DAILY CATHOLIC    FRI-SAT-SUN     January 15-17, 1999     vol. 10, no. 10


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          Because of the urgency of the times and because few there are today who possess the wisdom, simplicity and insight than the late Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, we are bringing you daily excerpts from his writings. There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words, but we'd like to modify that for Bishop Sheen's words can be likened to springboarding a thousand pictures that we formulate in our thought process in which we can see the simplicity of our faith. The problem is we have overcomplicated things. The good bishop makes it so simple that we have dubbed our daily series: "SIMPLY SHEEN".

         Each Friday we bring you longer articles by the good Bishop. This week we present a short essay by the good bishop on why man is not happy no matter how much he acquires as he relates the truths of St. Augustine's famous words, "Our hearts are restless until they rest in You."

Simply Sheen:
"Life is unbearable only to those who are ignorant of why they are alive."

          Modern man has been humiliated: neither his proud expectations of progress nor of science have turned out as he hoped. Yet he has not quite reached the point of humbling himself. He is still imprisoned in the self, and able to see nothing else beyond. The psychoanalysts may be allowed to bore into his thoughts for a few years more; but the time is not far off when modern man will utter a frantic appeal to God to lift them from the empty cistern of their own egos. St. Augustine knew it well: he said, "Our hearts are restless until they rest in You."

          That is why - although a catastrophic war may threaten us - the times are not as bad as they seem. Modern man has not yet returned to God; but he has, at least, returned to himself. Later he will surpass and transcend himself with God's grace, which he is seeking, even now. No one ever looked for something unless he knew that it existed; today the frustrated soul is looking for God, as for the memory of a name he used to know.

          The difference between those who have found God in faith and those who are still seeking Him is like the difference between a wife, happy in the enjoyment of her husband's companionship, and a young girl wondering if she will ever find a husband, and perhaps trying to attract men by the wrong approach. Those who search for pleasure, fame and wealth are all seeking the Infinite, but the seekers are still on the outskirts of the Eternal City. Those with faith have penetrated to their real home within the Infinite and have found the "peace which the world cannot give." As one can see a figure far off and not yet recognize him as a long-lost friend, so one can sense the need of the Infinite and desire the enless ecstasy of love, but noy yet know that it is God.

          It makes no difference how wicked a soul may be, there is no one subjecting himself to illicit pleasures who does not have a consciousness of his subjection and his slavery. Perhaps that is why alcoholics are often liars; their lips deny a slavery which their lives so visibly witness. Such individuals, unwilling to admit themselves mistaken, still refuse to be convinced of the Divine Truth; but their sadness and their emptiness will eventually drive them to the God of Mercy.

          Our exterior world today is in desperate straits, but the inner world of man is far from hopeless. The world of politics and economics lags behind the psychological developement of men themselves. The world is far from God, but human hearts are not. That is why peace will come less from political changes than from man himself, who, driven to take refuge within his own soul from the turmoil without, will be lifted above himself to the happiness for which he was made.

January 15-17, 1999       volume 10, no. 10
SIMPLY SHEEN - gems from Bishop Fulton J. Sheen


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