Bishop Sheen on the True Meaning of Christmas

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First broadcast in 1956, Bishop Sheen puts his own unique spin on the eternal mystery of Christmas, God becoming Man, Creator becoming Created.  It is interesting how philosophical and complicated Sheen’s presentation is.  Recall that his show was broadcast on commercial TV and enjoyed very good ratings.  Ah for a time when mass entertainment sought to ennoble rather than to debase!   Life Is Worth Living was the name of his show, a name worth remembering.  Many Catholics today almost seem to enjoy wallowing in despair.  Bishop Sheen would never have been in their number.

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  1. Every sovereign person, body and soul is “WHO” because Jesus Christ, our Savior, is “WHO”. If every sovereign person were not “WHO”, then the sovereign person would not have the resurrection of the body in Jesus Christ to look forward to in eternity. The sovereign person, body and soul, would have no image and likeness of God in his body.
    God is “I AM WHO I AM”. Neither Jesus Christ, nor I, is “what” “I AM”. Jesus Christ and I are “WHO” “I AM”.
    Some would say that the human body is “what” and that the rational, immortal human soul is “WHO” This would deny the resurrection of man’s body because “what” denies the image and likeness of God in man.
    All of creation is “what” and is raised up to the Creator by Jesus Christ. Man is transcendent in body and soul. Man is supernatural and transcendent in body and soul from the very first moment of existence in the individual and in the species.
    “What” is what man creates or rather procreates, that is, his personality, in achieving his destiny and fulfilling his potential, man procreates himself, that is man recreates himself.
    God blesses man in this endeavor.

  2. JMJ

    It likely was December 1959. My widowed grandmother, mother and we four little boys from the Bronx went to see “Sleeping Beauty” (I think) in Radio City. After, we of course made a visit in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The youngest, and most adventurous, John (RIP), became separated in the pews. Nana and Mom were quietly calling, “John!” At that point, Bishop Sheen came over and told them, his mother called him “John.” He took time to visit with us simple people. Mom and Nana were “in Heaven.”

    Years later, I again was with him praying as his mortal remains lay in state in the Cathedral.

    “O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.”

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