Friday 9 June 2023

The Way of the Cross - Fulton J. Sheen - 1932 Edition

The Way of the Cross 

I love praying the Stations of the Cross; it is one of my favourite devotions. I enjoy praying along with audio versions, and enjoy praying with a book or booklet like this time, and communally during Fridays at my Parish during Lent. This was one of three different stations I have found published by Fulton J. Sheen. It is the third I have prayed. After some extensive research I believe he only published the three and this was the first one released. I try and pray a Stations every Friday throughout the year, and strive to pray one each day during Lent. This is the longest of the three editions from the pen of Sheen I have been able to track down, it is another excellent version. This is very similar to the 1933 Edition, except that version has a longer introduction including a section on the indulgences partial and full available at the time this volume was published. The font and layout is differed. And this edition has no pictures where the 1933 edition has a full page photo of Stations for each of the Stations. 

A Sample station is:

Third Station
Jesus Falls The First Time.

We adore Thee, 0 Christ, and we praise Thee,
Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

Three times Our Saviour was tempted on the mountain, and three times He fell on the way to the mountain of Calvary. Thus did He atone for our three falls to the temptations of the flesh, the world, and the devil.

After fasting forty days in the desert, Our Blessed Lord was hungry. Satan tempted Him first on the part of the flesh, by asking Him to do the natural thing when hungry, namely, to use His power and command that the stones be turned into bread. But the Master retorted that the food which satisfies the longings of our heart comes not from the flesh, but from the Spirit of God.

Many times I, too, have been tempted to give way to the demands of my lower nature when the spirit should have been served. But, unlike my Master, I fell by consenting to the promptings of the flesh instead of the urges of Grace, and by doing that which is natural when I should have done that which is supernatural. And alas! I have found it always true that giving away to lower impulses has made hungry where most it satisfies, and that with the bread of lower desires, no man can live.

Pray for us, 0 Holy Mother of God
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

When my frame rocks beneath the power of Satan, and my flesh is buffeted by the tempter, seal my senses and keep me mindful that my body is a temple of the Holy Ghost, and that only the clean of heart shall see Thee, 0 God! Grant henceforth, that by the merits of this fall under the Cross, I may be saved from falls of the flesh not by bread made from stones, but by Flesh made from the Bread of Life and by Blood made from the Wine that germinates Virgins.”

This book has an introductory prayer that is completely different than the 1933 edition:

“Dedicated to Cherished Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus, Holy Gateway through which God came to men. In Prayerful supplication and petition that Loving souls seeking Love may find thee: the Door through which men pass back again to God.”

And a concluding prayer that is identical:

Prayer After the Way of The Cross
Offered for the Intention of the Holy Father, Vicar of Jesus Christ.

Dear Jesus, Thou art the Word of God, and the Word of God, Thou hast told us, is a seed which bringeth forth life only on condition that it falleth to the ground. As the seed of everlasting life, Thou didst fall to the earth by Thy death on Good Friday, but Thou didst gloriously rise to Thy new life on Easter Sunday. Thus Thou hast taught us that Christian living means dying to the world in a Calvary of time, as a prelude to an eternity-long Easter in heaven. Grant that on that day when Thou wilt come in the clouds of heaven to judge the living and the dead, bearing Thy Cross as a sign of triumph and Thy scars as pledges of love, that I may show Thee my cross and my scars, and in return be privileged to hear fron1 Thy own lips: "Come, ye blessed of My Father into the Kingdom prepared for you from all eternity." Amen”

There are several gages in the introduction. Most have to do with the indulgences partial and full available at the time this volume was published. That introduction states:

“The author of these meditations on the Way of the Cross has a two-fold purpose in offering them in printed form. The first is that they may enkindle in souls a flaming love for the Crucified Christ who, through His passion and death, revealed to us that it is only through the Cross that we are ever ushered into glory and eternal life.

The second purpose is that those who meditate on the great love of Our Lord for sinners will be kind enough to say a prayer for the author that increase of years may bring increase of intimacy with the Love which is God.”

I prefer the 1933 edition because of the full page photos of stations. There have been several reprints of this one over the years with various images for the stations. Our Sunday Visitor has a Giant print edition from 1982, Pauline Books and Media has jointly published with Alba House in 2006, and reprinted again in 2014 Forgotton Books has an edition from 2018, Refuge of Sinners Press has a 2015 booklet edition. But I cannot find an eBook edition of either this of the 1933 edition which is a great pity. I really wish there was an eBook edition so I could have this version with my at all times. When I pray this station I pray for the cause of Canonization of Sheen. I really enjoyed this version of this devotion. It is an excellent edition for personal, home, or church use. I can easily recommend it.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2023 Catholic Reading Plan

For all other reviews of Stations of the Cross click here.

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

Books About Fulton J. Sheen:
The Archbishop and I
Fulton Sheen - Louise Merrie - CTS Biographies

FultonJ Sheen The Way of the Cross for our Enemies 1932 Reprint

FultonJ Sheen The Way of the Cross for our Enemies 1933

FultonJ Sheen The Way of the Cross

FultonJ Sheen The Way of the Cross for our Enemies 1938

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