With many Americans under orders to stay in your house because of the COVID 19 Virus, maybe this is the time to discuss the need for a dynamic person like Bishop Fulton Sheen.
He was called “the Great Communicator” by Billy Graham and “a prophet of the times” by Pope Pius XII, Sheen was the voice of American Catholicism for nearly fifty years. In addition to his prolific writings, Sheen dominated the airwaves, first in radio, and later television, with his signature program “Life is Worth Living,” drawing an average of 30 million viewers a week in the 1950s. Sheen had the ears of everyone from presidents to the common men, women, and children in the pews, and his uplifting message of faith, hope, and love shaped generations of Catholics.
Boy, could we use his voice now.
In his book, "Those Mysterious Priests" Fulton J. Sheen, explained,” Some will not look on suffering because it creates responsibility."
This was written almost seventy years ago now but, it is true today as it was then. We are too often more concerned with placing blame than in finding a solution. Placing blame is something we like to do. It is like being a Monday Morning Quarterback except for this time, it is not an NFL game it is God that you are second-guessing. We should remember this and take a great deal more care about what we say and how we say it.
For the people who have placed their faith in the government or science to help us out in our time of need. I refer you to this Bishop Sheen quote, “For the new atheism is not like the old, theoretical atheism, which prided itself on being intellectually compounded of a little science, anthropology, and comparative religion. The new atheism is not of the intellect, but of the will; it is an act of free and eager rejection of morality and its demands. It starts with the affirmation of self and the denial of the moral law.”
Today we see a real edge to this statement. People who were ordered to stay at home- disobeying the law going to the beach, swimming, and gathering in large groups. The interesting thing here is the Churches have been ordered to be shut down as non -essential but Spring Break college students we lined up on the Florida beaches. This is exactly as Bishop Sheen stated- it starts with the affirmation of self and denial of the moral law.
In these troubled times, it is best that we keep these words of Bishop Fulton Sheen close to hearts and the reason for all of our actions. “To every Christian…there comes the supreme moment when he must choose between temporal pleasure and eternal freedom. In order to save our souls, we must often run the risk of losing our bodies.”
This is our cross, this is our time, this our destiny. We can not, should not, and will not allow others to dictate to us our eternal freedom. We must allow ourselves the ability to choose between right and wrong and when wrong comes we must stand up and fight it. We can not just cast blame and say it is not our responsibility to do anything about it.