Fulton J. Sheen Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 143 quotes)
As scientific truths put us in an intelligent relaton with the cosmos, as historic truth puts us in temporal relation with the rise and fall of civilization, so does Christ put us in intelligent relation with God the Father; for He is the only possible Word by which God can address Himself to a world of sinners.
He came to put a harlot above a Pharisee, a penitent robber above a High Priest, and a prodigal son above his exemplary brother. To all the phonies and fakers who would say that they could not join the Church because His Church was not holy enough, He would ask, 'How holy must the Church be before you will enter into it?' If the Church were as holy as they wanted it to be, they would never be allowed into it! In every other religion under the sun, in every Eastern religion from Buddhism to Confucianism, there must always be some purification before one can commune with God. But Our Blessed Lord brought a religion where the admission of sin is the condition of coming to Him. 'Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are ill.
There are ultimately only two possible adjustments to life; one is to suit our lives to principles; the other is to suit principles to our lives. If we do not live as we think, we soon begin to think as we live. The method of adjusting moral principles to the way men live is just a perversion of the order of things.
Not only were the Jews expecting the birth of a Great King, a Wise Man and a Saviour, but Plato and Socrates also spoke of the Logos and of the Universal Wise Man 'yet to come'. Confucius spoke of 'the Saint'; the Sibyls, of a 'Universal King'; the Greek dramatist, of a saviour and redeemer to unloose man from the 'primal eldest curse'. All these were on the Gentile side of the expectation. What separates Christ from all men is that first He was expected; even the Gentiles had a longing for a deliverer, or redeemer. This fact alone distinguishes Him from all other religious leaders.
The Church makes no man less free than he was before. But we chiefly value freedom in order to give it away; every man who loves surrenders his freedom, whether his passion be the love of a woman, the love of a cause, or the love of God. . . Hence: "Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Everyone wants the things that only a love of God will bring to him, but most men today seek them in the wrong places. That is why no one comes to God without a revolution of the spirit; he must stop seeking his good in Godlessness.
Strong passions are the precious raw material of sanctity. Individuals that have carried their sinning to extremes should not despair or say, “I am too great a sinner to change,” or “God would not want me.” God will take anyone who is willing to love, not with an occasional gesture, but with a “passionless passion,” a “wild tranquility.” A sinner, unrepentant, cannot love God, any more that a man on dry land can swim; but as soon as he takes his errant energies to God and asks for their redirection, he will become happy, as he was never happy before. It is not the wrong things one has already done which keep one from God; it is the present persistence in that wrong.
Judas became the spokesman of all those who through the centuries would protest the ornamentation of the Christian cult and would feel that, when the best of gold and jewels were given to the God Who made them, there was some slight made to the poor - not because they were interested in the poor, but because they were envious of that wealth.
Go back to that night when Divine Light, in order to illumine the darkness of men, tabernacled Himself in the world He had made… The angels and a star caught up in the reflection of that Light, as a torch lighted by a torch, and passed it on to the watchers of sheep and the searchers of skies. And lo! As the shepherds watched their flocks about the hills of Bethlehem, they were shaken by the light of the angels And lo! As wise men from beyond the land of Media and Persia searched the heavens, the brilliance of a star, like a tabernacle lamp in the sanctuary of God’s creation, beckoned them on to the stable where the star seemed to lose its light in the unearthly brilliance of the Light of the Word.
The world would hate His followers, not because of evil in their lives, but precisely because of the absence of evil or rather their goodness. Goodness does not cause hatred, but it gives occasion for hatred to manifest itself. The holier and purer a life, the more it would attract malignity and hate. Mediocrity alone survives.
A spirit of license makes a man refuse to commit himself to any standards. The right time is the way he sets his watch. The yardstick has the number of inches that he wills it to have. Liberty becomes license, and unbounded license leads to unbounded tyranny. When society reaches this stage, and there is no standard of right and wrong outside of the individual himself, then the individual is defenseless against the onslaught of cruder and more violent men who proclaim their own subjective sense of values. Once my idea of morality is just as good as your idea of morality, then the morality that is going to prevail is the morality that is stronger.
It was not enough that the Son of God should come down from the heavens and appear as the Son of Man, for then He would have been only a great teacher and a great example, but not a Redeemer. It was more important for Him to fulfill the purpose of the coming, to redeem man from sin while in the likeness of human flesh. Teachers change men by their lives; Our Blessed Lord would change men by His death. The poison of hate, sensuality, and envy which is in the hearts of men could not be healed simply by wise exhortations and social reforms. The wages of sin is death, and therefore it was to be by death that sin would be atoned for.