In this extended episode, Matthew-Hermann Tague talks to Allan Smith from Bishop Sheen Today about the anthology ‘Seven Last Words of Christ Explained’ by the Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen which was the focus for the Parousia School of Sheen Lenten Pilgrimage 2022.

The Seven Last Words of Christ Explained

– Fulton J. Sheen (Paperback)

Enjoy nine of Fulton J. Sheen’s most treasured books on the Seven Last Words brought together into one special collection.

During the 1930s and ’40s, Fulton Sheen was the featured speaker on The Catholic Hour radio broadcast, and millions of listeners heard his radio addresses each week. His topics ranged from politics and the economy to philosophy and man’s eternal pursuit of happiness.

Possessing a burning zeal to dispel the myths about Our Lord and His Church, Sheen gave a series of powerful presentations on Christ’s Passion and His seven last words from the Cross. As a Scripture scholar, Archbishop Sheen knew full well the power contained in preaching Christ crucified. With St. Paul, he could say, “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2).

During his last recorded Good Friday address in 1979, Archbishop Sheen spoke of having given this type of reflection on the subject of Christ’s seven last words from the cross “for the fifty-eighth consecutive time.” Whether from the young priest in Peoria, Illinois, the university professor in Washington, D.C., or the bishop in New York, Sheen’s messages were sure to make an indelible mark on his listeners.

Given their importance and the impact they had on society, it seemed appropriate to bring together in this anthology some of Archbishop Sheen’s meditations on the Seven Last Words Our Blessed Lord spoke from the Cross on Calvary.

The meditations contained in this book are taken from several books and articles written by Sheen between 1933 and 1945.

  • The Seven Last Words. (New York: Century, 1933)
  • The Seven Last Words and the Our Father. (Huntington, Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor 1935)
  • Calvary and the Mass. (New York: P. J. Kenedy and Sons,1936)
  • The Cross and the Beatitudes. (New York: P. J. Kenedy and Sons,1937)
  • The Rainbow of Sorrow. (New York: P. J. Kenedy and Sons, 1938)
  • Victory over Vice. (New York: P. J. Kenedy and Sons, 1939)
  • The Seven Virtues. (New York: P. J. Kenedy and Sons, 1940)
  • Seven Words to the Cross. (New York: P. J. Kenedy and Sons, 1944)
  • Seven Words of Jesus and Mary. (New York: P. J. Kenedy and Sons,1945)

These mediations have been selected to provide nine unique reflections for study and meditation on the Seven Last Words.

  • First Meditation – A reflection on the words spoken by Christ from the Cross.
  • Second Meditation – A reflection on a passage from the Lord’s Prayer.
  • Third Meditation – A reflection on a part of the Mass.
  • Fourth Meditation – A reflection on one of the Beatitudes.
  • Fifth Meditation – A reflection about sorrow and suffering.
  • Sixth Meditation – A reflection addressing one of the seven deadly sins.
  • Seventh Meditation – A reflection on the virtues.
  • Eighth Meditation – A reflection on dealing with individuals who reject the Church and Christ’s teachings.
  • Ninth Meditation – A reflection on the unity of Jesus and Mary.

As the reader ponders these reflections, they might have to pause for a moment or two over a sentence that is full of deep meaning that stirs the heart. He might also find that Archbishop Sheen has repeated certain lines throughout these reflections to drive home a point or an important theme, as any good teacher would do.

Archbishop Sheen’s dynamic personality combined with his brilliant mind, tireless pen, and eloquent voice has made him one of the best-known figures in the world. His radio and television appearances have been phenomenally successful and are still viewed today. His books and magazine articles continue to gratify and attract a boundless circle of readers. This collection of meditations gives still another example of why this continues to be so today.

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