Annual Lenten Reading: Characters of the Passion by Fulton Sheen

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Each Lent I re-read Characters of the Passion: Lessons on Faith and Trust by Archbishop Fulton Sheen. This year I read it in reverse, starting with the last chapter and ending with the first. It is a short read (95 pages), but it packs a punch. Reading Characters of the Passion is my favorite Lenten observance as it provides much fodder for prayer and reflection. Archbishop Sheen’s wit and insight are unparalleled. Most important is  Archbishop Sheen’s understanding of human nature and his ability to point out pitfalls on our path to God. Here is a representative snippet that I came across yesterday on the necessity of prayer:

“No soul ever fell away from God without giving up prayer. Prayer is that which establishes contact with Divine Power and opens the invisible resources of heaven. However dark the way, when we pray, temptation can never master us. The first step downward in the average soul is the giving up of the practice of prayer, the breaking of the circuit with divinity, and the proclamation of one’s own self-sufficiency.”

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