Sunday 12 February 2017

Seven Words of Jesus and Mary: Lessons on Cana and Calvary - Fulton J. Sheen

Seven Words of Jesus and Mary: Lessons on Cana and Calvary
Fulton J. Sheen
Liguori Publications
ISBN 9780764807084

This book is available in a few different editions it was originally published in 1945. Another edition does not have the subtitle 'Lessons on Cana and Calvary'.

In the first chapter of this book Sheen states: "It is interesting that Our Lord spoke seven times on Calvary and that His Mother is recorded as having spoken but seven times in Sacred Scripture. Her last recorded word was at the marriage feast of Cana, when her Divine Son began His public life. Now that the sun was out, there was no longer need of the moon to shine. Now that the Word has spoken, there was no longer need of words." And he goes on to say: "Saint Luke records five of the seven words which he could have known only from her. Saint John records the other two. One wonders, as Our Blessed Lord spoke each of His Seven Words, if Our Blessed Mother at the foot of the Cross did not think of each of her corresponding words. Such will be the subject of our meditation: Our Lord's Seven Words on the Cross and the Seven Words of Mary's Life." Then the book goes on to compare and contrast the seven times Mary speaks with Jesus seven phrases from the cross.

The seven chapters in this book are:
The First Word: The Value of Ignorance
The Second Word: The Secret of Sanctity
The Third Word: The Fellowship of Religion
The Fourth Word: Confidence in Victory
The Fifth Word: Religion is a Quest
The Sixth Word: The Hour
The Seventh Word: The Purpose of Life

The first section compares Jesus statement "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" Luke 23:34 with Mary's own 'know not' from "And Mary said to the Angel: 'How shall this be done, because I know not man?'" Luke 1:31-34.

This book is the 9th by Rev. Fulton J. Sheen that I have read in the last year. With each book I am realizing what a treasure we have in the writings that he has left behind for us. This book is pure biblical exegesis. For other than quoting a few prayers or poems this entire book is written around the scriptures, and Rev Sheen teaching to us directly from the word. In this work he draws predominantly from the gospel of Luke, but also from other gospels to compare wording or to support his teachings from the broader New Testament. In Fact he quotes from the followings books:

Luke 27
John 19
Matthew 6
Mark 5
Old Testament 7
Rest of New Testament 7

This book was an excellent read. The more of Sheen's writings I encounter the more I want to read. This is another excellent book that I highly recommend.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2017 Catholic Reading Plan!

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

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