Author of 66 books, Bishop Fulton Sheen was gifted with an incredible ability to communicate the Truth in a way not too many people can.
But he wasn’t just a man of great words.
Bishop Fulton J. Sheen was also a man of great humor, love, faith, and courage. He lived his life in holiness – reminding us that God is not just a distant memory, but the Truth, the Light, and the Way that is present in each and every one of us.
30 Life-Changing Lessons to Learn from Fulton Sheen
1. How the modern world needs a Socrates…
“How the modern world needs a Socrates who used to walk into the market place of Athens asking people questions in order to make them discover themselves! True, he was put to death for unmasking others, but he left the world the heritage of “know thyself.”
“Patience is not an absence of action; rather it is “timing” it waits on the right time to act, for the right principles and in the right way.” ~ Fulton Sheen
3. Criticism of others is thus an oblique form of self-commendation.
“We think we make the picture hang straight on our wall by telling our neighbors that all his pictures are crooked.” ~ Fulton Sheen
“… a moment of travail and labor, for no one ever mounts to a higher level of life without death to the lower.”
5. This is the choice before us.
“… either try to revolutionize the world and break under it or revolutionize ourselves and remake the world.”
6. The empty can be filled, but the self-intoxicated have no room for God.
“Far better it is for you to say: “I am a sinner,” than to say: “I have no need of religion.” The empty can be filled, but the self-intoxicated have no room for God.”
7. To do God’s Will until death, that is the inner heart of all holiness. ~ Fulton Sheen
8. Humility is not self-contempt.
“… but the truth about ourselves coupled with a reverence for others; it is self-surrender to the highest goal.”
9. The modern man has already one-half the condition of salvation: he is miserable. ~ Fulton J. Sheen
10. We become like that which we love.
“If we love what is base, we become base; but if we love what is noble, we become noble.”
11. When the will loves anything that is below it in dignity, it degrades itself. ~ Fulton Sheen
12. 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.”
“ Modern man has become passive in the face of evil. He has so long preached a doctrine of false tolerance; has so long believed that right and wrong were only differences in a point of view, that now when evil works itself out in practice he is paralyzed to do anything against it.”
13. In journalism, the modern man wants controversy, not truth. ~ Fulton Sheen
14. The refusal to take sides on great moral issues is itself a decision.
“… It is a silent acquiescence to evil. The Tragedy of our time is that those who still believe in honesty lack fire and conviction, while those who believe in dishonesty are full of passionate conviction.”
15. The new atheism is not like the old.
“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.”
16. Very few people believe in the devil these days, which suits the devil very well.
“… He is always helping to circulate the news of his own death. The essence of God is existence, and He defines Himself as: ‘I am Who am.’ The essence of the devil is the lie, and he defines himself as: ‘I am who am not.’ Satan has very little trouble with those who do not believe in him; they are already on his side.”
17. You are infinitely precious because you are loved by God. ~ Fulton Sheen
18. If we use our lives for other purposes than those given by God, we hurt ourselves.
“If we use our lives for other purposes than those given by God, not only do we miss happiness, but we actually hurt ourselves and beget in us queer little “kinks”
19. All love craves unity.
“As the highest peak of love in the human order is the unity of husband and wife in the flesh, so the highest unity in the Divine order is the unity of the soul and Christ in communion.”
20. The best friends are those who know how to keep the same silences. ~ Fulton J. Sheen
“In every friendship, hearts grow and entwine themselves together so that the two hearts seem to make only one heart with only a common thought. That is why separation is so painful; it is not so much two hearts separating, but one being torn asunder.”
21. When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her.
“… The higher her virtue, the nobler her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women.” ~ Fulton J. Sheen
22. A man will always give reasons for loving, but a woman gives no reasons.
“The difference between the love of a man and the love of a woman is that a man will always give reasons for loving, but a woman gives no reasons for loving.”
23. It takes three to make love, not two…
“… you, your spouse, and God. Without God people only succeed in bringing out the worst in one another. Lovers who have nothing else to do but love each other soon find there is nothing else. Without a central loyalty, life is unfinished.” ~ Fulton J. Sheen
24. 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.”
25. Love is a mutual self-giving which ends in self-recovery. ~ Fulton J. Sheen
26. A woman gets angry when a man denies his faults…
“… because she knew them all along. His lying mocks her affection; it is the deceit that angers her more than the faults.”
27. When a child is given to his parents, a crown is made for that child in Heaven…
“… and woe to the parents who raise a child without consciousness of that eternal crown!”
28. Any book which inspires us to lead a better life is a good book. ~ Fulton J. Sheen
“Books are the most wonderful friends in the world. When you meet them and pick them up, they are always ready to give you a few ideas. When you put them down, they never get mad; when you take them up again, they seem to enrich you all the more.”
29. The modern man has more leisure than the men of a century ago, but he knows less what to do with it. ~ Fulton Sheen
30. A teacher who cannot explain any abstract subject to a child does not himself thoroughly understand his subject…
“… if he does not attempt to break down his knowledge to fit the child’s mind, he does not understand teaching.”
BONUS: Fulton J. Sheen Quotes
“Nothing ever happens in the world that does not happen first inside human hearts.” Bishop Fulton Sheen
“Discussion is also a most excellent means to avoid decision. ” ~ Fulton J. Sheen
“The rocking chair, it has been said, is a typical American invention; it enables man to rest as he is restless, to sit in one place and still be on the go.”
“Our intellects do not make the truth; they attain it: they discover it.”
“In the Church (post-Vatican II) began a yearning for the lusts of the world. Think of it! ‘In Egypt we had fish for the asking, cucumbers and melons, leeks and onions and garlic.’ Abortion, violence, divorce and repudiation of vows which belonged to the Egypt of the world were now by some accepted or defended. No longer was a solid, moral phalanx thrown up against the spirit of evil. It was no longer what the Church believed or the Holy Father taught, or what the Word of God cautioned; the individual conscience of and by itself became the sole standard of right and wrong: ‘Each of us doing what he pleases’ (Deuteronomy 12:8).”
“Once you have surrendered yourself, you make yourself receptive. In receiving from God, you are perfected and completed.”
“Sometimes the only way the good Lord can get into some hearts is to break them.”
“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.”
“The higher the love, the more demands will be made on us to conform to that ideal.”
“Why are those who are notoriously undisciplined and unmoral also most contemptuous of religion and morality? They are trying to solace their own unhappy lives by pulling the happy down to their own abysmal depths.”
~love, Luminita 💫