Friday 18 November 2016

Finding True Happiness - Fulton J. Sheen

Finding True Happiness
Fulton J. Sheen
Trent Beattie (Editor)
Beacon Publishing a ministry of
Dynamic Catholic
ISBN 9781937509378
eISBN 9781929266814

This book is a very important collection in this day and age. And thought it was not written as a specific book by Fulton Sheen, for it is a compilation taken four separate books by Sheen. It is drawn from Walk With God, Way to Happiness, Way to Inner Peace, and You. Now I have known the name Fulton Sheen for many years, but for some reason or another, other than excerpts in anthologies it was only this year that I started reading his books.  It really is a deep regret that I did not try reading his books earlier, for at the moment I have about 5 of them in my to be read pile. In the introduction Trent Beattie, writes about the power that Sheen's writings had on his life and the reasons he made this compilation. Beattie states: "The first was to let go of the idea that happiness is to be found in things outside oneself. Happiness does not depend on accumulating more things, but on the mindset we have concerning the things we already do possess. Happiness does not consist in having more, but in appreciating more. As Sheen wrote, "It is not so much what happens in your life that matters; it is rather how you react to it."" And the rest of the book expands upon those ideas. 

I had a discussion about this book with a friend. He wanted me to summarize the book. I started that true happiness is found if being content with what you have, but working towards become the best version of yourself. Not comparing ourselves to others, not comparing our possessions, bank accounts … but comparing ourselves to who we were yesterday and the day before and the day before that. The book helps us really look at where we put our hope and our joy the book helps us learn to focus on personal growth. The focus in not on the external but on the internal. 

The chapters in this book are:
1. Finding Perfect Happiness
2. Philosophy of Pleasure
3. Silence
4. Repose
5. Self-Inflation
6. Egotism: The Enemy of Inner Peace
7. Desire
8. Sadness
9. Moods
10. Mental Cases are Increasing
11. Loneliness
12. Truth: Forgotten Ideal
13. Patience
14. Contentment
15. Joy
16. The Will: The Secret of Sanctity

There are a few factors that make this an amazing book. First it is so accessible. It is not a massive theological treatise, it is written in language that is easy to comprehend and it is written in a very engaging and personable manner.  Also at the end of each chapter is an offer, most are a book that will go deeper into the theme of that chapter. One of the offers is for 6 copies of this book for just $18 plus shipping and handling, so you can pass it on to others. Of the books recommended I have read half and had 2 of the others already in my to be read list. And of course this book has motivated me to read even more Sheen and sooner rather than later.

This book is an amazing read. And with the length I know I will be going back and reading it again. The message is so important, and to be honest in this day and age needed even more than ever before. How many people in this day and age look for fulfillment, and happiness, in things, possessions, in other people? When in reality as Sheen shows us throughout this book, I happiness needs to come from our relationship with God, our personal growth and how we respond to things and situations, not in the things and situations themselves.

I know a dozen people without even giving it a thought that could greatly benefit from reading this book based on their current life situation. It is an excellent read that I highly recommend.

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:
Fulton Sheen - Louise Merrie - CTS Biographies

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

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