Arrupe, S.J. == Bishop Sheen —
Pedro Arrupe, S.J. Quotes
Nothing is more practical than finding God, That is, than falling in a love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the mornings, What you will do with your evenings, How you spend your weekends, What you read, Who you know, What breaks your heart, And what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.” ―
Bishop Sheen Quotes
From: Remembering Bishop Fulton Sheen By Dr. Jeff Mirus (bio – articles – email) | Oct 07, 2014
The interview is especially poignant in that it records Sheen’s distress in attempting to counter the rapid secularization which afflicted the Church beginning with widespread misinterpretations of the Council.
The following examples are drawn from Sheen’s correspondence with Franco:
On secularization in the Church generally, and especially the collapse of women religious in the United States, Sheen wrote:
The spiritual life in our times begins with a ‘No’ to the world. The Russian Christians were tested with Communism, the Germans with Nazism and the rest of us with Secularism. Only those who have already said ‘Yes’ to the Transcendent have the power to say ‘NO’. The authorities in the early centuries were not escapists. They were warriors. They went out to the desert to confront the Devil and to say ‘No’ to him. People today are so hungry for bread and we are giving them Rice Krispies with crackle.
On diminishing reverence for the Eucharist, decline in the Sacrament of Confession, and the loss of the sense of sin (including the practice of First Communion before First Confession), he lamented: “What is basic is the denial of guilt. Everyone today is immaculately conceived. There are no penitents, only patients.”
During the American bishops’ discussions of Communion in the hand, he insisted: “This concentration on a non-essential—while priests leave and nuns secularize and catechetics declines—will not win heaven’s smile.”
And when asked about the growing political preoccupation of the United States Episcopal Conference, Bishop Sheen characterized it as focusing on the “outside of the cup, not the inside.”
In fact, Bishop Sheen apparently saw the root of the problem of the secularization of the Church in the bishops themselves. First, speaking again of the collapse of religious life, Msgr. Franco reports: “He was frustrated that more was not being done, writing that every bishop was waiting for every other bishop to do something, and all were waiting for the Holy Father.” And more generally:
In 1970, he confided to me a deep concern about the future. At the heart of his concern were his fellow bishops. He saw the weaknesses of a good number of bishops, weaknesses which undermined their authority as successors of Christ’s apostles. At this critical time, he found bishops who were avoiding problems and difficult decisions, delegating their authority to others, failing to teach and discipline, listening to bad advisors, and demonstrating apathy. “So many are afraid of being unloved,” he told me.
Bishop Fulton Sheen, in contrast, was secure in the love of Christ. Msgr. Hilary Franco is certain that the great bishop, who made a holy hour each and every day and encouraged all he counseled to do the same, had but one motive: To share that love with others, building up the Body of Christ, beginning with those most in need of His mercy.