MINI REVIEW: THE WISDOM OF FULTON SHEEN
A daily dose of wisdom...
I'd received this book as a Christmas Gift from church about a year or two ago now. As I still had a similar book to go through, I deferred this one until the start of 2023 and have been trying to stay as faithful as possible to reaching the prescribed passage each day.
HOW I RATED IT
5/5 While maybe not the most perfect or in-depth source of daily reflection, I think this is a worthwhile resource for any Catholic, especially if you have difficulty with making the time for prayer and meditation in your schedule/routine.
I am not really in a position to critique the actual work or wisdom of Archbishop Fulton Sheen, but I can share some thoughts on the curation and editing quality of this book as well as my overall feelings when consuming the daily excerpts. Essentially, what this is is a carefully curated collection of short passages from various speeches and writings produced by Fulton Sheen, presumably from different parts of his life. Some days the reading is a full length paragraph and others it's just a single sentence that's probably no longer than the text of a fortune cookie (I don't say this to be disrespectful, this just seemed like an accurate comparison in terms of word count). For the most part, I found each and every selection to be deeply profound and thought provoking, though there may have been a handful where I could have perhaps used more context around what was being said. Another minor gripe is that it would have been nice if some of the passages were a little more "themed" with Christmas Day in particular being one that I would have liked to see a more feast-day-relevant passage selected (I understand that other holidays, like Easter are a moving target, but some seemed reasonable to form a selection around). For me, as someone who has really struggled to prioritize my spiritual life in the way I should, I think this offered a perfect opportunity to try to be a bit more intentional and consistent with daily reflection. If you find yourself in a similar boat, then I think you absolutely need to pick this up since it offers a lot of mileage for a very small amount of commitment (and may help you form the habits you desire). There are certainly similar types of books that offer longer readings, but I found that this one really did more with less in some cases and could easily be worked into your routine even if you are already an avid reader of other religious materials and/or have an established prayer routine.
Everything about this little paperback is just nice. The size is nice, the fonts and formatting are easy to read, the cover is so simple, yet so pleasing to the eye, and I found that it held up perfectly well in spite of the fact that I opened and closed it for the better part of a year straight.
I found myself quite pleased with my reading experience (and the subsequent reflections that this book offered me each day). I won't immediately restart this in the new year, but I do think that I will re-consume this at some point and I hope that my time with this book will have helped me form some good habits to continue reading religious books and praying more each day.
(+) Very short, yet impactful passages that are great for daily reflection
(+) Super low commitment and easy to work into any schedule or spiritual routine
(+) A nicely packaged paperback