Monday, June 5, 2006
Fulton J. Sheen: The Study of World Religions

Last week I watched my first episode of Archbishop's Fulton J. Sheen's Emmy award winning program, Life is Worth Living. It was a very popular show during the 1950's. Well this program was on Comparing world religions and Archbishop Sheen beautifully attacked the notion that Christianity is false and really just changes in pagan beliefs. He said this theory is based on two false assumptions.
  1. Resemblances imply Imitations
  2. Primitive causes Original

For the first, he used the example of paintings in an art gallery. Many paintings use the same combination of colors but that doesn't mean they were all painted by the same artist. And so just because in some pagan forms of culture there were legends of a Resurrection of a false "god" doesn't mean that is why we believe Jesus Christ rose from the grave. Everything has resemblences to other things but that doesn't mean they all are based from the same source.

For the second assumption, Archbishop Sheen looked at Napoleon. Now, his name is also written as Napolio. He said that is broken into two parts: Ne/apolio. He is the "new Apollo". Apollo, the "god" of the sun, in mythology had three sisters and two wives just like Napoleon. The Sun is weaker in the North or the South? It is weaker in the North and Waterloo was in the North. Therefore, Sheen, said that Napoleon never existed - he was based entirely on Apollo.

You see how people always think they have to go back to primitive beliefs concerning religion? But, they don't in any other field. Do we go back to the witchdoctors to learn more about medicine? No, and we don't need to do that with religion.

So how do we find the True Faith?

This was the best part of the program I think. Archbishop Sheen says we must line them all up. We must look at each belief from Christianity to Taoism to Judaism to Islam, etc. And learn what each one teaches. But, we must test them. And the test is this: "If one of you is the Truth surely people were expecting you."

Who among all of the world religion founders had a pre-announced birth and a foretold death? Which one was expected by the people? Surely the Messiah of the World and the Truth would be expected by someone. And, Archbishop Sheen says only one of them could step forward from the line and pass the test - Jesus Christ, God-made man. For only He is the Truth. For He foretold his death numerous times. His birth was pre-announced all the way back to the times of the prophets of Israel. Only Jesus Christ is Lord - only He is the way, the truth, and the Life. And, He is real. For Christianity is not a "religion of the book". It is not a dead one of the story of God who came for us and Ascended before we were born.

Christianity is a religion of love - the story of Our God that loved us so much He came and died our rightful deaths - a belief system not based on an ideal or a notion but a person! The same person enthroned in each Tabernacle in the Eucharist across the entire world. Jesus Christ is real and only He is to be worshipped, adored, and loved. And, if we, like the first apostles, must lay down our life of the faith, so be it. For Jesus Christ already laid down His life for us. For only He is continuing to perform miracles in the world that modern medicine cannot explain. The power of prayer is greater than any other power in the entire world. The number of miracles, Eucharistic miracles, and apparitions are so long that a whole blog could not house them all. Simply, believe the Gospel, believe Jesus Christ, and believe His Church.

So if you were hear someone claiming Christianity is based solely on paganism, remember these points from Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.

4 comment(s):

del_button June 5, 2006 at 6:26 PM
Anonymous said...

I saw that same show! I really like him. What a powerful speaker for the Church. And the way he could back up everything he said was amazing. Such a brilliant mind.

del_button June 5, 2006 at 9:47 PM
Matthew said...

Wow, you saw the same show? That's great. I wish everyone could have saw it. I actually was planning on turning the TV off but decided to watch a few minutes of it. Those few minutes turned into a half an hour of me frantically noting down some of his amazing ideas. He is brillant and I hope he is declared a saint one day.

Here's the official site for his canonization:

del_button June 6, 2006 at 10:45 AM
Deacon Bill Burns said...

I listened to the very same one on Relevant Radio yesterday.

del_button June 6, 2006 at 11:08 AM
Matthew said...

I love Revelant Radio! I had no idea they played Archbishop Sheen's program on it, though.

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