27 February 2012

The Lighter Side

More from Abp. Sheen's autobiography:
Materialists, humanists and atheists all take this world very seriously because it is the only world they are ever going to have. He who possesses faith knows that this world is not the only one, and therefore can be regarded rather lightly: "swung as a trinket about one's wrist." To an atheist gold is gold, water is water and money is money. To a believer everything in this world is a telltale of something else.... I remember once meeting a doorman at the Great Southern Hotel in Killarney. I said to him as I came out of the hotel door: "Oh, it's raining." He put out his hand and said: "You call that rain, Father. That's holy water from Heaven and it's blessing yourself you ought to be doing with it," as he signed himself with the sign of the Cross.
In the early days when I was on national radio, a man came into St. Patrick's Cathedral one Monday morning and, not recognizing me, said: "Father, I want to go to Confession. I commute from Westchester every day. I had three friends with me--all Protesetants. I became very angry and spoke the most disparagingly and bitterly of that young priest that is on the radio, Dr. Fulton Sheen. I just cannot stand him. He drives me crazy. I am afraid that I probably scandalized those men by the way I talked about a priest. So, will you hear my confession?" I said: "My good man, I don't think you committed a serious sin. There are moments in my life when I share exactly the same opinion about Dr. Sheen that you do. Go to Communion and reserve your confession for another day." He left very happily, saying: "It certainly is wonderful to meet a nice priest like you."

I gave many Advent sermons in Blessed Sacrament Parish in Manhattan. During World War II, a woman came into the rectory before Mass and said to me: "Every time I cross Seventy-sixth and Broadway on my way to Mass I get a pain in my left ankle. At that moment, the Blessed Mother speaks to me and says: "Tell Monsignor Sheen that I want him to go to Germany at once to convert Hitler." I said to her: "My dear lady, it's very peculiar that every time I cross Seventy-sixth and Broadway, I get a pain in my right ankle. The Blessed Mother appears to me and says: 'Do not pay any attention to what I told that lady this morning.' " She went away satisfied.

[In] a lecture I was giving to a group of university students in Minnesota... one asked me how Jonah was in the belly of the whale for three days. I answered: "I have not the slightest idea, but when I get to Heaven, I will ask Jonah." He shouted back: "Suppose Jonah isn't there." I said: "Then you can ask him."

[A] mother wrote that her son was under her feet in the kitchen and she said to him: "Go into the parlor, turn on the television, listen to Bishop Sheen. He's smart. You will learn something." He did as he was told and at the moment I appeared on television, I was writing the word "sex" on the blackboard. He ran out to his mother and said: "He is not so smart. He doesn't know how to spell six."