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Your Life Is Worth Living: The Christian Philosophy of Life

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Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen was one of the leading religious figures of the 20th century and the chief spokesman of American Catholicism. Previously unpublished, this work reflects his 16 years of service as national director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and 26 years on radio and television. It is the only work where he describes his Christian philosophy. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen was one of the leading religious figures of the 20th century and the chief spokesman of American Catholicism. Previously unpublished, this work reflects his 16 years of service as national director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and 26 years on radio and television. It is the only work where he describes his Christian philosophy. Sheen created this compendium in 1965 in the privacy of his New York City residence at the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council. The series ran over 21 hours on 25 vinyl records. It is his response to millions of letters he received from people around the world writing him in search of truth, salvation, and spiritual guidance and was also conceived to explain his mission to evangelize the world. This book provides Sheen’s answers to life’s most profound questions and presents the Christian philosophy of life. Released solely on audiocassette for 20 years, it is now available for the first time in print.


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Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen was one of the leading religious figures of the 20th century and the chief spokesman of American Catholicism. Previously unpublished, this work reflects his 16 years of service as national director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and 26 years on radio and television. It is the only work where he describes his Christian philosophy. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen was one of the leading religious figures of the 20th century and the chief spokesman of American Catholicism. Previously unpublished, this work reflects his 16 years of service as national director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and 26 years on radio and television. It is the only work where he describes his Christian philosophy. Sheen created this compendium in 1965 in the privacy of his New York City residence at the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council. The series ran over 21 hours on 25 vinyl records. It is his response to millions of letters he received from people around the world writing him in search of truth, salvation, and spiritual guidance and was also conceived to explain his mission to evangelize the world. This book provides Sheen’s answers to life’s most profound questions and presents the Christian philosophy of life. Released solely on audiocassette for 20 years, it is now available for the first time in print.

30 review for Your Life Is Worth Living: The Christian Philosophy of Life

  1. 4 out of 5

    booklady

    My husband and I listened to this throughout our recent trip around the west. It was an interesting combination--sightseeing and listening to these old broadcasts. Halfway through I remembered the book was downloaded to my kindle but when I tried to match up the text to the audio it didn't. That was somewhat disappointing, because the Archbishop is so interesting it would have been nice to be able to find all of his quotes and reproduce them here for the review. Mostly everything he said in the My husband and I listened to this throughout our recent trip around the west. It was an interesting combination--sightseeing and listening to these old broadcasts. Halfway through I remembered the book was downloaded to my kindle but when I tried to match up the text to the audio it didn't. That was somewhat disappointing, because the Archbishop is so interesting it would have been nice to be able to find all of his quotes and reproduce them here for the review. Mostly everything he said in the broadcasts is probably there in the book in some form or another; just arranged differently. However, you have to be creative in hunting and seeking. It's worth it! I included many of my favorite quotes below; possibly too many. ☺ On the negative side, the material is dated. These shows predate Vatican II and there are references to concepts which the church has expanded and developed since the 1950s or dropped altogether. And if you aren't used to the dramatic flair of those bygone days, which admittedly my husband and I weren't, it can be/seem a bit overdone at times. Although the overall recording quality was excellent considering they were made over 50 years ago, there were a few times we had trouble hearing what was said. Still, we both agreed that we learned a lot, found our faith refreshed and reinvigorated by the good Archbishop. Most of the CDs were so packed with information we would stop them several times to discuss things he'd said or go back and replay a section to make sure we had heard correctly. It's not at all hard to see why he was so popular during his time. He is wise, humorous, self-deprecating and endlessly entertaining. Well worth your read or listen! <><><><><><><><><><><> July 28, 2014: Finished the 12th CD and it was on Baptism and Confirmation. The Archbishop's style is unique and sometimes a bit distracting because we're not used to so much flair in our preaching. Also, we encountered one bit of dated material today. And yet those two critiques aside, listening to him has been a real treat. July 23, 2014: We're listening to the good archbishop as we drive cross country. Finished 4 CD's today. Mostly it's been about what sets Jesus apart from other religious leaders, and yet as ordinary as that sounds, it was anything but ordinary to listen to. We finished with original sin and we're going on to the Trinity next....

  2. 5 out of 5

    Steven R. McEvoy

    This particular book is available in numerous editions from several publishers. A few with shorter titles of ‘The Life of all Living’ and ‘Life Is Worth Living’ in researching this review I came across 24 different editions, and three different subtitles also. The subtitle of this edition is, ’50 Lessons to Deepen Your Faith’, some of the others are: ‘The Christian Philosophy of Life’ and ‘First and Second Series’. For this book is compiled from a series of audio recordings that ran over 21 hour This particular book is available in numerous editions from several publishers. A few with shorter titles of ‘The Life of all Living’ and ‘Life Is Worth Living’ in researching this review I came across 24 different editions, and three different subtitles also. The subtitle of this edition is, ’50 Lessons to Deepen Your Faith’, some of the others are: ‘The Christian Philosophy of Life’ and ‘First and Second Series’. For this book is compiled from a series of audio recordings that ran over 21 hours on 25 vinyl records. The book was composed to take those lessons and make them available in a different medium, as it had been available only on vinyl and cassette for over 20 years. The sections in this book are: Foreword By Robert Barron Preface To The 2001 Edition Part I: God And Man 1: The Philosophy Of Life 2: Conscience 3: Good And Evil 4: The Divine Invasion 5: Line Up The Claimants 6: Revealed Truth 7: Miracles 8: New Testament Revelation Part II: Christ And His Church 9: Divinity Of Christ 10: Humanity Of Christ 11: The Blessed Trinity 12: The Mother Of Jesus 13: Christ In The Creed: Birth 14: Sufferings, Death, And Resurrection 15: Ascension 16: Holy Spirit 17: Church: Body Of Christ 18: Peter: Vicar Of Christ 19: Authority And Infallibility 20: Communism And The Church Part III: Sin 21: Original Sin And Angels 22: Original Sin And Mankind 23: Effects Of Original Sin 24: Sanctifying Grace Part Iv: Sacraments 25: Grace And The Sacraments 26: Baptism 27: Confirmation 28: Holy Eucharist 29: The Eucharistic Sacrifice 30: The Mass 31: Sin 32: Sin And Penance 33: Penance 34: Sacrament Of The Sick 35: Holy Orders 36: The Sacrament Of Marriage Part V: World, Soul And Things 37: Sex Is A Mystery 38: Birth Prevention 39: The Four Tensions Of Love 40: Marriage Problems 41: Commandments 1–3 42: Commandments 4–10 43: The Law Of Love: Total Commitment 44: Death And Judgment 45: Purgatory 46: Heaven Is Not So Far Away 47: The Hell There Is 48: The Feminine Principle In Religion 49: Prayer Is A Dialogue 50: World, Soul, And Things Reflection And Study Guide By Maura Poston Zagrans Bishop Robert Barron in the forward to this edition states: “The book you’re about to read is the closest thing we have to a Summa Sheeniana, a summary of Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s teaching on the Christian faith. Much of the wisdom contained in Sheen’s radio programs, television shows, sermons, classroom presentations, retreat talks, books, and lectures is synthetically presented here. The essays gathered in this book are written transcripts of audiotapes that the greatest Catholic evangelist of the twentieth century made in 1965, when he was seventy years old. What you hear is the confident voice of an old pro, a master teacher who had been plowing the evangelical and apologetic field for some forty years.” He also states: “Second, he demonstrates in this book, and indeed throughout his work, a marvelously integrated understanding of the mysteries of the Christian faith. We have entered, sadly in my judgment, into an era of hyperspecialization in theology. According to the cliché, we have many theologians and philosophers who know more and more about less and less. But Sheen ranges widely and comfortably over the whole arena of Catholic thought, speculating on creation, the Incarnation, the doctrine of God, the Trinity, theological anthropology, Grace, Sin, Redemption, the Resurrection, the blessed Mother, the Papacy, and the Mystical Body. And he doesn’t simply cover this extraordinarily wide terrain. He shows the interconnections among the various topics, how, for instance, the Church is the prolongation of the Incarnation across space and time and why the virginity of Mary is an indicator of the truth of the Incarnation; how a correct understanding of sin leads to a correct understanding of the Cross, et cetera. In so doing, he practices the art of truly systematic theology, and he manages thereby to make the faith satisfying both to the intellectual and to the aesthetic sensibility of his reader.” This book was an incredible read. I had a hard time putting it down and enjoyed it so much that as soon as I finished reading it, I put it back on my ‘to be read list’! I have a feeling that this is one of those books that I will read annually for many years to come. And with each reading will find something new and life changing to apply, to reflect upon, and to grow in. I am certain the next time I read this book I will take my time and read each of the 50 chapters over 50 days. There is such a wealth of knowledge and applicable material in this volume to our lives today. I only started reading Sheen a few years ago. In that time I have read 13 books by or about Sheen, and I can declare that this is one of the best. If someone were to ask me where to start with Sheen’s works going forward, this book will be at the top of my list. An excellent read that I can not stress how import a read this is. Pick it up I am sure you will not be disappointed! Read the review on my blog Book Reviews and More and reviews of other books by and about Fulton J.Sheen. Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mary Catelli

    From his TV show. Some interesting discussions of the Christian life.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Fantastic, wonderful! I really enjoyed most of the chapters. Each chapter is 3-4 pages and is a transcript of one of his shows. So it isn't something you can read through straight. I found that I could only read one or two of them in one sitting because I liked to think about each topic. I can't wait to read more of Sheen's books! Fantastic, wonderful! I really enjoyed most of the chapters. Each chapter is 3-4 pages and is a transcript of one of his shows. So it isn't something you can read through straight. I found that I could only read one or two of them in one sitting because I liked to think about each topic. I can't wait to read more of Sheen's books!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Fr. Ryan Humphries

    Bp. Fulton J Sheen was on television in prime time when television was in diapers. He was teaching the undiluted faith before other public Catholics came along to screw it up. This little book contains the texts of his shows. They are filled to overflowing with witticisms, brilliant insights and truly great stories that Jesus would - i think - be amused by. It's a great book from a truly great Catholic. Bp. Fulton J Sheen was on television in prime time when television was in diapers. He was teaching the undiluted faith before other public Catholics came along to screw it up. This little book contains the texts of his shows. They are filled to overflowing with witticisms, brilliant insights and truly great stories that Jesus would - i think - be amused by. It's a great book from a truly great Catholic.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Irena

    I feel like I won a lottery with this one. Bishop Sheen explains everything in life in such a simple matter, it's astonishing. Everyone should read it, especially those who want to know more about our Lord and how to live fully. I feel like I won a lottery with this one. Bishop Sheen explains everything in life in such a simple matter, it's astonishing. Everyone should read it, especially those who want to know more about our Lord and how to live fully.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jacqueline

    My Spiritual Director once told me: “If there is a choice of books, always choose Sheen.” I am so glad I found this copy in a box of old books at my Church! The book is his television shows transcribed, it’s not something you read in a day or two! Some chapters are very heady, but he also had a great sense of humor. I learned a lot reading this. AND if you change some of the names and places, you could see the mess we are currently in here.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gabriella Hoffman

    Amazing book. Not only does it talk about faith, it discusses culture and the ills of communism. It's incredible how this book from 1954 has so many parallels to the modern day. I highly encourage you to read this book! Amazing book. Not only does it talk about faith, it discusses culture and the ills of communism. It's incredible how this book from 1954 has so many parallels to the modern day. I highly encourage you to read this book!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Edward

    He is a genius with humble simplicity ... God Love him. The book consists of transcripts taking on all existentialism, communism & nihilism with the simple truth of our lord Jesus

  10. 4 out of 5

    John-Paul

    I've had the pleasure of watching several episodes of Bishop Sheen's Life is Worth Living on EWTN in the past, so I was acquainted with his engaging style and enormous insight into human nature and how it relates to the Divine. While I will admit that the written word does no justice to the profound joy with which Bishop Sheen expressed these teachings on his show, there is still a lot to mine in these scripts. For example, his discussion entitled "For Better or Worse" should be required reading I've had the pleasure of watching several episodes of Bishop Sheen's Life is Worth Living on EWTN in the past, so I was acquainted with his engaging style and enormous insight into human nature and how it relates to the Divine. While I will admit that the written word does no justice to the profound joy with which Bishop Sheen expressed these teachings on his show, there is still a lot to mine in these scripts. For example, his discussion entitled "For Better or Worse" should be required reading in every Pre-Cana class for engaged Catholics (or frankly, for anyone getting married, regardless of their faith). I found it particularly poignant from the viewpoint of a divorced person and wish dearly I had comprehended an iota of what is contained in that chapter during my marriage. The section "Content with Sawdust Brains" seems to me an excellent meditation during the Christmas season and should have a place alongside It's a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol for what it teaches. A couple of things struck me as I read through the chapters; first, Bishop Sheen has a remarkable way of rewording and recasting similiar ideas into new discussions. His talks on the idea that God came down to man in much the same way that we go down to nature comes up time and again and each time the new way he goes about discussing it serves to make it clearer and clearer each time. Second, he has a great gift of making the most mysterious and theological discussions applicable to our workaday lives, which is probably made evident no where more clearly than in the sheer number of weekly viewers of his show. A truly excellent read and one of the very few books I've read that I can see reading again and again!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Crawford

    This book has much more emphasis on religion then does his series of television episodes. Some of the things I found interesting: He says science is not atheistic. Basically science cannot be compared to religion any more than apples to oranges. God and religion are outside the scope of science. One of the main differences between men and women is that men are concerned mainly with things and women are mainly concerned with persons. Love for men is tied up with their intellect but with women love This book has much more emphasis on religion then does his series of television episodes. Some of the things I found interesting: He says science is not atheistic. Basically science cannot be compared to religion any more than apples to oranges. God and religion are outside the scope of science. One of the main differences between men and women is that men are concerned mainly with things and women are mainly concerned with persons. Love for men is tied up with their intellect but with women love is its own reason. Men may stand for the justice of God and women for the mercy of God. He has an interesting section on teenagers. Babies cannot stand the interval between wanting and getting yet people grow up and can learn to wait. He has a lot to say about tolerance. As to education he says that "...every adult regrets that he did not study harder when in school." That is one statement I disagree with. I think some do but it seems the majority don't. Look at how few people read books other than something required for their job. On other thing I disagree with is that he says animals do not feel psychosis or neurosis. I think there are many examples, some of them on You Tube, that show that they can when put under stress.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

    I gave this book four stars instead of five because of this phrase: "former Soviet Union." The book is made up of full-length transcripts of Sheen's television program, Life is Worth Living, which aired in the 1950s. This phrase was supposedly uttered by Sheen in an episode entitled "The Philosophy of Communism." If I remember history correctly, there was nothing "former" about the Soviet Union in the 1950s, during the height of the cold war. The Soviet Union didn't become "former" until decades I gave this book four stars instead of five because of this phrase: "former Soviet Union." The book is made up of full-length transcripts of Sheen's television program, Life is Worth Living, which aired in the 1950s. This phrase was supposedly uttered by Sheen in an episode entitled "The Philosophy of Communism." If I remember history correctly, there was nothing "former" about the Soviet Union in the 1950s, during the height of the cold war. The Soviet Union didn't become "former" until decades later. So, I suspect an editor later added the word "former". And, this got me thinking: are the words in the rest of these episodes Sheen's or not? In some cases, it's fairly easy to see Sheen's personality and passion shine through. In others, not so much. It's in the duller episodes that I would've liked to have watched the episode on television rather than to have read the transcript. All in all, though, I would recommend this book. Sheen's perspective and guidance on various subjects is worth reading. Sheen's thought-provoking ideas on societal problems are just as relevant now as they were back in the mid-twentieth century.

  13. 5 out of 5

    rebecca

    I loved this book because it was so informative as well as inspiring to one with no formal education in philosophy. As Sheen wrote in the preface back in 1929," In these days of intellectual famine, minds are hungering for truths, as bodies, in days of food-famine, are hungering for bread. In such moments, when hunger, either intellectualor physical, gnaws at ones's very being, it is not essentialto demonstrate that poisons must be avoided or thatfood must be taken; it is enough to present the p I loved this book because it was so informative as well as inspiring to one with no formal education in philosophy. As Sheen wrote in the preface back in 1929," In these days of intellectual famine, minds are hungering for truths, as bodies, in days of food-famine, are hungering for bread. In such moments, when hunger, either intellectualor physical, gnaws at ones's very being, it is not essentialto demonstrate that poisons must be avoided or thatfood must be taken; it is enough to present the pabulum.", it was wonderful to be introduced to it and understand it!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Dyan

    LOVE his clear answers to theological questions - like what's the difference between foreknowledge and predetermination? Why is free will a prerequisite to love and to moral living? How does obedience give us freedom? How does Christ compare to other religious leaders? Was Mary really a virgin? What came first, the Church or the Bible? What's with having four Gospels? Why trust in an "infallible" Pope? Is the Church a type of dictatorship? Does Catholicism revolve around dogma? LOVE his clear answers to theological questions - like what's the difference between foreknowledge and predetermination? Why is free will a prerequisite to love and to moral living? How does obedience give us freedom? How does Christ compare to other religious leaders? Was Mary really a virgin? What came first, the Church or the Bible? What's with having four Gospels? Why trust in an "infallible" Pope? Is the Church a type of dictatorship? Does Catholicism revolve around dogma?

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mollie

    As valid today as when it was written The wisdom of this book is appropriate for all who have ever wondered "why am I here?" It addresses so many aspects of life in easily digestible chunks and in such a sensible fashion that anyone can understand. Bishop Sheen inserts little tidbits of wit amidst the wisdom which makes this an enjoyable read as well as fitting to today's circumstances. Highly recommend. As valid today as when it was written The wisdom of this book is appropriate for all who have ever wondered "why am I here?" It addresses so many aspects of life in easily digestible chunks and in such a sensible fashion that anyone can understand. Bishop Sheen inserts little tidbits of wit amidst the wisdom which makes this an enjoyable read as well as fitting to today's circumstances. Highly recommend.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Phillip Berry

    It is impossible to experience Venerable Fulton Sheen and not be moved. This book is a concise encyclopedia of the Catholic Faith and a powerful source of insight, wisdom, and encouragement. Archbishop Sheen has a way with words and his stories make the teachings of our Faith real, accessible, and relevant. This book is a great supplement to my own spiritual journey and one I am certain I will return to time and time again.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Piotr

    A collection of TV programmes' scripts. In my opinion it's better to watch, as some jokes and the bishop's reactions didn't make to print. Some talks are outdated e.g. on Communism, some contain obscure for me cultural references but many are brilliant. I particularly liked those on education and prayer. A collection of TV programmes' scripts. In my opinion it's better to watch, as some jokes and the bishop's reactions didn't make to print. Some talks are outdated e.g. on Communism, some contain obscure for me cultural references but many are brilliant. I particularly liked those on education and prayer.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Trinity

    Everyone, Christian or not, MUST read this book. Bishop Sheen offers intricate answers to complex, day-to-day problems that everyone goes through. He analyzes subjects that you wouldn’t expect with his usual elegance. Sheen’s breadth of expertise is legendary, his humility endless, and advice priceless.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jacquie Stricklind

    One of the best books I have ever read! I can't believe that Bishop Sheen's transcripts from his television show in the 1950's are still relevant to our modern times, it was just amazing! The reader does not have to be Catholic to read this book, it is for everybody. I wish I could see his television shows. A must read! One of the best books I have ever read! I can't believe that Bishop Sheen's transcripts from his television show in the 1950's are still relevant to our modern times, it was just amazing! The reader does not have to be Catholic to read this book, it is for everybody. I wish I could see his television shows. A must read!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tony Piazza

    Fulton Sheen Deepens Your Faith These 50 lessons by Fulton Sheen provide excellent insights as a guide into deepening your faith. Bishop Sheen uses numerous analogies to simplify difficult topics- like the Holy Trinity for example- and make it easily understandable in layman terms. I highly recommend this book for those searching answers in their spiritual life.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tom Wascoe

    Transcribed from vinyl records during the 1970's, this is a step by step explanation of the beliefs and dogmas of the Catholic Church. Sheen's charm and charisma come through in this book just as it did in his popular TV Show in the 1950's. Excellent book. Transcribed from vinyl records during the 1970's, this is a step by step explanation of the beliefs and dogmas of the Catholic Church. Sheen's charm and charisma come through in this book just as it did in his popular TV Show in the 1950's. Excellent book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Brandon Borgemenke

    Witty, uplifting, and deeply spiritual, Fulton Sheen covers many different topics that have supreme relevance today. Worthwhile read for those who seek a better understanding of the Church's position in these modern times. Witty, uplifting, and deeply spiritual, Fulton Sheen covers many different topics that have supreme relevance today. Worthwhile read for those who seek a better understanding of the Church's position in these modern times.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy Scott

    Must read Bishop Sheen has a wonderful way of explaining everything about the Catholic faith. His use of humor, story telling, and quoting from the Bible all make it easier to understand and be able to explain to others the Catholic faith.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Stanley Turner

    Read this after searching for a different Fulton Sheen book and found this one intriguing. It is an interesting book, although I found somethings that I may have disagreed with, much of this work I highlighted and agreed with 100%. Highly recommended...SLT

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jes

    life IS worth living!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Very applicable to today (and FUNNY!)--i think you can probably skip over the parts re: Communism and nuclear war with Russia. :)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Regan

    i love. love. love. this man. his wit. his wisdom. he is a saint in my eyes. he has been so instrumental in helping me with my day to day struggles.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    I enjoyed reading these old talks of Fulton Sheen. So many of his thoughts are still relevant today. Spiritually inspirational.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Neil

    He's more interesting in the re-runs of his old TV show than he is in print. He's more interesting in the re-runs of his old TV show than he is in print.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Zacaro Caro

    This man is on his way to saint hood, I love his clear answers to topics that are new and relevant still today.

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