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Archbishop Sheen Today! -- Choices we make (Part One)
Catholic Online (Renew America web site) ^ | September 28, 2004 | Barbara Kralis

Posted on 09/28/2004 6:21:04 AM PDT by Convert from ECUSA

Archbishop Sheen Today! -- Choices we make (Part One)

Barbara Kralis

Barbara Kralis September 28, 2004

Heaven or hell, it is our choice. Which will it be? Will we choose the place and state of perfect and eternal happiness where we will see, face to face, the sight of God? Or, will we choose the place and state of eternal punishment, which consists of the deprivation of the sight of God (pain of loss) and the eternal fires (pain of sense)?

Many years ago, comedian Flip Wilson used to lament, "The devil (deb-il) made me do it!" It was a joke then and it is a joke still today. The devil cannot make anybody do anything. In fact, too many of us blame our weakness and concupiscence on the devil.

At our 'Particular Judgment,' [1] we will not be able to blame the devil for the choices we made, for God created man as a rational being, with free will. "God willed that man should be left in the hand of his own counsel." [2] With this free will, each of us makes the decision to love God or to reject Him.

How can we attain Eternal Salvation? We were not left as orphans, on our own. We were given divine teachings to guide us along the way.

We have the teachings of Christ and His apostles from Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. [3] We have The Church's infallible teachings, which enable all men to maintain their consciences well formed.

Moreover, the Ten Commandments, written for all men of all the ages, were carved by the finger of God into stone. Though they are not the total expression of God's laws, they are concise shorthand with limitless implications.

Then Jesus told Peter, "whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." [4] It is as simple as that!

St. Paul laid it all out for us when he taught: [5]

~Jesus Christ is our only hope. [6]

~The 'price' of Redemption of mankind has been accomplished. [7]

~The gates of heaven are open wide, just waiting for us.

~Man has available to him all the necessary graces for salvation, if he so chooses.

~It is up to every man to choose to accept grace or to reject grace. [8]

St. Paul teaches that now we see God " [9]in a mirror dimly, but then face-to-face," and that the happiness which we will enjoy in heaven is indescribable. [10]

Our Lord warned us that the principal objective of Christian living is not the good things of this life, which 'moth and rust consume, and which thieves can break in and steal,' [11] but to work towards the 'incorruptible heritage,' the eternal salvation of heaven.

How do we know we are on the right narrow path, going in the direction of heaven?

Christ has given us 'road signs' or 'shepherds' to help us not to stray. He called certain men to the Holy Orders of the Priesthood. [12]

~Faithful Bishops and Priests are our greatest shepherds. [13]

They celebrate the Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Mass. [14] They administer the Sacraments. They instruct us to frequent the Sacrament of Confession often, for venial sins erode the foundation of our faith. They instruct us to receive the Eucharist worthily. "They remind us," said John Paul II, "that their priestly ministry is ordered in a special way, a solicitude for the salvation of all men... that men may have life, and have it more abundantly, so that none may perish, but that they may have eternal life." [15]

~Faithful Bishops and Priests give us spiritual direction. We do not want to have to say at the end of our life what the Israelites said: "for forty years we went round and round the mountain." [16] However, beware of Bishops and Priests who dissent and cause scandal, as St. Paul teaches: "Now I exhort you, brethren, that you watch those who cause dissensions and scandals contrary to the doctrine that you have learned, and avoid them." [17]

~Faithful Bishops and Priests will bring us to the Blessed Mother. They will offer devotions to the Mother of God, they will remind their flock the Rosary is the most powerful prayer next to the Holy Mass. Archbishop Sheen has said often, "If you are devoted to Our Lady, you will never lose your soul."

~Faithful Bishops and Priests will encourage us to pray daily. Without prayer, we cannot know Jesus. If we do not know Jesus, we cannot love Him. If we do not love Jesus, we will not follow Him. Father John Hardon, S.J., (R.I.P.), often warned that if one did not pray a minimum of one hour daily, one would not survive the onslaught of evil in the 21st century.

The clearest path to heaven is through our faithful Bishops and Priests.

St. Cyril of Jerusalem also advises to meditate often on the thought of Heaven, to be detached from the things of this world, "because hope of the reward comforts the soul unto doing good works." [18]

We can attain heaven with God's grace. All wrongs can be righted and we have the ability to start again and again. We have only to make the right choice — heaven, not hell. Mary will show us the way.

Here, below, is a popular Bishop Sheen vignette on this subject.

Choices we make - Part one

By Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

J.M.J.

The subject of this evening's meditation will be choices we make. I will try to bring home to you the supreme alternatives that are before us — the alternatives of our eternal destiny. And I will begin by giving you an example of choice because after all our heaven or hell is before us everyday. But there come great moments too when we make decisions for much of our life. One of these stories will be taken from London and the other from Paris. And both of them from my own experiences.

I've spent about seven or eight years of my life in all in a parish in London in the Soho square district. I opened the church door this particular morning. It was a cold January morning, heavy London fog, and a limp figure fell in, a young woman.

I said, "How did you happen to be here?"

"Where am I, Father?"

"Oh, Father?"

"Yes," she said, "I used to be a Catholic but not anymore.

"You were drunk."

"Yes," she said, "I was drunk."

"But," I said, "men drink because they like the stuff, women drink because they don't like something else. What were you running away from?"

"Three men," she said. "I was in love with each of them, they were beginning to find it out, and so I got drunk"

"What is your name?"

And pointing to a billboard apposite of the church on the walls of the Cross and Blackwell Jam office, I said, "Is that your picture over there?"

"Yes, I'm the leading lady in that musical comedy."

I made a cup of coffee for her because she was frozen from the night exposure. She said, "Thanks."

"No, come back this afternoon and thank me," I asked.

She said, "I will on one condition. That you do not ask me to go to Confession."

"Very well," I said. "I shall not to ask you to do to Confession."

"I want you to promise me faithfully that you will not ask me to go to Confession," she said.

"I promise you faithfully that I will not ask you t o go to Confession," I said.

She came back that afternoon before the matinee and I said, "We have two paintings in this church that are very notable. Would you like to see them?"

As I took her down the side aisle of the church, I pushed her into a confessional. I always keep my promises.

Two years later, I gave her veil as a nun in the Convent of Adoration, where she is to this very hour.

Therefore, that cold January morning, another choice had to be made and it was a choice for good. And, this is a choice that each and every one of us is making. [19]

(Part Two next week)

NOTES:

1. 'Particular Judgment' also known as 'the judgment of the soul,' is not to be confused with the 'General Judgment.' The 'Particular Judgment' takes place immediately after the death of each person and irrevocably settles the soul's salvation or damnation, even though it may have to undergo temporal punishment in Purgatory.

2. Cf. Gaudium et spes, 17; Sir 15:14; Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1730.

3. Sacred Tradition is the sum of revealed doctrine which has not been committed to Sacred Scripture (though it may have appeared in uninspired writing) but which has been handed down by a series of legitimate shepherds of the church from age to age. As revelation, it must have come to the Apostles directly from the lips of Christ or been handed down by the Apostles at the dictation of the Holy Spirit. "So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter," St. Paul told the Thessalonians. (2 Thess. 2:15, RSV)

4. Cf. Mt. 16:19, RSV.

5. Cf. Eph 2-10

6. Cf. 1 Tim 1:1

7. Cf. 1 Cor 6:20; 1 Cor 7:23; also, Gaudium et spes, n.22'

8. Cf. Eph. 2:8-9; 1 Cor 7:25; 1 Tim 1:13; 1 Cor 4:7; also, 'Dei Verbum,' n.5.

9. Cf. 1 Cor 13:12

10. Cf. 1 Cor 2:9

11. Cf. Mt. 6:19

12. The Solemn Magisterium of the Church teaches us the meaning and scope of these words: "If anyone say that by the words, 'Do this in remembrance of me' Christ did not make His Apostles priests, or that Christ did not decree that they and other priests should offer His Body and Blood: let him be condemned." Council of Trent, 'De SS.Missae sacrificio,' Ch.1; cf. canon 2.

13. Pope John Paul II teaches the Eucharist is "the principal and central reason-of-being of the Sacrament of the Priesthood, which effectively came into being at the moment of the institution of the Eucharist, and together with it," 'Letter to all Bishops,' 2/24/80.

14. Cf. Lk 22:19; 1 Cor 11:24-25;

15. John Paul II, 'Letter to all priests,' April 8, 1979, n.7.

16. Cf. Deut 2:1

17. Rom 16: 17-18, RSV.

18. St. Cyril of Jerusalem, 'Catechesis," n. 348, 18, 1.

19. Source: "Choice" video, produced by Sheen Productions, Inc., 23 E. Main St., Victor, N.Y.

Barbara Kralis, the article's author, writes for various Christian and conservative publications. She is a regular columnist at RenewAmerica.us, Catholic Online.com, The Wanderer newspaper, New Oxford Review Magazine, Washington Dispatch, MichNews, Catholic Citizens of Illinois, Phil Brennan's WOW, ChronWatch, etc. Her first journalism position was with Boston Herald Traveler, 1964. Barbara published/edited 'Semper Fidelis' Catholic print newsletter. She and her husband, Mitch, live in the great State of Texas, and co-direct the Jesus Through Mary Catholic Foundation. She can be reached at: Avemaria@earthlink.net.

© Copyright 2004 by Barbara Kralis http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/kralis/040928


TOPICS: Catholic
KEYWORDS: archbishopsheen; behavior; choice; choices; christianliving; freewill; sheen
Choices. They can make an eternal difference.
1 posted on 09/28/2004 6:21:05 AM PDT by Convert from ECUSA
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To: GirlShortstop; Maeve; NYer; Canticle_of_Deborah; AskStPhilomena; AAABEST; ArrogantBustard; ...

Archbishop Sheen ping.


2 posted on 09/28/2004 6:23:17 AM PDT by Convert from ECUSA (tired of shucking and jiving)
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To: Convert from ECUSA
As I took her down the side aisle of the church, I pushed her into a confessional.  I always keep my promises.

ROTF!!  I remembered this story from Archbishop Sheen's Treasure in Clay, but nonetheless it still made me laugh aloud again today.

How can we attain Eternal Salvation? We were not left as orphans, on our own. We were given divine teachings to guide us along the way.

Orphans is such a sad word, isn't it?  Through grace we can see our blessings and God's answer to that earthly 'situation'... quite clearly, the TRUTH is, we are never orphans!  We have Our Blessed Mother.  No one is an orphan when they have a mother.

With these words Jesus gave the Blessed Virgin Mary a new mission and established a special relationship of love between her and all the disciples

"The universal motherhood of Mary, the 'Woman' of the wedding at Cana and of Calvary, recalls Eve, 'mother of all living' (Gn 3:20). However, while the latter helped to bring sin into the world, the new Eve, Mary, co-operates in the saving event of Redemption. Thus in the Blessed Virgin the figure of 'woman' is rehabilitated"...   
Here is a translation of his [JPII] reflection, which was the 49th in the series on the Blessed Mother and was given in Italian.

1. After recalling the presence of Mary and the other women at the Lord's cross, St John relates: "When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, 'Woman, behold, your son!'.   Then he said to the disciple, 'Behold, your mother!'" (Jn 19:26-27).

These particularly moving words are a "revelation scene": they reveal the deep sentiments of the dying Christ and contain a great wealth of meaning for Christian faith and spirituality. At the end of his earthly life, as he addressed his Mother and the disciple he loved, the crucified Messiah establishes a new relationship of love between Mary and Christians. 
John Paul II

I appreciate the ping, Convert.  Pax et bonum!
3 posted on 09/28/2004 7:34:44 AM PDT by GirlShortstop ( O sublime humility! That the Lord... should humble Himself like this... )
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To: Convert from ECUSA
Television then and now
4 posted on 09/28/2004 7:38:22 AM PDT by Mike Bates (You're getting drowsy. You will buy my book, you will buy my book, you will buy my book. . .)
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To: Mike Bates

I never saw his old TV show, even though I was born in the era when he had it, we didn't get our first TV until 1959, and I was too young to say up and watch it. I have seen clips of Sheen's TV show over the years, and I was very impressed with him - even when I was still Protestant.


5 posted on 09/28/2004 8:30:24 AM PDT by Convert from ECUSA (tired of shucking and jiving)
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To: Convert from ECUSA

Episodes of "Life is Worth Living" are broadcast every Friday at 9:00 PM Eastern on EWTN.


6 posted on 09/28/2004 10:18:08 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham
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To: A.A. Cunningham

Thanks, AA. Unfortunately, I don't have EWTN on my local cable, and haven't yet decided whether to shell out the cost of a dish just to have EWTN. But I'm glad that Sheen's programs are being broadcast. I've watched EWTN when I've been on vacation and the hotel has it on their cable. I've enjoyed EWTN every time I've watched it.


7 posted on 09/28/2004 10:40:48 AM PDT by Convert from ECUSA (tired of shucking and jiving)
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To: Convert from ECUSA
You can watch EWTN live online at:

http://www.ewtn.com/ http://www.ewtn.com

Here are Fulton Sheen's shows (audio only). In real audio.

http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/file_index.asp?SeriesId=891015601&pgnu=4

God bless.

8 posted on 09/29/2004 10:42:06 AM PDT by dha (The safest place to be is within the will of God.)
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To: dha

Thanks, dha!


9 posted on 09/29/2004 10:48:12 AM PDT by Convert from ECUSA (tired of shucking and jiving)
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