I was browsing in my library yesterday, and spent some time in the company of that excellent book, Fulton Sheen’s “Life of Christ”.
The first chapter is titled, apparently predictably but actually not so, “the only person ever pre-announced”. It has a long list of testimonies not only from the Judaic, but from the non-Jewish world (from the Romans to the Greek, to the Chinese and the Japanese; and we can add the Druids), of the Saviour that was to come.
I think we tend to lose sight of some aspects of Christianity at times. To us, Christ’s divinity is a given. We were (most of the readers of this blog, very probably) given it almost together with the maternal milk. It was, and is, part of the landscape like the sun and the moon. Also, some of us grew up in an environment in which Christianity was the omnipresent norm, only interrupted by the strange presence of the occasional Jew here and there, and with even atheists fully embedded in – and many times, fully approving of – the moral system of Christianity.
Still, as adults, and in a changed landscape, we need to recover, or to nurture, a more logical approach to Christianity; one that will help us, when the occasion arises, to actually explain Christianity in a logical way to the staggering number of non-Christians around us.
Christ is, in fact, the only person ever pre-announced. No one, ever, predicted the advent of a paedophile, blood-thirsty bedouin who would suddenly create a religion that is, in fact, nothing more than a monstrous deformation of the true one. And these announcements are the more impressive, because they were spread outside of the Jewish world eagerly awaiting for the Messiah. Among others, think of Cicero, who dies 43 years before Our Lord’s earthly birth, and knew about him already.
The argument for Christianity – a superfluous one in my youth, but an urgent one in these disgraceful times – should rest on a robust logical basis instead of relying on the “Jesus loves you” and “share the joy” platitudes one hears all the time in church and outside.
I suggest to all those who have not done it already to read this book. Fulton Sheen’s writing style is extremely easy to digest and at the same time exact and compelling. This is not your typical theology book. This is Christianity for the masses.
God knows we need something like this in these disgraceful times.
The Catholic Gentleman (love the line: “Be a man. Be a saint”…) has an interesting excerpt from Venerable Fulton Sheen about the Muslims’ devotion to Mary as a possible gateway to the conversion of that particular breed of infidels.
I need to point your attention to a couple of things that, I think, should be said. Contrary to what Belloc states, Islam can’t be a heresy, because by denying the divinity of Christ and of the Holy Ghost it cannot be seen as the same religion, worshiping the same God. Islam is a monstrous deformation of Christianity in a way that it denies the very concept of God, and therefore this monstrous deformation can’t be considered Christian in any way, shape or form.
Secondly, we must also observe that, thankfully, the resilience of the Muslim world to Christian conversion is beginning to break, and there have been several reports showing that a large number of Muslims converts every year, more or less secretly, to Christianity. I remember reading the figure of half a percent a year of the entire Muslim population. Stunning developments even if, of course, destined to remain under the radar for who knows how long still.
The main point of the article, though, is rather interesting: the devotion to Mary as the gateway to a Truth to which most Muslims are impervious when this Truth is presented to them from other directions. And in fact, it just does not make sense to believe in both the Immaculate Conception and the virgin birth without believing in the reason why both make sense in the first place. Who knows, perhaps the Fatima apparition will truly be the skeleton key allowing Truth to, one day, enter that evil false religion.
This mixture of some truths with many lies is what happens when you take a religion and start to tamper with it for your own ends. It becomes a mishmash of contradictory beliefs, a salad of imported truths and invented lies, and ultimately a container for all sorts of absurdities and monstrosities .
Which is what Islam is.
I have written already about “The Way”, after having seen the film in May.
It now turns out that Martin Sheen
chose the last name “Sheen” after Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, whom he described as having an “extraordinary presence” in his household when he was young.
Also interesting is that
Sheen said that he has been amazed by “the number of young people that have been inspired by our film and are interested in making the pilgrimage.”
Personally, I find it already beautiful that the film made it to the American silver screens, a sure testimony of a pleasing success in Europe. Whilst the Camino de Santiago might say less to an American audience than to a European one, I think that the money is well spent.
Besides, as far as I know the ruthless rules of the US distribution state that if a movie has disappointed in the first weekend, it might not make it to the second. Whilst I do not know to what extent this applies to movies that are not supposed to be blockbusters, the movie starts on the 7 October and you may want to plan it within the first weekend, if you find a screening near you.
Not a revelation, but worth the money for sure.
It is very interesting to know that in 1976, Michael Voris was altar boy at the Mass celebrated by Archbishop Fulton Sheen to commemorate Independence.
More interesting still is the vivid portrait Voris makes of the man, both in his human quality and fervent patriotism and in his, well, utterly “un-chareeetable” approach to “ecumenical dialogue”.
If you look at the video (for which you might have to register, which is fast and free) you’ll see how saintly men deal with those who want to “improve” Catholicism.