My thoughts and reflections on my Catholic Faith, Fulton Sheen, the problem of suffering, and books

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Books, Fulton Sheen, and Summer Laziness

"Books, books everywhere, and ne'er the time to read them."

No, I'm not a poet; I'm just surrounded by books.  It comes with working in a library.

Fulton Sheen said that there are two types of people in the world: those who know they need God, and those who don't (I'm paraphrasing); those who wake up in the morning and say "Good morning, God," OR those who wake up and say: "Good God! Morning."

Similarly, there are many types of books in a library.  There are those I need to read, and those I want to read; those I want to read but don't have the time to read, and those I want to read so badly that I will make the time.

Books for Thesis Research (books by Fulton Sheen) fall into one (or perhaps many) of those categories.  I need to read them, because they're Thesis Research Books--thus, they are on the "Must-Read-or-Thesis-Director-will-kill-you-in-the-Fall" list.  The conscientious part of me (which only asserts itself rarely, due to neglect) wants to read them, because I do enjoy Sheen's writing, and the more of his earlier writings I read, the more I enjoy him.  The lazy "It's-Summer-and-you-should-be-relaxing" part of me says just that: "It's Summer, and why do Thesis Research when you could be reading P.G. Wodehouse, or playing with the new laptop, or something similarly mindless?"

And yet, I do love Sheen.  I can't remember how I first heard of him, but I requested and received his Life of Christ as a Christmas present in 2005 or 2006.  What "leapt out" at me from his book--as it "leapt out" at Sheen from the pages of Scripture--was its theme: "Our Blessed Lord came into this world to die."  He saved us by His Passion.  Suffering can be redemptive.

Somewhere along the line I turned to Peace of Soul, Sheen's (popular in its day) rebuttal of Freudian psychology as a false substitute for the Sacrament of Penance.

At a bookstore, I found The World's First Love: Mary, Mother of God--a book on the Blessed Mother and the modern world (one of its chapter titles is something like "Mary and the Atom Bomb"), a book that spoke of Mary without sugar-sweet piety.  (I was going to go pull the book off the shelves to refresh my memory...alas, it is out!  The piety of Christendom students: reading a book a) about Our Blessed Mother, b) by Fulton Sheen, c) during Summer Vacation!)

The book through which I am now plowing in a vague, muddled, searching-for-Thesis-material mode is "The Fullness of Christ," transcripts of Sheen's radio addresses on The Catholic Hour in the 40's.  Sheen has a lot to say about the Mystical Body of Christ...

God Bless, y'all!  And God Love You Forever!


  1. What's your thesis on, anyway?

  2. Broad topic: Fulton Sheen

    More specific: something about his theology...if I can somehow tie together: a) his Christology, b) his theology of suffering, and c) his theology of the Mystical Body, that would be great!