Fulton J. Sheen

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If all things in this universe exist, it is because they participate in the Being of God...

Archbishop Fulton John Sheen (8 May 18959 December 1979), born Peter John Sheen, was television's first preacher of note, in the early 1950s on the DuMont Television Network, and later on ABC.

Sourced[edit]

If there are some things with life, it is because they are reflections of the life of God; if there are beings endowed with intellect and will — like men and angels — it's because they are a participation of the Sovereign Intellect which is God.
Too many people get credit for being good, when they are only being passive.
One function of the angels is illumination, and the other function is that of being a guardian.
There are angels near you to guide you and protect you, if you would but invoke them. It is not later than we think, it is a bigger world than we think.
  • Unless souls are saved, nothing is saved; there can be no world peace unless there is soul peace. World wars are only projections of the conflicts waged inside the souls of men and women, for nothing happens in the external world that has not first happened within a soul.
    • Peace of Soul (1949). p. 1.
  • No man hates God without first hating himself.
    • Peace of Soul (1949). p. 11
  • If there is continuity in the universe, it is fitting that there should be intelligent beings without bodies which are called angels.
    • God and Intelligence in Modern Philosophy (1925). p. 86.
  • If all things in this universe exist, it is because they participate in the Being of God, if there are some things with life, it is because they are reflections of the life of God; if there are beings endowed with intellect and will — like men and angels — it's because they are a participation of the Sovereign Intellect which is God.
    • Religion Without God (1928). p. 90.
  • America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance — it is not. It is suffering from tolerance. Tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broadminded.
    • "A Plea For Intolerance" (1931).
  • Tolerance is an attitude of reasoned patience toward evil ... a forbearance that restrains us from showing anger or inflicting punishment. Tolerance applies only to persons ... never to truth.
    • "A Plea For Intolerance" (1931).
  • There are not a hundred people in America who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions of people who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church — which is, of course, quite a different thing.
    • Foreword to Radio Replies Vol. 1, (1938) page ix.
  • The principle of democracy is a recognition of the sovereign, inalienable rights of man as a gift from God, the Source of law.
    • Whence Come Wars (1940), p. 60.
  • All our anxieties relate to time. ... The major problems of psychiatry revolve around an analysis of the despair, pessimism, melancholy, and complexes that are the inheritances of what has been or with the fears, anxieties, worries, that are the imaginings of what will be.
    • "Sanctifying the Moment" in Lift Up Your Heart (1950).
  • Some will not look on suffering because it creates responsibility.
    • Those Mysterious Priests (1974), p. 66.
  • Too many people get credit for being good, when they are only being passive. They are too often praised for being broadminded when they are so broadminded they can never make up their minds about anything.
    • As quoted in Seven Words to the Cross (1979) by Ellsworth Kalas, page 93.
  • All my sermons are prepared in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. As recreation is most pleasant and profitable in the sun, so homiletic creativity is best nourished before the Eucharist. The most brilliant ideas come from meeting God face to face. The Holy Spirit that presided at the Incarnation is the best atmosphere for illumination. Pope John Paul II keeps a small desk or writing pad near him whenever he is in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament; and I have done this all my life — I am sure for the same reason he does, because a lover always works better when the beloved is with him.
    • Treasure in Clay : The Autobiography of Fulton J. Sheen (1980).
  • Another instance of how our Lord associated Peter with himself was in the payment of the temple tax. It is the only time in scripture where God ever associates a human being with himself under the personal pronoun we.... Now at the time of the payment of the temple tax our blessed Lord told Peter to pay it, and he said to pay it “for me and thee.” Then he adds, "that we may not scandalize." Here he makes himself one with Peter. Peter is associated with the Master in a way that no one else can ever be associated. We — Christ and Peter. That is why papal encyclicals begin with the word we.
  • When the record of any human life is set down, there are three pairs of eyes who see it in a different light. There is the life as I see it. as others see it, and as God sees it.
    • Treasure in Clay: the Autobiography of Fulton J. Sheen, (New York, NY: Image Books/Doubleday, 1980).

Life Is Worth Living (1951–1957)[edit]

Transcripts of many shows were later published as Life is Worth Living: First and Second Series (1999)
  • Right is right if nobody is right, and wrong is wrong if everybody is wrong.
    • Program 19.
  • Communism is the final logic of the dehumanization of man.
    • Second Series, p. 122.
  • The danger today is in believing there are no sick people, there is only a sick society.
    • Second Series, p. 186.
  • One function of the angels is illumination, and the other function is that of being a guardian.
  • You have a chance to move in far better society than the Joneses. Why worry about keeping up with the Joneses? Keep up with the Angels and you'll be far wiser and happier.
  • There are angels near you to guide you and protect you, if you would but invoke them. It is not later than we think, it is a bigger world than we think.
    • Angels


Misattributed[edit]

  • An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support.
    • Though Sheen is quoted as saying this in Look magazine (14 December 1955) the earliest located declaration of this witticism was by John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir on 21 February 1936: "I have heard an atheist defined as a man who had no invisible means of support."

External links[edit]

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