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

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Celebrating Fulton Sheen

Catholics in the Diocese of Peoria are celebrating the newly-Venerable Fulton Sheen today at a Mass of Thanksgiving at the Cathedral of St. Mary, where Sheen famously dropped a glass cruet while serving the Mass of Bishop Spalding, and where he was ordained on September 20, 1919.

Sheen aficionados throughout the world (myself included) who are unable to attend are celebrating in spirit.

Depending upon the length of time it takes for Sheen's cause to progress, he may very well be the first male American-born saint to be canonized.  As I wrote in my post "VENERABLE Fulton Sheen: Theologian?  Timeless?":
Why?  Why take a man from the 20th century, a man who was familiar with the media—radio and television—of his day but who would probably look upon the 21st century's obsession with Smartphones, wireless Internet, Twitter, and Facebook as distracting from real communication with God and with neighbor, and "eternalize" him by raising him to the altar?  Why canonize a man who admittedly had a serious problem with pride and vanity[1], who didn’t preach fasting because he himself didn’t practice it in any extraordinary manner[2], and whose writings on suffering and on objective truth seem intolerable to our modern world that avoids suffering at any cost and sees truth as subjective?  Why bother spending millions of dollars investigating his personal sanctity, the orthodoxy of his writings, or his squabbles with Cardinal Spellman over the allocation of funds for the Society for the Propagation of the Faith[3], when he otherwise would have stayed in the “memory hole” to which, in the words of John Muggeridge, he was "consigned"?[4]
Because if the miracle under investigation is found to be authentic, if Sheen's writings are determined to be orthodox and free from heretical teaching, then he may one day be declared a saint.  And a saint is one who preaches Truth—not the relative, changing “truth” of our modern world, but the eternal, living Truth Who is Christ.  The manner in which he preaches that Truth may change; his analogies and metaphors may adapt to the changing worldviews of his audience; but it is always the same Truth that he preaches.
I could write more, but I think those quotes from my July post say everything that I want to say.

As Sheen would say, "Bye, now, and God Love you!"

Yours in Love of Venerable Fulton John Sheen,

[1]Fulton J. Sheen, Treasure in Clay: the Autobiography of Fulton J. Sheen, (New York: Doubleday, 1980), 377.
[2]Ibid., 338.
[3]Thomas C. Reeves, America’s Bishop: The Life and Times of Fulton J. Sheen, (San Francisco: Encounter Books, 2001), 252-7.
[4]John Muggeridge, Foreword to Life of Christ, by Fulton J. Sheen, (New York: Image Books, 1990), 6.

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