Fulton Sheen, fully Archbishop Fulton John Sheen

Sheen, fully Archbishop Fulton John Sheen

American Roman Catholic Archbishop, Canonization for Sainthood began in 2002

Author Quotes

Just as is the subject of property, so, too, in the subject of liberty, the Christian position steers a middle course between extremes. Freedom for Christianity means neither the right to do what you please, nor the right to what you must, but rather the right to do whatever you ought. Ought implies order, law and justice. Liberty by definition is an attribute which belongs only to a person. It cannot be attributed to a collectivity or totality whether be a nation, a state, a race or a class. The basic fallacy of communism on this point is the transfer of freedom from the person to the collectivity.

Meditation is a little like a daydream or a reverie, but with two important differences: In meditation we do not think about the world or ourselves, but about God; and instead of using the imagination to build idle castles in Spain, we use the will to make resolutions that will draw us nearer to one of the Father's mansions. Meditation is a more advanced spiritual act than saying prayers; it may be likened to the attitude of a child who breaks into the presence of a mother saying: I'll not say a word, if you will just let me stay here and watch you.

Once we accept him, we find we were truly deceived. It was only the skin of the heavenly fruit that seemed bitter. The meat ravishes the soul. . . At first glance, God seems to be taking away our happiness, but in the moment of surrender we discover he has deceived us. He has merely taken away the dross to give us the gold of his eternity.

Prayer is a lifting of the heart and mind to God; notice we said nothing about the emotion… Prayer is in the intellect, in the will, and in the heart, as embracing a love of truth with a resolve and determination to grow in love through an act of the will.

The assumption that numbers and mathematical or logical laws are mental is due to the even more widespread notion that only particular sensible entities exist in nature, and that relations abstractions, or universals cannot have any such objective existence - hence they are given a shadowy existence in the mind.

The 'fullness of reality' in the second sense of the term is perceived by a combination of both intellect and sense, the senses knowing the particular characteristics, the intellect knowing the nature.

The physicist takes water, abstracts its quantitatively measurable aspects, reaches results about these aspects, and ignores the rest.

The wicked fear the good, because the good are a constant reproach to their consciences. The ungodly like religion in the same way that they like lions, either dead or behind bars; they fear religion when it breaks loose and begins to challenge their consciences.

To gain something, you have to lose something.

We are all born with the power of speech, but we need grammar. Conscience, too, needs Revelation.

When men abandon a common philosophy of life, they made politics a theology, and erect the means of life --about which there should be legitimate disagreement-- into an end of life, about which no man may rightly disagree. That is why in all totalitarian countries there is only one party. To say a word against the party would be regarded by many as more serious than to blaspheme the Holy Spirit of God. All the intolerance which once surrounded the Absolute Truth and the multiplication table is now given to the relativity of politics. The relative of a Christian society thus becomes the absolute of a pagan society.

You should realize that the community with which you deal is not the one of 42nd Street and Broadway, or Hollywood and Vine. These are the crusts on the great American sandwich. The meat is in between.

In the eleven months preceding the outbreak of World War II, 211 treaties of peace were signed. Were these treaties of peace written on paper, or were they written on the hearts of men? And we must ask ourselves as we hear of treaties being written today, whether the treaties of the UN are written with the full cognizance of the fact that those who sign them are responsible before God?

Just as sex is a God-given instinct for the prolongation of the human race, so the desire for property as a prolongation of one's ego is a natural right sanctioned by natural law. A person is free on the inside because he can call his soul his own; he is free on the outside because he can call property his own. Internal freedom is based upon the fact that I am; external freedom is based on the fact that I have. But just as the excesses of flesh produce lust, for lust is sex in the wrong place, so there can be a deordination of the desire for property until it becomes greed, avarice, and capitalistic aggression.

Meditation is not a petition, a way of using God, or asking things from God, but rather a surrender, a plea to God that He use us.

Once you have surrendered yourself, you make yourself receptive. In receiving from God, you are perfected and completed.

Remember that every science is based upon an abstraction. An abstraction is taking a point of view or looking at things under a certain aspect or from a particular angle. All sciences are differentiated by their abstraction.

The big print giveth and the fine print taketh away.

The good repent on knowing their sin; the evil become angry when discovered. Ignorance is not the cause of evil, as Plato held; neither is education the answer to the removal of evil. These men had an intellect as well as a will; knowledge as well as intention. Truth can be known and hated; Goodness can be known and crucified. The Hour was approaching, and for the moment the fear of the people deterred the Pharisees. Violence could not be triggered against Him until He would say, 'This is your Hour.

The principle of democracy is a recognition of the sovereign, inalienable rights of man as a gift from God, the Source of law.

The world may disagree with the Church, but the world knows very definitely with what it is disagreeing. In the future as in the past, the Church will be intolerant about the sanctity of marriage, for what God has joined together no man shall put asunder; she will be intolerant about her creed, and be ready to die for it, for she fears not those who kill the body, but rather those who have the power to cast body and soul into hell.

To tell a woman who is forty, 'You look like sixteen,' is boloney. The blarney way of saying it is 'Tell me how old you are, I should like to know at what age women are the most beautiful.

We are living in perilous times when the hearts and souls of men are sorely tried. Never before has the future been so utterly unpredictable; we are not so much in a period of transition with belief in progress to push us on, rather we seem to be entering the realm of the unknown, joylessly, disillusioned, and without hope. The whole world seems to be in a state of spiritual widowhood, possessed of the harrowing devastation of one who set out on life’s course joyously in intimate comradeship with another, and then is bereft of that companion forever.

When one takes into account also His reiterated assertions about His Divinity - such as asking us to love Him above parents, to believe in Him even in the face of persecution, to be ready to sacrifice our bodies in order to save our souls in union with Him - to call Him just a good man ignores the facts. No man is good unless he is humble; and humility is a recognition of truth concerning oneself. A man who thinks he is greater than he actually is not humble, but a vain and boastful fool. How can any man claim prerogatives over conscience, and over history, and over society and the world and still claim he is 'meek and humble of heart'? But if He is God as well as man, His language falls into place and everything that He says is intelligible. But if He is not what He claimed to be, then some of His most precious sayings are nothing but bombastic outbursts of self-adulation that breathe rather the spirit of Lucifer than the spirit of a good man. What avails Him to proclaim the law of self-renouncement, if He Himself renounces truth to call Himself God? Even His sacrifice on the Cross becomes a suspect and dated thing, when it goes hand in hand with delusions of grandeur and infernal conceit. He could not be called even a sincere teacher, for no sincere teacher would allow anyone to construe his claims to share the rank and the name of the Great God in heaven.

It is easier to write a book with footnotes than the same book written so that children can understand it.

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Sheen, fully Archbishop Fulton John Sheen
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American Roman Catholic Archbishop, Canonization for Sainthood began in 2002