Esote vos perfecti sicut et Pater vester caelestis prefectus est – Be you perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” Matt.5:48.



    My beloved brother priests-in-the-making welcome back our home after this year’s unique denary apostolic work. Oh what a nice and wonderful innovation of spiritual rejuvenation to our people, for some in their home parishes while others parishes very much near to their home town. “No prophet is regarded in his home town” but now with the spiritual wave movement in our diocese prophets are now are carried with utmost dignities in their home town. This is only obtainable when we reflect our priestly and Christ-like life vis-à-vis freedom as a gift from God, detachment and the promise of “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God” Matt 5:8.
    According to San Josemaría we learnt that our human nature is very much appreciated when we are free in relating with God as to voice out our nothingness before him like St. Peter, “Lord depart from me for I am a sinful man” (Lk.5:8). Freedom as a gift, prompted St. Josemaría to say: “Lord, do not depart from me, for without you I can do no good at all” . God is freedom himself, when we accept freedom we are always happy. In freedom the will of the Father is ever completed and consummated. It is in view of this that Jesus was happy to submit to the will and freedom of God of choosing to die on the cross having received very many scourges, sufferings and insults from humanity for the salvation of man. Freedom is truth, divine, heavenly, celestially compensational when it is geared or directed towards good and away from selfish love. Therefore, Christ demands from us, seminarians (future priests) a voluntary act of personal freedom which is a gateway to truthful life. The immense treasure and special birth right of Christianity is determined by the daily renewal of our lives in freedom as seen by San Josemaría. Very many who are in search of freedom and self surrender reads and takes literally the words of the Bible to satisfy their egocentric notions; they try to put outside the obvious truth that following Christ involves suffering, cross and hardship. We find meaning in our daily struggling in nature when we appreciate the perfect coincidence of God’s plan with our freedom. Therefore, love of God is a treasure of dignity and nobility of human beings. If our freedom as a seminarian lacks love, we enter into arid spiritual aridity, but with great sacrifice we are ever young in spirit. This youthful spirit of love finds meaning in freedom of consciousness only when it avoids licentiousness. Ipso facto, man as a free slave of God is obliged to worship God because he is the master of his own destiny, good or bad as it may be, for man is the sole origin of his sinful will. Furthermore, rationality is a free gift to man, hence his essence is found in that. When he works in evil, he is contradicting his natural gift. It is only by man’s free use of his intelligence that he fulfills the noble task of his dependence to God. In view of this, our divine filiations make us slaves of Love, which is God himself. This is freedom only in sincere service to others, by which we are inseparable from and with Christ. In the search or adventure of sincere freedom we reveal our personality and love. Sin has no anonymous doer. God do not force or impose us to adore him. Truth, justice and goodness found its fullness in love of God which our faith without burden of limitation feeds from true religion. Therefore, the object and fullness of freedom is in eternal love, God himself.
    The saint sees the need of detachment as a necessary way of understanding better the redemptive way in Christ’s voluntary acceptance to die for all. During Lent the Mother Church reminds us of our nothingness and insignificance before the Lord, yet at the same time shows us God’s magnificence and how He divinized us and we became identified with Christ in his sufferings. The saint made us to understand that the infinite harmony and immeasurable mystery of God is enveloped in the kenosis of Christ. Our human nature cannot boast of anything good except that which comes from God, which we are mere bearers. Therefore, we ought to be careful in the use of our gifts from God. Hence, we should always avoid selfish and vanities in our daily lives. Imitation of Christ is prominent in detachment. In total surrender we understand easily that our sinful nature is able to change, to saintly nature through life of continence. According to him, he juxtaposed Christian self-control with the detached and ascetic life of Christ while on earth. Christ was and is still the example par excellence of abject poverty, from birth when he slept on the straw in the manger. He had nothing to eat but depended on what nature can provide at a point in time from the earth or the sea; so it ought to be for us seminarians. At his death Christ was buried in a borrowed tomb. We can understand that the life of self control which Jesus demands from us is on total trust and dependence on divine Providence. San Josemaría talking about himself never gave any credit to himself but believed in divine Providence. By this God becomes the “generous paymaster”, for He does not dwell in the heart which has empty love. By being in the world as seminarian but more so as Christians performing our ordinary work, we sanctify our work in life, sanctify ourselves and help others sanctify themselves. Furthermore, for Josemaría detachment implies being clean in appearance, in attire, and above all clean in the soul, hence it is self-dominion. In fact it is moderation with naturalness. The spirit of mortification and detachment helps us to value the gifts of nature around us. God loves voluntary mortifications for it increases our virtue and helps us to fight temptations when they come over us. To help us detach from our various “idols” we ought to seek and consult our spiritual directors. But there is attachment which we may not give up, that is deep love for others for Christ’s sake. When we are sincerely detached of things, the result is absolutely being a cheerful and generous giver to God and to humanity, which arises from true mortification and identification with Christ.
    As seminarians and priests with true mortification and identification with Christ we are blessed with purity hence shall see God (cfr. Matt. 5:8). This means that our constant union with Christ transforms us into being immaculate. Hence the virtue of holy purity is a touchstone of apostolic soul and zeal. This is like a preservative in our Christian life, which helps us to see God. Chastity or purity is a “divine magnet” that draws or attracts others to itself. Christ used this in his divine mission and apostolate every day and everywhere, so also we ought to do same being specially called by him not that we are better off than our brothers and sisters. Chastity is to be maintained always everywhere and in the celibate life, single and married lives only if our will-power is united to the will of God, hence having the self-mastery over our flesh or instinctive desires. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, hence should be kept pure, for purity is Love. Purity consists of the whole human person, therefore it departs from the heart or mind as to govern the whole system. For some, to talk about chastity is very absurd, impracticable and out of place in this modern time, hence it is a laughing stock when one talks about it. The author likened the life of chastity with mineral kingdom, vegetable kingdom, animal kingdom and hominal kingdom which is made of human beings with intelligence. In this hominal kingdom, man ought to use his reason to climb to the spiritual ideal by being master of his or her sexual impulse. Therefore, purity is possible only when we are in sincere friendship with God. Nevertheless, it is a life time struggle against the weak inclination of the flesh but with prudence we seek God’s assistance through Mary’s intercession. If we avoid occasions of sin, through humility we shall be putting the devil to shame because we cannot attain spiritual progress if we are corrupted by the lust of concupiscence of the flesh.
    Let us go to the Sacrament of Confession for constant rejuvenation, this needs also constant habit of mortification as to be in union with Love of Loves. Man is an image of Love, when this true Love is lacking, he moves towards sensual, insensitive and sentimental love which makes him a “spiritual vacuum”. Chastity is practiced in human love, transmitted through thoughts, words and actions; hence we easily see and read them from the Song of Songs and some mystical writers like St. Theresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, etc. According to the Saint, the means to conquer our sensual desire is found in modesty, fear of shame and avoiding unnecessary things no matter how minute they are, if they are contrary to our Christian apostolate which is ever faith in action and charity. For him, Faith, Vocation and Purity fill us with happiness in life and lead us to eternity with God, when we are faithful with them. Therefore, we should always with fierce sincerity of faith fight the dumb devil in our lives. This dumbness many a time is found in the deformed conscience, so clarity and simplicity can help us in that. We also needed prayer and fasting to be able to cast out the stubborn devil. Christ indeed worked miracles over the possessed boy, thereby given him back the power to hear, to speak and expelled the devil out from him.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: