Life is worth living, you may have heard that before, it was an old TV show hosted by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, a very dramatic speaker and an excellent teacher. On his show he would pick one topic, say sin, and spend the whole time teaching and talking about sin. Now that in of itself is not amazing, I could spend 30 to 60 minutes talking about anything. What was amazing was the depth of his talks and the passion and love he had for not only the topics, but also for the unseen TV audience.
He used no q-cards, no notes, he just allowed the Holy Spirit to guide him. On my local Catholic radio they air his show. I was driving to work and listing to him, can’t remember the topic, but I do remember him saying, “Oh, I know, I said the topic was ____, but I don’t use notes, and this is where it lead me” or something to that effect. Now once again, I can talk about anything without notes, but I’m not sure my passion and depth would be as his was.
So what is my point, why do I write about Bishop Sheen, to what point am I driving to?
The Holy Spirit, that’s the message of this blog. Fulton Sheen had a gift, the gift of allowing the Holy Spirit to work through him. Sure, he also had the gift of talking, teaching and just over all presence, but his true gift was his ability to move over and allow the Holy Spirit to do its work.
This is a gift we all could use a little more of, and I am sure Bishop Sheen would agree that he too could have used a bit more of it. We humans tend to want to do it for ourselves rather than allowing other to do it for us. We see it in our everyday lives, we hear people saying it, and we ourselves are guilty of it. It’s not easy for us to push our ego aside and allow others to do what we feel we should do, it’s hard to allow someone else in on our own glory. But as Catholics, as Christians we are called to do just that.
Jesus tells us the he will carry our cross, lighten our load, ease our burden and yoke. All the different ways Jesus has told us to allow Him, the Son of God, to carry us. But all too often we have to say no, we reject the offer on the bases of simple human pride, we allow our ego to dictate our actions, leaving our heart and souls out of the discussion.
Now I have no idea what Bishop Sheen was like off camera, so I cannot comment on his personal or spiritual life. But I can make observations based on what I have seen and heard. Many will was he was a show man, and they would be correct, he studied to be an actor at one time. Many will say he was conceited, to this I cannot comment; I have never met the man. Others have said he is just a talking head, once again, that may or may not be the case, I would not know. But what I do know is that he had a way of teaching and speaking that moved many. His show was a simple production, him and a blackboard, that’s it, nothing else. No live audience or guest, just him and his talk. The show won major awards, and was watched by millions each week. I also can tell you that he has inspired and tough me. He has made me think deeply on my faith and even had me question some of my understandings, and has caused me to research the topic. Simply put, Bishop Sheen was and still is one of the great teachers of the catholic faith. His ability to state simply the complex is inspiring and his depth of knowledge is truly amazing. But his ability to move aside and allow the Holy Spirit to work through him was truly his greatest gift. We all can learn from this holy man, we all can benefit from him and we all should learn how to move over and allow the Holy Spirit to drive us, as He drove Bishop Fulton Sheen.