Wednesday 11 May 2016

Fulton Sheen's Wartime Prayer Book - Fulton J. Sheen

Fulton Sheen's Wartime Prayer Book
Fulton J. Sheen
Sophia Institute Press
ISBN 9781928832652
ASIN B004L6298U

This book was a very interesting read especially in this day and age. For weather we like it or not the work is at war, a war with terrorists, a culture war, even currently a war about bathroom use. Originally composed in 1943 as The Armour of God this book is a collection of prayers, thoughts, reflections and quotes from the bible, saints and church history. In a time of ISIS and a time of gang attacks and terror attacks in Europe we need to be a people of prayer more than ever before. We can learn so much from this book written almost 75 years ago, and learn it from a man who devoted his life to prayer and teaching and was a Catholic pioneer in new media.

I have been slowly dipping my feet in the waters of Fulton Sheen's works, I know many who love listening to his old radio broadcast or watching his TV appearances but I am still a person of the written word. This is the third book by Sheen that I have read this year and I have a few more planned. But from the get go this one was very moving, and I have returned to it a few times to pray specific prayers or with specific intentions since I have finished reading it.

The chapters in the book are:
Clearing Away the Debris
Thoughts in Wartime
Thoughts for Soldiers
Reflections on Prayer
Looking into My Soul
The Eucharist
The Blessed Mother
The Stations of the Cross
Basic Prayers
Morning Prayers
Evening Prayers
Occasional Prayers

When I purchased this book I was expecting a collection of prayers, and this book is that but it is also so much more than that. I highlighted a number of passages in this book on my first read through. And here are those passages as examples of some of the wisdom and guidance found in this volume.

"There are only two philosophies of life: the Christian, which says: first the fast, then the feast; and the pagan, which says: first the feast, then the headache. In either case, there is pain. The Christian never ends with it, even if he waits until the end of time."

"I am not fighting for a freedom that means the right to do whatever I please but for a freedom that means the right to do whatever I ought. Oughtness implies Law; Law implies Intelligence; and Intelligence implies God."

"I am not fighting to preserve the kind of world we had just before this war. If I were, I would be fighting to preserve a world that produced tyrants and dictators. The new world must be a better world than that, or it is not worth fighting for."

"We do not pray in order that we may change God's Will; we pray rather to change our own."

"We do not pray that we may have good things; we pray rather that we may be good."

"Unless we have some work in hand, unless we are struggling, unless we are fighting with ourselves, we are not followers of those who "through many tribulations entered into the kingdom of God."
A fight is the very token of a Christian. He is a soldier of Christ; high or low, he is this and nothing else.
If we have triumphed over all mortal sin, then we must attack our venial sins; there is no help for it; there is nothing else to do if we would be soldiers of Jesus Christ."

"My station in life, my routine duties, my work, my family - all these are but the species of my life, which may remain unchanged; but the substance of my life, my soul, my mind, my will, my heart `transubstantiate,' stantiate,' transform them wholly into Thy service, so that through me all may know how sweet is the love of Christ. Amen."

If from these few quotes you are not intrigued enough to pick up this book I will be surprised. So I will add, this book is transformative, it will help to transform your heart, it will help to transform your will. And if you let it, it will help to transform your life and through that help you to be an agent of transformation in the world. One of the key ways it will do that is that it will inspire you to become a person of prayer, a prayer warrior for it is true as Christians, as Catholics we are all called to be in the army of God.

Books by Fulton J. Sheen:
God and Intelligence in Modern Philosophy
The Seven Last Words
Philosophy of Science
The Eternal Galilean
Calvary and the Mass
The Cross and the Beatitudes
Communism and the Conscience of the West
Peace of Soul
Three to Get Married
Life Is Worth Living Series 1-5
Way to Happiness
Way to Inner Peace 
Life of Christ
Missions and the World Crisis
The Power of Love
Footprints in a Darkened Forest
Lenten and Easter Inspirations
Treasure in Clay: The Autobiography of Fulton J. Sheen
God's World and Our Place In It
The World's First Love

Books About Fulton J. Sheen:

(Note: this books is part of a series: A Year of Reading Intention - Catholic Reading!)

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