Chapters 21 and 22 The World's First Love: Mary, Mother of God 3


We conclude this work by Fulton Sheen with the final two chapters of the book. The last chapter is brief and again brings home the anxiety of nuclear threat under which the people of this time period lived. While, we have more, and more powerful weapons today that are in the possession of some unstable leaders, I don’t think we feel that same type of fear. Perhaps we’ve become too desensitized to the real possibility of nuclear attack and, until it happens, it does not occupy our thoughts or concerns.

The penultimate chapter is the longest in this book and looks at the seven thrusts of the sword that pierced Mary’s heart. In these seven incidents throughout Mary’s life, Sheen shows how Mary shares in the suffering of her Son. Her participation enables her to become the Mother of the Afflicted and, as Sheen puts it, she could not wipe away our tears unless she herself has been their fountain. For Mary and all of us, there needs to be Calvary before there is the Resurrection.

In the beginning of Chapter 21, Sheen’s remarks about evil are still relevant today. He says, “the essence of evil is not robbing, stealing, murdering; it is the crucifixion of Goodness, the elimination of the Moral Principle of life, so that one may sin without remorse or impunity.” This is a huge problem today. The clear definitions of right and wrong have become arbitrary and personal. There is no remorse, because there is no sin. There are no consequences because, I’ve not done anything wrong.

Just a quick thought now that we’ve finished this book. I thought the opening chapters provided fresh and new perspectives that were beneficial to my spiritual journey. Sheen gave several spiritual nuggets upon which one could reflect and apply to one’s own life. Reading the second part of the book was a bit more labored for me. Overall, it was a good book, but, not my favorite Fulton Sheen book. Go to Heaven: A Spiritual Road Map to Eternity still holds that number one spot! Unfortunately, this book is not available free on the Formed.org website, but definitely worth the $12.34 price on Amazon!!

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3 thoughts on “Chapters 21 and 22

  • Mary French

    I agree with Deacon Ralph’s assessment of this book. It started off strong, but then the later chapters grew a bit tiresome, for lack of a better word. I did, however, highlight a few of those ‘nuggets’ that could be pondered in these final two chapters so I will share them here … without additional comment (ok with maybe just one comment), and let you ponder them too!

    “…when we lose God, we must not wait for Him to come back. We must go out in search of Him; and, to the joy of every sinner, she [Mary] knows where He can be found!”

    “Our will is the only thing that is absolutely our own; hence it is the perfect offering we can make to God”.

    “The more consolation one has from creatures, the less one has from God” — I have found this to be very true!

    “…but you first used atomic fission to annihilate cities. For that reason, I shall turn against you, make you fear what you should love…”

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  • Jennifer Shults Koshute

    I started saying the rosary again as a result of reading this book. I enjoyed reading all the comments and thoughts. Thank you!

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    • Deacon Ralph Post author

      That is wonderful!!! Any book that can inspire us to pray is a book worth reading. I admit, the rosary was not one of my forms of prayer for many, many years. And now I look back on those “many, many, years” and regret the missed opportunities.