Sep 4, 2014 5:01 AM
Could this be the reason Fulton Sheen's cause has been stalled?
Way back in the 1970's, I purchased an excellent book written by my hero and good friend Fulton J. Sheen entitled "The Electronic Christian" and published by the Macmillan Publishing Company. In this important book (indeed every book written By Sheen could be labelled as important), the saintly Archbishop who thoroughly intrigued his audience throughout the 1950's as "Uncle Fultie" - a Catholic counterpart if you will to Milton Berle's "Uncle Miltie," explains the importance and indeed the necessity of a religion with Dogma. Here is his essay:
The modern man must decide for himself whether he is going to have a religion with thought or a religion without it. He already knows that thoughtless policies lead to the ruin of society, and he may begin to suspect that thoughtless religion ends in confusion worse confounded.
The problem is simple. The modern man has two maps before him: one the map of sentimental religion, the other the map of dogmatic religion. The first is very simple. It has been constructed only in the last few years by a topographer who has just gone into the business of map making and is extremely adverse to explicit directions. He believes that each man should find his own way and not have his liberty taken away by dogmatic directions. The other map is much more complicated and full of dogmatic detail. It has been made by topographers who have been over every inch of the road for centuries and know each detour and each pitfall. It has explicit directions and dogmas such as, 'Do not take this road - it is swampy,' or 'Follow this road; although rough and rocky at first, it leads to a smooth road on a mountaintop.'
The simple map is very easy to read, but those who are guided by it are generally lost in a swamp of mushy sentimentalism. The other map takes a little more scrutiny, but it is simpler in the end, for it takes you up through the rocky road of the world's scorn to the everlasting hills where is seated the original Map Maker, the only One who ever has associated rest with learning: 'Learn of Me...and you shall find rest for your souls.'
Every new coherent doctrine and dogma add to the pabulum for thought; it is an extra bit of garden upon which we can intellectually browse; it is new food into which we can put our teeth and thence absorb nourishment; it is the discovery of a new intellectual planet that adds fullness and spaciousness to our mental world. And simply because it is solid and weighty, because it is dogmatic and not gaseous and foggy like a sentiment, it is intellectually invigorating, for it is with weights that the best drill is done, and not with feathers.
It is the very nature of a man to generate children of his brain in the shape of thoughts, and as he piles up thought on thought, truth on truth, doctrine on doctrine, conviction on conviction, and dogma on dogma, a very coherent and orderly fashion, so as to produce a system complex as a body and yet one and harmonious, the more and more human he becomes. When, however, in response to false cries for progress, he lops off dogmas, breaks with the memory of his forefathers, denies intellectual parentage, pleads for a religion without dogmas, substitutes mistiness for mystery, mistakes sentiment for sediment, he is sinking back slowly, surely, and inevitably into the senselessness of stones and into the irresponsible unconsciousness of weeds. Grass is broad-minded. Cabbages have heads - but no dogmas. (pp. 74-74).
It would seem that "modern man," as Sheen so generously referred to him, has made his choice: he has opted for a religion without thought, a religion where dogma is considered a liability. Could this be why the Archdiocese of New York has stalled Fulton Sheen's cause. See here: http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/sheen-sainthood-process-suspended/article_d43c4d13-dea7-5af5-b8bc-97ed8184cd21.html
The same Archdiocese which has just decided to allow homosexuals and lesbians march in the Saint Patrick Day's Parade. We have now entered the time of the final confrontation between good and evil, Gospel and Anti-Gospel. The Devil is sending false prophets to prepare the way for his Antichrist who will do his best to destroy the Catholic Church. We've witnessed false prophets of a humanitarian religion and a theology of violence. We have seen a priest of the Boston Archdiocese advance a sentimental religion free of dogma. And we have watched as the Boston Archdiocese permits "Gay Pride" celebrations while calling evil good and good evil.
More false prophets will come. And many will be seduced by them because they do not have a love for the truth and because they do not pray. Fr. Vincent Miceli notes that, "The contrast between Christ and the Antichrist could not be more pronounced than in their respective relations to revealed truth. The Incarnate Truth has chosen the poor, uncultured, and simple to preach the inestimable truths of the Gospel. The Antichrist, the condemned man, whose form the apostate angel, Satan, possesses at the end of the world, chooses the wise of this world, the double-minded, the arrogant intellectuals to preach lies about revealed truth." (The Antichrist, p.78).
Romano Guardini alludes to this in his book The Lord. He notes how those who refuse to accept the specious arguments of the arrogant intellectuals and the "wise" of this world will be a source of scandal:
"One day the Antichrist will come: a human being who introduces an order of things in which rebellion against God will attain its ultimate power. He will be filled with enlightenment and strength. The ultimate aim of all aims will be to prove that existence without Christ is possible - nay rather, that Christ is the enemy of existence, which can be fully realized only when all Christian values have been destroyed. His arguments will be so impressive, supported by means of such tremendous power - violent and diplomatic, material and intellectual - that to reject them will result in almost insurmountable scandal, and everyone whose eyes are not opened by grace will be lost. Then it will be clear what the Christian essence really is: that which stems not from the world, but from the heart of God; victory of grace over the world; redemption of the world, for her true essence is not to be found in herself, but in God, from whom she has received it. When God becomes all in all, the world will finally burst into flower." (The Lord p. 513).
Is there really any doubt that the Man of Sin will soon reveal himself to the world? When he does, he will attempt to tear the very idea of God from the consciousness of men. And according to Scripture, God's Holy Word, he will succeed in seducing the vast majority of believers away from Christ and into his own ranks of the idolatrous. But those who do not trust in their own intellect or powers and who seek refuge in the Immaculate Heart of Mary will find it. For the humble Virgin, Mother of the Church, will crush the Devil's head - the seat of his intellect - as surely as Judith saved her people by slaying Holofernes. Recall
Related reading here: http://lasalettejourney.blogspot.com/2014/07/pope-francis-man-is-king-of-universe.html