Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

The Prophetic Wisdom of Venerable Fulton Sheen…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on February 14, 2018

God Love You!

As we make ready for Lent, I thought it appropriate to feature a single chapter in parts of Venerable Fulton J Sheen, Archbishop’s radio broadcast that took place in the early spring of 1949, and was transcribed by the National Council of Catholic Men. You can no longer find this book, so I’m happy to have it, and happy to share one chapter with you that talks in great detail about the importance of purifying oneself through the many practices of Asceticism.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, glossary of terms defines Asceticism – or Ascesis – as:

The practice of penance, mortification, and self-denial to promote greater self-mastery and to foster the way of perfection by embracing the Way of the Cross.

Now hang with me, this really is very easy to understand:

The way of perfection passes by [the] Way of the Cross. There is no holiness without renunciation [letting goand spiritual battle (cf 2Tim 4). Spiritual progress [and that’s what Lent is all about, isn’t it?]entails the ascesis and mortification that gradually leads to living in the PEACE and JOY of the Beatitudes.

He who climbs never stops going from beginning to beginning, through beginnings that have no end. He never stops desiring what he already knows. ~St Gregory of Nyssa

CCC§2015, emphasis and commentary added

Archbishop Sheen weaves these spoken TRUTHS beautifully throughout this featured chapter which is why I decided to share it with those visiting, especially as many have clicked on already featured writings of Sheen’s found within his own link created on the sidebar to your right. 😉

When it is appropriate, I will also connect his thoughts with those of Sacred Scripture and messages from Our Blessed Mother when applicable. Sheen’s words, though spoken 69years ago, are more connected to today’s world than ever before. He truly was a prophet in our time, and I hope his cause is advancing.  I will also occasionally add [my own thoughts] when appropriate.

These will be posts for the next four days to prepare us for, I hope, an amazing Lent!

*****

God Love You!

A Chapter from: The Love that Waits for You, Venerable Fulton Sheen, Archbishop,
emphasis added by me

Asceticism

Friends:  From the beginning of time, souls have asked themselves this question –

“How can I love sin and hate it at the same time” or “Why do I love alcohol and hate being an alcoholic?”  

The answer is: Every sin has a double element: material and formal.

The material element is the good thing on which sin centers, e.g. alcohol, flesh, wealth.

[Good in themselves but perverted by evil when misused.]

The formal element is the particular attitude we take toward it, or the evil way we abuse these good things. It is man’s will which turns love of the flesh into lust, alcohol into drunkenness and wealth into avarice.

What the sinner loves in sin is the matter of sin, which is good; what the sinner hates in sin is the unhappiness, remorse, melancholy and sense of defeat which comes from the perversion or abuse of what is good.

He loves the creature God made; he hates himself for turning it from its true purpose to his own selfish pleasure.

The principle psychological effect of sin is the constant anxiety in the soul of a sinner due to the inner contradictions between loving and hating, between desiring and despising at one and the same time. Caught by passion or bad habits, such distraught souls are really in constant agony, Ovid described them:

I see and approve the better things of life; the worse things of life I follow.”

[Or as St Paul says, I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For i do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do.” ~Romans 7:15, 18c-19]

The soul craves for the infinite and it gets the finite. It demands gold and receives tinsel. This inherent disproportion between the anticipation of a pleasure and its impoverished realization only intensifies the anxiety, for no sin ever realises its promises.

Desires increase, but pleasure decreases; compulsion continues, but pleasure degenerates into repetition. Man tries to escape this inner dissatisfaction by more and more pleasures, more and more riches, but these make hungry where most they satisfy.

[Or in other words, they do the opposite of what they promise to do.]

No matter how fast the greyhound runs, he can never catch up with the mechanical rabbit.

This inner tension can be overcome ONLY by resisting and taming our errant impulses and egoistic desires, which is done by self-discipline.

Here one touches on a pathway to peace of the soul of which the modern pagan is totally and completely ignorant. [Why?]

Because his god is his own ego, he cannot understand why he should detach himself from anything.

But as a great violinist will abstain from ditch-digging because he knows it would spoil his artistic touch, so the man of God will abstain from what is harmful to the art of being peaceful in God.

Man’s heart adheres more intimately to ONE THING… The purpose of detachment, therefore, is to reduce the many to ONE, to restrain the body for the sake of the soul, and to seek less instead of more.

To be continued…

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