by Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen
“Too many people get credit for being good, when they are only passive. They are too often praised for being broadminded when they are so broadminded they can never make up their minds about anything.”
“America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance – it is not. It is suffering from tolerance. Tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broadminded.”
“Tolerance is an attitude of reasoned patience toward evil… a forbearance that restrains us from showing anger or inflicting punishment. Tolerance applies only to persons… never to truth. Tolerance applies to the erring intolerance to the error… Architects are as intolerant about sand as foundations for skyscrapers as doctors are intolerant about germs in the laboratory. Tolerance does not apply to truth or principals. About these things we must be intolerant, and for this kind of intolerance, so much needed to rouse us from sentimental gush, I make a plea. Intolerance of this kind is the foundation of all stability.”
In 2022, I’ve been reading a quote-a-day from The Wisdom of Fulton Sheen (Dynamic Catholic Publishing). These three came up in quick succession in August, and they struck me as timely now as when He said them some 50+ years ago. Sheen was an astute observer of people and communities. He had a keen ability to engage the culture of his day in compelling and insightful ways. And yet, so many of his insights seem relevant today. Perhaps, the world has not changes as much as we sometimes lament or perhaps similar challenges persist. And of course, the Truth of the Gospel is relevant and timely in every age. Since sin rarely changes, the need for Salvation is perennial and ever pressing.
We hear a lot in our day about “Tolerance” and its importance. Yet, as Catholic Christians, we must be astute as to what is meant by the term. We should be at the forefront of being tolerant with the weaknesses, struggles, and hardships of others. We have keen insights in the realities of fallen human weakness and so can be all the more compassionate with such struggles. We are called in Christian tolerance to love our enemies and to assist our neighbors. Yet, there is a real and decided difference between calling the other higher, helping them in their struggles, and assisting them to know the Way that leads to Truth, Goodness, and Beauty as opposed to the worldly use of the phrase ‘tolerant’ that includes endorsing, encouraging, or embracing the sinfulness of others as ‘good’ & laudable. Christians, Catholic Christians, are called to be tolerant in a truly Catholic Christian manner – that is tolerant of weak, broken, sinful other, while truly intolerant of the sin, the perversion, the wickedness of human hearts. Only by walking in the Truth of Christ & His Cross, can we walk the True way of holiness.
+ Nothing Less than saints for the Holy Family of God. +
Holy Family, Saintly Father, Blessed Mother, Divine Son, Pray for us.
~ Fr Jeremy M. Gries