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The Gift of an "Unhardened" Heart

  • VENERABLE ARCHBISHOP FULTON J. SHEEN

Those who live only for pleasure become cynical in middle age.


ourlady14You blame things, rather than self.  If you are married, you say: "If I had another husband, or another wife, I could be happy."  Or you say, "If I had another job..." or, "If I were in another city, I would be happy."...

Once you realize that God is your end...you begin to see that friendship, the joys of marriage, the thrill of possession, the sunset and the evening star, masterpieces of art and music, the gold and silver of earth, the industries and the comforts of life, are all the gifts of God. He dropped them on the roadway of life, to remind you that if these are so beautiful, then what must be Beauty!  He intended them to be bridges to cross over to him.  After enjoying the good things of life, you were to say: "If the spark of human love is so bright, then what must be the Flame!"

Unfortunately, many become so enamored of the gifts the great Giver of Life has dropped on the roadway of life that they build their cities around the gift, and forget the Giver; and when the gifts, out of loyalty to their Maker, fail to give them perfect happiness, they rebel against God and become cynical and disillusioned.

Change your entire point of view!  Life is not a mockery.... Start with your own insufficiency and begin a search for perfection.  Begin with your own emptiness and seek him who can fill it…. Look at your heart!  It tells the story of why you were made.  It is not perfect in shape and contour, like a Valentine heart.  There seems to be a small piece missing out of the side of every human heart.  That may be to symbolize a piece that was torn out of the Heart of Christ which embraced all humanity on the cross. I think the real meaning is that when God made your human heart, he found it so good and so lovable that he kept a small sample of it in heaven.  He sent the rest of it into this world to enjoy his gifts, and to use them as stepping stones back to him.

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Acknowledgement

sheenrfhVenerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. "The Gift of an 'Unhardened' Heart." from  Remade for Happiness (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2014).

Reprinted with permission from Ignatius Press. 

The Author

sheen1sheenVenerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979), U.S. Roman Catholic bishop, born in El Paso, Ill.; professor of philosophy Catholic University for America 1927-50; bishop of Rochester, N.Y., 1966-69; noted radio and television preacher; won 1952 Emmy as most outstanding male personality on television. Among his many books are: The Cross and the Beatitudes: Lessons on Love and Forgiveness, The World's First Love; Victory over Vice; Praying in the Presence of Our Lord; Life is Worth Living; The Life of Christ.

Copyright © 2014 Ignatius Press
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