Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
“St. John tells us that if he recorded all the miracles Our Blessed Lord had worked, the world would not be large enough to contain the books thereof. There was only one time in His life that He ever cursed a thing, and that was the day He saw the barren fig-tree which was not producing its fruit in due season, and therefore was not enjoying the thrill of monotony. There is necessarily bound to be a thrill in working toward any goal or fixed purpose, and therein is the final reason for the romance of repetition. There, too, is the line of division between genuine Christianity and modern paganism. The Christian finds a thrill in repetition because he has a fixed goal; the modern pagan finds repetition monotonous because he never decided for himself the purpose of living. Instead of passing the test, the modern mind changes the test; instead of working toward an ideal, it changes the ideal; it is not marvel that existence is drab, if one has never discussed the reason for existence. How dull, for example, golf would be if there were never a green; how monotonous would be a sea voyage, if there were never a port; or a journey if there were never a destination. Since the modern mind has never decided the goal of life, nor the purpose of living, nor the reason of existing, but like a weathercock has changed with every wind of doctrine and suggestion, it is necessarily bound to find life dull, drab, and monotonous.”
Archbishop Fulton Sheen - Moods and Truths
Posted by Archbishop Fulton Sheen Foundation at 7:54 AM
Monday, October 7, 2013
“You have sometimes heard a radio program in which a voice spoke, while at the same time music was playing in the background. When we say the Rosary, something like that occurs. Our lips say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be to the Father, but our mind, thinking about the life of our Lord, creates a soundless background symphony of thoughts.
The Rosary is psychologically one of the greatest prayers, because it draws all our scattered human energies, mind, lips, and fingertips, into a single, unifying purpose. To those who find prayer difficult, the rhythmic movement of the fingers induces spiritual thoughts. To those who are used to mental prayer, the spiritual gains a new dimension when it spills over into the body and comes out on the tips of the fingers.
Ours is not an age in which the heavenly therapy of prayer-by-beads is generally used. One of the reasons why people today are so frequently worried and fearful is that they keep their minds too busy and their fingers too idle, or else tap a jerking syncopations to the noises of a nervous world. The Rosary, by contrast, gathers together our dispersed forces and fixes our minds on holy, simple thoughts, while the fingers, too are drawn into the magnetic field of worship. Because it focuses the whole man towards a single, uplifting purpose, the Rosary can be the greatest of all therapies for troubled modern men. A faint suspicion of this fact has begun to penetrate into some hospitals. Nervous and combat-fatigued patients are taught to knit or weave, to relax their nervous tension. The disadvantage of this treatment is that it is only partial; the patient’s mind is not involved. But in the Rosary, all faculties, mind, will, imagination, memory, desires, hopes and muscles, are directed to the Divine.” Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen (The Fifteen Mysteries)
Posted by Archbishop Fulton Sheen Foundation at 7:57 AM
Friday, September 20, 2013
“On Saturday, September 20, 1919, I was ordained a priest, by the grace of God, in the cathedral at Peoria. The stirrings which the Holy Spirit put in my soul in the early days were now fulfilled-or were they? I was now a priest. Yes. But is not that just half the story? I never asked myself that question the day I was ordained. In due time, and not in an easy way, I was to learn that a priest is also a victim.” Venerable Servant of God Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen (Treasure in Clay)
|Fr. Fulton Sheen newly ordained|
Today Masses were celebrated in Peoria, New York and Rome for all of the Bishops, Priests, Deacons and Seminarians enrolled in the Masses of the Sheen Foundation. This is the homily September 20, 2013 delivered at the Cathedral Convent of the Missionaries of Charity in Peoria, IL by Msgr. Stanley Deptula, Executive Director of the Archbishop Fulton Sheen Foundation:
On this day in 1919 -- here in our beautiful Cathedral -- the young Fulton Sheen was ordained a priest. I am very grateful that Julie brought from the museum Fulton Sheen’s Chalice. It is a very great honor to use his chalice at Mass today. It’s also I think, a very nice connection as the universal Church today celebrates the martyrdom of Fr. Andrew Kim and the seminarian Paul along with over 100 other Korean’s who gave their life in witness to Jesus Christ. For, although Fulton Sheen was not a martyr in blood, he certainly was a man who gave his life through his priesthood as a witness to Jesus Christ, and it was a witness and ministry he exercised throughout the world.
Fulton Sheen loved being a priest. He often reflected there was never a time in his life he did not want to be a priest. He loved priests. Especially in those last few years of his life when he was so physically ill he really gave himself to the ministry of preaching to priests, preaching to seminarians. He believed that one of the keys for the renewal of the modern church was first the spiritual renewal of the Church's priests.
I think here at the Cathedral parish, maybe especially with the work you sisters do with our Cathedral families, the focus upon meditation today could be really that first seedbed -- that first seminary -- for Fulton Sheen which was his family. His family moved here when he was a very young boy, it was here in our Cathedral parish that as a young man this community, his family, fostered his vocation, taught him how to pray, and helped him to fall in love with our Lord in the Eucharist and with our Lord’s Blessed Mother. Here at the Cathedral parish on this special anniversary let us pray for our families. Let us pray for our young men, that God may raise up in our own generation another faithful, holy, heroic priest that will give his life as a witness to the Gospel.
|Msgr. Deptula holds up Archbishop Fulton Sheen's Chalice at Mass|
Archbishop Fulton Sheen's holy card in remembrance of his first Solemn High Mass offered on September 21, 1919 at St. Mary's Cathedral in Peoria, Illinois.
Posted by Archbishop Fulton Sheen Foundation at 3:41 PM
Friday, August 30, 2013
Bishop Flavin began serving on the Committee on Missions for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) in 1970. On November 17 of 1971, Bishop Flavin was elected chairman of the Bishops’ Committee on Missions. Committee members included John Cardinal Carberry (Saint Louis), Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen (Rochester), Bishop Richard H. Ackerman (Covington), Bishop William G. Connare (Greensburg), Bishop Frederick W. Freking (LaCrosse) and Bishop Harold H. Perry (New Orleans).
Taken from the book “Bishop Flavin – Loyal Servant of the King” by School Sisters of Christ the King in collaboration with Peter E. Mayeux and Monsignor Myron J. Pleskac.
You may obtain a copy of this book here: Sisters of Christ the King
Homily given by Bishop Fulton Sheen on the Occasion
of Bishop Glennon P. Flavin’s Consecration as Bishop
Basilica Cathedral of St. Louis, Missouri
May 30, 1957
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
May it please Your Excellency Most Reverend Archbishop Ritter, Your Excellencies Most Reverend Archbishops and Bishops, Right Reverend, Very Reverend, Reverend Fathers, beloved religious, family and relatives of His Excellency Bishop Flavin, my good friend Your Excellency Bishop Flavin, and all friends in Christ . . .
On this beautiful day, forty days after Easter, Our Lord took leave of His Apostles and as He ascended into Heaven, two angels standing nearby said to the Apostles, “Why stand ye here gazing into the Heavens?” That seemed to be the normal thing to do. This was their Lord and their Master? If He was taking leave of them, why should they not look into the Heavens? And yet there was the reprimand and the reason was the world is worth a look! Heaven is only for those who have completed their tasks and fulfilled their duties. Our Lord was practically saying, “I have sent you into the world; therefore finish your work.” And because we are taking the world seriously, there is being consecrated today the Archdiocesan Director of one who is aiding the world. Now let us meditate on the meaning of this ceremony. . . .
Our Blessed Lord (after), as He prepared to ascend into Heaven, said to His Apostles that they were to remain in Jerusalem for ten days and to wait for power on high. Why should they not go into the world immediately? Why wait for ten days? Had they not received all the powers? In the Gospel, which you just heard, before the Ascension, our Blessed Lord had given them the power to forgive sins. He gave them the power to preach in His Name, to heal the sick, to baptize. He had already given them the power and the authority to offer the sacrifice of the Mass and the memorial of His death. Why should they wait for power on high? Because the Apostles, up to that point, were only priests. They had to wait for ten days until the Holy Spirit would come to make them bishops. Notice that in the conferring of the priesthood our Blessed Lord, as it was said, “breathed on them.” The breath is the only symbol that we have of the Holy Spirit. First of all because it’s the soul, life, it’s invisible, and it’s something that lies too deep for words. The Son can express Himself by words. Now the breathing on them was the giving of the measure of the Spirit. But notice that on Pentecost, it was a wind not a breath! We make a distinction between a breeze and a gale and a wind. So too, Sacred Scripture makes that distinction. Up to this time they had been given the truth, but they had not been given the Spirit of truth! So our Lord said “It is fitting for you that I go. If I go not, the Spirit of Truth will not come unto you.” In the greatest mind of the Church, St. Thomas Aquinas, makes this distinction that I have just made for you. He said that the priests receive the power to offer sacrifice, and to administer sacraments and to preach but to the Bishops was given the authority, ad ostendendam doctrinam, for the manifestation of truth and of the doctrine of the Church.
So on this blessed day, we are witnessing a greater measure of the Holy Spirit poured out upon a truly great and apostolic priest. Now this distinction that I have made, between the priest and the bishop, is even in the life of Our Lord in an analogical way. Suppose we put it in a catechetical form to make it interesting. When did the Son of God become a priest or was He always a priest? And when did He become a bishop? Our Lord is called the Bishop of our souls in the Scriptures. Was the Son of God a priest in Heaven? No. He became a priest when the oil of divinity anointed His humanity. He became a priest in His Incarnation. For that moment, He was given a body. He was given the raw material of a sacrifice. It was now possible for Him to be both priest and victim on the cross. So, on the cross He would be upright as the priest. He would be prostrate as the victim. “Corpus optisti mihi.” “A body thou hast fitted to me” (Hebrews 10:5).
Now, there came a greater measure of the Spirit to His humanity on the day when He was baptized in the Jordan by John the Baptist. Then it was the Heavens were opened. God the Father spoke and said, “This is my beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased.” And the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove. Men receive the Spirit under the symbols of water, of oil, as His Excellency has just received it, water, fire, wind. But, the Son of God received the Spirit under the symbol of a complete organic form, namely that of a dove, to indicate the very fullness of the Spirit and notice that, that was the moment when our Blessed Lord began teaching. See how it is related to what St. Thomas says about the, the manifestation of the truth and the witnessing to the doctrine? That is why we always speak of the episcopacy as the fullness of the priesthood.
Now St. Paul says it is a good work to desire the episcopacy. But the reason St. Paul said it was a good work to desire the episcopacy was because in those days everyone who became a bishop was martyred. And today many are martyred.
Now there are three practical conclusions that follow from this meditation. The first is this: that a Bishop is consecrated for the world not for a diocese. A diocese is a sign for jurisdictional reasons for the purpose of government, but the consecration itself commits a bishop to the world. It is therefore very fitting that the one who was consecrated today has already world interests. And though you good people of the Archdiocese of St. Louis are to take pride in the fact that one of your sons has been raised to the burden of the episcopacy, nevertheless, the very presence of other bishops from other diocese manifest the fact that the whole world is rejoicing. His Excellency Bishop Flavin today becomes, for example, part of the bishops whom he serves, like, like the Bishop of Shanghai who’s a kind of a “Mindzenty” of China, of the bishops behind the Iron Curtain. This is a world event! And not only does it bind him to the world, but in virtue of this consecration, he also is given a very exceptional and extraordinary power. A priest cannot beget priests. The priesthood would die without the episcopacy. Therefore when a bishop is consecrated, the Church assures the propagation of the priesthood. This is a very fitting day for His Excellency, Archbishop Ritter, to have a spiritual son. For His Excellency was ordained forty years ago today. This is therefore a double reason for rejoicing. And, when I was in Rome just a few weeks ago, a couple of Cardinals told me that one of the outstanding Archbishops in the United States, for an unmeasured love of the Church throughout the world, is the Archbishop of St. Louis. And I know that His Excellency Bishop Flavin is very happy to receive the spirit of Archbishop Ritter. And those of us who know His Excellency Bishop Flavin well, also know that those who are ordained by him, in years to come, will be as proud of their father as he is proud of his spiritual father today.
And this last and final reflection, about the Bishop, we said that the Bishop is the sign of the preservation and the continuation and the manifestation of truth. Perhaps, in order to understand that well, let us seemingly digress. You remember reading the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew there is a tremendously long genealogy there of forty-two names broken into three distinct groups of fourteen each in which there is a genealogy of our Lord carried back to Abraham. Luke carries it back, of course, farther. Now in this genealogy of both of these evangelists, there are names mentioned that do not seem to mean very much for example: Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, Nahshon begot Salmon. Will, why should Sacred Scripture give us this pedigree at the very beginning of the Gospel of Our Lord? In order to show that our Blessed Lord was tied up with all humanity! Why, like a great river this pedigree of humanity runs through the course of history! Some of the names indeed are important like a David, like a Jesse, like a Solomon and others are unimportant like Ram, like an Amminadab, like a Nahshon. But it makes no difference when they all are mentioned! It means that our Blessed Lord comes full-blown into history with this tremendous genealogy and attachment to the whole human race! Some are good, some are bad but He is bound to the world and to men, whom He is to save. Now the Bishop is in relationship to the truth of Christ as the genealogy in Matthew is related to humanity. In other words, if we wish to know, today, the truth of the Church, how it has come down to us, it has come down to us through the Apostles, through their successors under the leadership of Peter and His successors. How do we know the Resurrection took place? Not just because it is written in the Gospels, but because we have had some of our ancestors present there! The Apostles were there! They bear witness to the Resurrection. That’s how we know that the Resurrection took place! And so here we’re just adding one name, not a minor name like Ram and Amminadab and Nahshon but a great name, that will assure this continuity of truth from Christ on until His second coming as the genealogies attach Christ back to Adam and to Abraham. And in the glory of this day, since he is attached to the truth of Christ now by consecration, we cannot at the same time forget that he has been attached to Christ by the sanctity of his life. And if there was any way of describing the apostolic labors of Bishop Flavin, it would be to say, as it was said of Our Lord, “He went about doing good.” And may his good father and mother, since they have begotten one so Christ-like, find special joy in the words that were spoken by Christ Himself from the cross; this time words of joy and rightful praise: “Behold thy Son a Bishop of the Church.” God love you.
Posted by Archbishop Fulton Sheen Foundation at 1:36 PM
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Thanks to "friend of Sheen" Anita Buonincontro and others the Archbishop Fulton Sheen - Servant of All movie was shown at St. Walter's Parish in Roselle, IL on August 23, 2013. The parish collected over 5 bins full of school supplies for a Catholic school on the west side of Chicago. Thank you Jean for taking pictures for this "SAM" event.
Posted by Archbishop Fulton Sheen Foundation at 2:55 PM
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
The idea of a “Holy Day of Obligation” reflects a Christian Culture in which certain religious festivals were so significant that people would take the day off, rest, pray, gather with family and friends. Businesses and shops would close. Everyone would enjoy a “Sabbath-like” rest during the week. We still see some of this attitude to celebrate a national day of Thanksgiving and the Birth of Our Lord.
Sadly, in our secularist society, holy days are replaced by state holidays. Most of us get the day off to celebrate Labor Day – it is often not so easy to celebrate the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven. This Thursday is a Holy day of obligation. It is a grave sin to consciously decide to skip Mass. However, rather than focus on simply “not sinning,” perhaps Assumption day can be reclaimed as a blessed excuse to celebrate the “end of summer” with family and friends. Maybe you can’t take the whole day off, but go out to lunch with friends, take your children or grandchildren to get ice cream. Have a mid-week cookout.
I am leaving you with some of Sheen’s thoughts on the Assumption and maybe you can share them with your friends and family. The Solemnity of the Assumption of Our Lady is a great feast, worthy of a day of rest, prayer and celebration. Let’s take back a sense of the sacred-party in our busy world.
Msgr. Stanley Deptula
Executive Director, Archbishop Sheen Foundation
“Now in definition of the Assumption, it has to give hope to the creature of despair. Modern despair is the effect of a disappointed hedonism and centers principally around sex and death. The Assumption affirms not sex but Love. Love, like fire, burns upward, since it is basically desire. It seeks to become more and more united with the object that is loved. This ‘pull’ on our hearts by the Spirit of God is always present, and it is only our refusing wills and the weakness of our bodies as a result of sin which keep us earth-bound. If God exerts a gravitational pull on all souls, given the intense love of Our Lord for His Blessed Mother which descended, and the intense love of Mary for Her Lord which ascended, there is created a suspicion that love at this stage would be so great as ‘to pull the body with it.’ Given further an immunity from original sin, there would not be in the Body of Our Lady the dichotomy, tension, and opposition that exists in us between body and soul. If the distant moon moves all the surging tides of earth, then the love of Mary for Jesus and the love of Jesus for Mary should result in such an ecstasy as ‘to lift her out of this world.’ One thing is certain: the Assumption is easy to understand if one loves God deeply, but it is hard to understand if one loves not.
With one stroke of an infallible dogmatic pen, the Church lifts the sacredness of love out of sex without denying the role of the body in love. Here is one body that reflects in its uncounted hues the creative love of God. To a world that worships the body, the Church now says: ‘There are two bodies in heaven, one the glorified human nature of Jesus, the other the assumed human nature of Mary. Love is the secret of the Ascension of one and the Assumption of the other, for Love craves unity with its Beloved. The Son returns to the Father in the unity of Divine Nature; and Mary returns to Jesus in the unity of human nature. Her nuptial flight is the event to which our whole generation moves.’
Shall she, as the garden in which grew the lily of divine sinlessness and the red rose of the passion of redemption, be delivered over to the weeds and be forgotten by the Heavenly Gardener? Would not one communion preserved in grace through life ensure a heavenly immortality? No grown men and women would like to see the home in which they were reared subjected to the violent destruction of a bomb, even though they no longer lived in it. Neither would Omnipotence, Who tabernacle Himself within Mary, consent to see His fleshly home subjected to the dissolution of the tomb. Shall not the Divine Life go back in search of His living cradle and take that ‘flesh-girt paradise’ to Heaven with Him. She who is the mother of the Eucharist, escapes the decomposition of death.
Mary becomes the first human person to realize the historical destiny of the faithful as members of Christ’s mystical Body, beyond time, beyond death, and beyond judgment. By her Assumption she goes ahead like her Son to prepare a place for us. Mary always seems to be the Advent of what is in store for man. She anticipates Christ for nine months, as she bears Heaven within her; she anticipates His Passion at Cana and His Church at Pentecost. Now in the last great Doctrine of the Assumption, she anticipates heavenly glory, and the definition comes at a time when men think of it least.”
Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen (The World’s First Love)
Posted by Archbishop Fulton Sheen Foundation at 9:17 AM