According to the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen, “Mary is not our salvation—let us not be absurd on that. The mother is not the doctor, and neither is Mary the Savior. But Mary brings us to the Savior!” (The World’s First Love: Mary, Mother of God, p. 78). We often develop a close relationship to the guide during our travels. Ultimately, the destination—namely Christ— is to be our primary focus in this life. Nevertheless, it is important to rely on helpmates in the journey towards growing in holiness. Fulton Sheen has been a role model in my life over the past month. He writing inspired me to grow in my relationship with the Blessed Virgin, who in turn furthered my worship of God! Below I wish to share additional selected quotes from the American bishop’s book The World’s First Love that deepened my Catholic faith:
“Mary comes into this crisis of life, to substitute for us in the same way that a mother substitutes for a sick child. The child cannot tell the mother its need. There may be a pin pricking it, it may be hungry, or it may be sick. The child may cry, but it is as vague a complaint as our own adult cries when we are unhappy and fearful, worried and frustrated. The mother in such a circumstance carries the child to the doctor” (p. 78)
“Christianity began with the worship of a Babe, and only by the continued recognition
Of childlikeness will men be recognized as children of God. But childlikeness is not childishness. To be childish is to retain in maturity what should have been discarded at the threshold of
manhood. Childlikeness, on the contrary, implies that with the mental breadth and practical strength and wisdom of maturity there is associated the humility, trustfulness, spontaneity, and
obedience of the child” (p. 70)
“Without the Virgin Birth Our Lord would be entangled in a sinful humanity. With it He is Incarnate in humanity without its sin. By getting rid of the Virgin Birth one seeks to get rid of the
Divine Initiative within the race of the new Adam” (p. 44).
“The Church has a memory of over 1900 years, and this memory is called Tradition” (p. 32).
“Where there is equality there is justice, but there is no love. If man is the equal of woman, then she has rights but no heart ever lived only on rights. All love demands inequality or superiority.
The lover is always on his knees; the beloved must always be on a pedestal” (p. 125).
“The level of any civilization is the level of its womanhood. When man loves woman, it follows
that the nobler the woman, the nobler the love; the higher the demands made by the woman, the more worthy a man must be. That is why woman is the measure of the level of our civilization”