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Novena

Life is Worth Living Novena
of
Venerable Servant of God
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Daily Meditations

Day 1

“How God will judge my life I know not, but I trust he will see me with mercy and compassion. I am only certain there will be three surprises in Heaven. First of all, I will see some people whom I never expected to see. Second, there will be a number whom I expected who will not be there. And - even relying on God’s mercy - the biggest surprise of all may be that I will be there. When the record of any human life is set down, there are three pairs of eyes who see it in a different light. 1. As I see it. 2. As others see it. As God sees it.” (Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen)

Lord, help us to focus on You as Fulton Sheen did so that we may be humble when looking upon ourselves, so that others will see You when they look upon us, and so we can see our lives as You see us.

Prayer for Canonization, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

Day 2

“Protestants, Jews and Catholics have God, morality, and religion in common. In the name of God, let us - Jews, Protestants, and Catholics - do two things: 1. Realize that an attack upon one is an attack upon all, since we are all one in God; it is not tolerance we need, but charity; not forbearance but love. 2. Begin doing something about religion, and the least we can do is say our prayers; to implore God’s blessings upon the world and our country; to thank Him for his blessings; and to become illumined in the fullness of His truth. There is entirely too much talk about religion and not enough action.” (Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen)

Lord, Fulton Sheen reached out to people of every religion. Help us to focus on what we have in common instead of our differences.

Prayer for Canonization, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

Day 3

“In every friendship hearts grow and entwine themselves together, so that the two hearts seem to make only one heart with only a common thought. That’s why separation is so painful; it is not so much two hearts separating, but one being torn asunder.” (Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen)

Lord, help me to build up spiritual friendship in my life so I can become one with them as we will all be one in heaven. Above all, help me to realize that separation from You means an empty heart for me.

Prayer for Canonization, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

Day 4

“The great tragedy of life is not so much what men have suffered, but what they have missed. And what greater tragedy is there than to miss the peace of sin forgiven? There is not a man living who, if he willed it, could not enjoy the spiritual food and drink which God serves to all who ask.” (Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen)

Lord, Fulton Sheen led so many to peace of soul by introducing them to your forgiveness. Help us to share your gift of peace to others by introducing them to Your true loving forgiveness and gift of Confession.

Prayer for Canonization, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

Day 5

“All love on this earth involves choice. When, for example, a young man expresses his love to a young woman and asks her to become his wife, he is not just making an affirmation of love; he is also negating his love for anyone else. In that one act by which he chooses her, he rejects all that is not her. There is no other real way in which to prove we love a thing than by choosing it in preference to something else. Word and signs of love may be, and often are, expressions of egotism or passion; but deeds are proofs of love. We can prove we love our Lord only by choosing Him in preference to anything else.” (Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen)

Lord, Fulton Sheen loved you above all things. Help us to choose to put you first in our lives so that we may learn what true love is.

Prayer for Canonization, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

Day 6

“Burning the candle at both ends for God’s sake may be foolishness to the world, but
it is a profitable Christian exercise for so much better the light! Only one thing in life matters: Being found worthy of the Light of the World in the hour of His visitation. We need have no undue fear for our health if we work hard for the Kingdom of God; God will take care of our health if we take care of His cause. In any case, it is better to burn out than to rust out.” (Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen)

Lord, even when tired and sick, Fulton Sheen worked unceasingly for your Kingdom. Help us to learn how to tirelessly work for You through Fulton Sheen. Help us to know that there is no rest until we rest in You.

Prayer for Canonization, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

Day 7

“Mary is not only mother of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, but she is also our mother, and this is not by a title of courtesy,

not by legal fiction, not by a mere figure of speech, but by the right of bringing us forth in sorrow at the foot of the cross… Mary, by sacrifice and obedience, regained for us the title, Mother of the living. What a destiny to have the Mother of God as my Mother and Jesus as my brother. (Archbishop Fulton J Sheen)

Lord, Fulton Sheen learned obedience at the school of Mary. He had such a great relationship with her; he knew that when he went before the judgment seat of Christ You would say ‘I heard my Mother speak of you.’ Help us to better know Mary so we may gain insight into such great obedience, love, faith and hope.

Prayer for Canonization, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

Day 8

“If we followed the same rules for health that we do about religion, we would all be bedridden. It is not enough to talk about the necessity of health; we must do something practical about it - for example, eat, exercise, and rest. So it is with religion. We must nourish ourselves with the truths of God, exercise our spiritual muscles in prayer, mortify ourselves of those things which are harmful to the soul, and be just as scrupulous in avoiding moral evil as we are in avoiding physical evil.” (Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen)

Lord, Fulton Sheen did not ask others to go to confession or visit our Lord an hour a day without doing it himself. He practiced what he preached. Guard us from hypocrisy and help us to lead others to you through our actions.

Prayer for Canonization, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

Day 9

“The better we become, the less conscious we are of our goodness. If anyone admits to being a saint, he is close to being a devil. Jean Jacques Rousseau believed that of all men, he was the most perfect, but he had so many cracks in his soul that he abandoned his children after their birth. The more saintly we become, the less conscious we are of being holy. A child is cute so long as he does not know that he is cute. As soon as he thinks he is, he turns into a brat. True goodness is unconscious.”  (Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen)

Lord, Fulton Sheen always thought of himself as an unworthy servant and never thought himself a saint. Help us to be humble in our service and to realize as Fulton Sheen realized that all good works come from You.

Prayer for Canonization, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

Prayer for the Canonization
of the
Venerable Servant of God Fulton J. Sheen

Heavenly Father, source of all holiness, You raise up within the Church in every age men and women who serve with heroic love and dedication. You have blessed Your Church through the life and ministry of Your faithful servant, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. He has written and spoken well of Your Divine Son, Jesus Christ, and was a true instrument of the Holy Spirit in touching the hearts of countless people. If it be according to Your Will, for the honor and glory of the Most Holy Trinity and for the salvation of souls, we ask You to move the Church to proclaim him a saint. We ask this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

IMPRIMATUR
+ Most Rev. Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C.
Bishop of Peoria

The Love of the Priesthood

Novena of
Venerable Servant of God
Fulton J. Sheen

Daily Meditations

Day 1

"A vocation is so very sacred that one does not like to speak of it… Always associated with that sense of the gift of a treasure was the frailty of the earthenware pot which was to house it. I would often drive it out of my mind, only to have it come back again. For the most part, the religious vocation is rather a silent but insistent whisper, yet one that demands a response; no violent shaking of bedposts or loud noises in the night. Just ‘you are called to be a priest.’" (Fulton J. Sheen, Treasure in Clay)  

Lord, support all who are exploring a priestly vocation. May they, in humble awareness of being a simple earthen vessel, place their life joyfully at Your service: “Here I am, Lord; send me!” May they always know that in Your will is our peace.

Prayer for Canonization, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

Day 2

“In these days of conformism where the ideal of some religious and clergy is to be identified with the world, there is an increased incidence of psychic disorders. … The secret of peace is the negation of the ego so that Christ may reign. … No priest who understands his mission would ever say, ‘I gotta be me.’ Rather, ‘I must be His.’ The latter is not only better grammar; it is sounder theology.” (Fulton J. Sheen, Those Mysterious Priests)

Jesus, help Your priests imitate the example of John the Baptist, “He must increase; I must decrease.” Just as  You are hidden in your priests, may they live hidden in You, visible to us as sings of Your grace.

Prayer for Canonization, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

Day 3

“We become real priests when we empty ourselves and no longer seek our own identity, and where we are lifted up to the cross, not going ‘down to people.’ Too many of us today feel we have to be loved . . . thinking the young will not love us unless we talk like them, eat like them, drink like them, clothe ourselves like them. No! They will not love us simply because we go down; they will love us when we lift them up. Else, the world will drag them down.”  (Fulton J. Sheen, The Meaning of Being a Priest)

Jesus, Our Lord, assist your priests in seeking first the kingdom of Your Father and His righteousness, grasping clearly what is essential and what is not. Through their life of virtue, may many other good things be given us besides.

Prayer for Canonization, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

Day 4

“The priesthood is the greatest fraternity in the world. No introduction is necessary to another priest; there is nothing to live up to; nothing to live down. The mere fact that he is a priest means that he is a brother. Being made a bishop of a diocese binds one with the cords of grace and the cords of Adam to every priest and religious, and to each of the laity. Nothing better symbolizes this than the fact that the name of the diocesan bishop is mentioned every single day at Mass.” (Fulton J. Sheen, Treasure In Clay)

Jesus, Our great High Priest, remember the newly ordained and those already serving. May their priestly promises to the bishop imitate Your perfect love and obedience to Your Father, always ready to do His will.

Prayer for Canonization, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

Day 5

“The priest is called to be a sin-bearer, as Christ was. Victimhood means that we feel the guilt and sin of the world as if it were our own, and by constant union with Christ, seek to reconcile all mankind to Him. Love means identification with others–not only with the sheepfold, but also those who are not in it.” (Fulton J. Sheen, Those Mysterious Priests)

Lord Jesus, Your servant Fulton Sheen said that “the Holy Hour is not a devotion; it is a sharing in the work of redemption” and “an hour of reparation to combat the hour of evil.” May all who are willing to share in Your victimhood, suffering, and cross share also in the abundant fruits of Your victory in many souls freed from sin.

Prayer for Canonization, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

Day 6

“The teacher who practices what he or she preaches will influence students more than a mouthers of textbooks. The listener to unvirtuous teachers may well say: ‘I cannot hear what you say because I see the way you live.’ The correlation between the way I preach and the way I live is intimate. … Credibility and behavior are twins.” (Fulton J. Sheen, Those Mysterious Priests)

Lord, help Your priests become chosen instruments of Your divine grace. May their faith show that You are their Savior, and their works prove that You are their Lord.

Prayer for Canonization, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

Day 7

“I preached three retreats to Protestant ministers… I asked them to make a continuous Holy Hour of prayer in order to combat the forces of evil in the world, because that is what our Lord asked for the night of His Agony. I addressed them: ‘You are not blessed with the same Divine Presence in your churches that I believe we possess. …You could make the Hour before the Scriptures.’ Many came to me later to inquire about the Eucharist, some even asked to join with me in a Holy Hour before the Eucharist. (Fulton J. Sheen, Treasure in Clay)

Jesus, You did not ask Your Apostles for an hour of activity, but for an hour of companionship in Your agony. May Your priests, gazing at Your Eucharistic Face during a Holy Hour, be transformed—according to Your Heart.

Prayer for Canonization, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

Day 8

“‘If anyone wishes to be a follower of Mine, he must leave self behind; he must take up his cross and come with Me’ (Matthew 16:24). But the cross is no self-mutilation or masochism. It is plucking off of dead buds that the new buds may blossom; it is pruning of a tree for a rich harvest; it is the dull rehearsal for the triumph of a concert. God is not the God of dead things, but of renewed things. He does not change the Ideal to fit the way men live; but He changes the way men live to give them the Ideal.” (Fulton J. Sheen, Those Mysterious Priests)

Lord Jesus, may the firm hope of rich produce and new wine surpass the pain of pruning. Let us then taste and see how good and worthy Your Ideal is!

Prayer for Canonization, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

Day 9

“No priest begets a vocation or makes a convert or sanctifies a soul except under the shadow of the Cross. … Do we have confidence in our power to excite vocations? When we place our hand on a head of a boy who gives spiritual promise and say, ‘Someday you will be a priest’, do we believe Our Lord will support our judgment and our blessing?... But there is such a thing as priestly strengthening of the vocation in the soul. As Our Lord prayed to His Father, so must we pray confidently to the Lord.” (Fulton J. Sheen, The Priest Is Not His Own)

Divine Master, send Your Holy Spirit to renew in your priests their love for You. Clothe them with humility and joy that would attract many young hearts to serve You, belonging to You and You alone.

Prayer for Canonization, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

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