Tuesday, May 12, 2020

5/12/2020 Celebrating Archbishop Sheen

May 12th is an important day in the life of Archbishop Fulton Sheen.  On May 12, 1895 he was baptized Peter John Sheen at St. Mary Church in El Paso, IL by Rev. Jeremiah H. Quinlin.  His God Parents were John and Theresa Fulton.  On May 12, 1907 Fulton Sheen had his First Communion by Fr. Joseph Kelly.  When the young Fulton Sheen received his first communion he made the conscious dedication of himself to Mary.  His First Communion book (which is located in the Archbishop Sheen Museum in Peoria, IL) contained the Litany of the Blessed Virgin, which he began that evening to  recite every night until his death.   Since Sheen had a very close relationship with Mary we are asking that everyone pray the rosary on May 12th for Archbishop Sheen's Cause.  The reflections Sheen wrote for the Sorrowful Mysteries are contained in this blog post.  God Love You!

To order a Sheen Commemorative Rosary click hereROSARY 

THE SORROWFUL MYSTERIES – reflections by Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Apostles’ Creed: “I believe in God, the Father almighty creator of heaven and earth and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father almighty. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.”

Our Father:
3 Hail Mary’s
Glory Be

Agony in the Garden:
“As a kind person in the face of pain seeks to relieve the sufferings of his friend, so does moral kindness in the face of evil take on the punishment which evil deserves.  Every mother would willingly, if she could, bear the aches of her child.  A father will pay the debts of his wayward son as if they were his own.  Our Lord, though guilty of no sin, nevertheless in His agony in the garden permitted Himself to feel the inner effects of sin, as on the cross He experienced also the external effects of sin.  These internal effects were sadness, fear, and a sense of loneliness.  ‘I looked for one that would grieve together with Me, and I found none.’  He permits His head to feel blasphemies as if his lips had pronounced them; His hands to feel the sins of theft, as if He had stolen; His body to sense the guilt of defilement, as if it were the cause.  Innocence knows sin better than the guilty, because the guilty are already part of it.  Sin is in the blood.  The drunkard, the libertine, the tyrant have registered sin not only in their souls, but in their brain, the cells of their body, and the very expression of their faces.  If, therefore, sin is in the blood, to atone for it, blood must be poured out.  Our Lord never intended that any other blood than His own should be shed in expiation for sins.  Because men have not invoked the blood of Christ for their sins, they are now at war shedding one another’s blood.  The agony in the garden is not a triumph of the plans and the schemes of betrayers and enemies, but is permitted by divine decree.  This is your hour, our Lord said to His enemies.  Evil has its hour, but God has His day!” Archbishop Fulton Sheen (The Fifteen Mysteries) 

Scourging at the Pillar:
“Seven centuries before, it had been foretold that our Lord would be so wounded for our sins that we would have ‘thought Him as it were, a leper, and as one struck by God and afflicted.’  The time has come for the fulfillment of that prophecy.  Omnipotence is bound to a pillar in the hour of His death, as He was bound in swaddling clothes in the hour of His birth.  The scourging at the pillar must have been terrible, because whenever our Lord foretold His passion, He always made particular reference to His scourging, as if to emphasize the outrage of His suffering.  St. Peter, after the Resurrection, recalling how he stood in the outer court listening to the fall of thongs upon His flesh, and yet heard our Lord not complain, wrote: ‘Who when He was reviled, did not revile; when He suffered, did not threaten.’  The scourging is an act of reparation for the excessive cult of the body.  ‘The body is for the Lord.’  In expiation for self-indulgence, His body, as the second Ark of the Covenant, is disclosed to profane eyes, as the Spouse of souls now becomes the plaything of mockers.  How many strokes He received, no one knows.  The prophet foretold that he would be so scourged that the bones of His body would be numbered.  We are saved by other stars and stripes than those on the flag; namely, by the stars and stripes of Christ, by whose stars we are illumined – by whose stripes we are healed.”  Archbishop Fulton Sheen (The Fifteen Mysteries)

Crowning with thorns:
“As the scourging was the reparation for the sins of the flesh, so the crowning with thorns was the atonement for the sins of the mind – for the atheists who wish there were no God, for the doubters whose evil lives becloud their thinking, for the egotists, centered on themselves.  The soldiers cursed as the thorns pricked their fingers.  Then they cursed the Lord, as they drove the crown of thorns into His head, as a mockery of a royal diadem.  Into His hands they placed a reed, the symbol of His kingdom, presumed to be false and unstable like the reed.  His flesh, already hanging from Him like purple rags, is now covered with a purple robe to ridicule His claim to kingship of hearts and nations.  Blindfolding Him, they struck Him, asking Him to prophesy, or tell whom it was that delivered the blow.  They then bowed down before Him in mock reverence, spitting in His face, that all the subsequent Mindszentys, Stepinacs, and martyrs of the world might have courage in their hour of martyrdom.  In this Mystery is verified the truth of our Saviour’s warning: ‘If the world hates you, be sure that it hated Me before it learned to hate you.  If you belonged to the world, the world would know you for its own and love you; it is because you do not belong to the world, because I have singled you out from the midst of the world, that the world hates you.’  He who expects to preserve His faith without being mocked by the world is either weak in it, or else not so bold in goodness as to draw upon himself the mocking insults of another purple robe and a torturing circle of thorns.”  Archbishop Fulton Sheen (The Fifteen Mysteries)

Carrying of the Cross:
“Any cross would be easy to bear if we could only tailor it to fit ourselves.  Our Lord’s cross was not made by Him, but for Him.  Crosses and burdens are thrust upon us.  Our acceptance makes them personal.  Our Lord even said that there would be at least seven crosses a week: ‘Take up your cross daily and follow Me.’  Crosses are of two kinds: pure ones, which come from the outside, such as pain, persecution, and ridicule; and inner, or impure crosses, which come as the result of our sins, such as sadness, despair, and unhappiness.  These latter crosses can be avoided.  They are made by contradicting the will of God.  The vertical bar of the cross stands for God’s will; the horizontal bar stand for our wills.  When one crosses the other, we have the cross.  Our Lord never promised that we would be without a cross; He only promised that we would never be overcome by it.  St. Peter so loved the cross, that when the time came for his execution he asked to be crucified upside down.  May He who was found guilty of no other crime than that of the excess of love, make us hate the load of sin that made His cross.  The whole cross borne in union with His will and following in His footsteps is easier to bear than the splinters against which we rebel.”  Archbishop Fulton Sheen (The Fifteen Mysteries) 

“Our Lord spent 30 years of His life obeying, three years teaching, three hours redeeming!  But how did He redeem?  Suppose a golden chalice is stolen from an altar and beaten into a large ash tray.  Before that gold can be returned to the altar, it must be thrown into a fire, where the dross is burned away; then the chalice must be recast, and finally blessed and restored to its holy use.  Sinful man is like that chalice which was delivered over to profane uses.  He lost his Godlike resemblance and his high destiny as a child of God.  So our blessed Lord took unto Himself a human nature, making it stand for all of us, plunged it into the fires of Calvary to have the dross of sin burned and purged away.  Then, by rising from the dead, He became the new head of the new humanity, according to which we are all to be patterned.  The cross reveals that unless there is a Good Friday in our lives, there will never be an Easter Sunday.  Unless there is a crown of thorns, there will never be the halo of light.  Unless there is the scourged body, there will never be a glorified one.  Death to the lower self is the condition of resurrection to the higher self.  The world says to us, as it said to Him on the cross: ‘Come down, and we will believe!’   But if He came down, He never would have saved us.  It is human to come down; it is divine to hang there.  A broken heart, O Saviour of the world, is love’s best cradle!  Smite my own, as Moses did the rock, that Thy love may enter in!”  Archbishop Fulton Sheen (The Fifteen Mysteries) 

Glory Be
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Oh My Jesus
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy. Amen.
Hail Holy Queen 
Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our Life, our Sweetness, and our hope. To thee we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then most gracious advocate, Thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this, our exile, show unto us, the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us O Holy Mother of God, That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.
Final Prayer
Let us pray. O God, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating upon these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Make the Sign of the Cross.

To Order a SHEEN Commemorative Rosary click here: Rosary

Picture courtesy of Karsh Foundation