The Cross and the Crisis
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By Fulton J. Sheen
The Cross and the Crisis contends that the distress of modernity is fundamentally moral and religious in nature. Men, runs Chesterton’s famous remark, “invent new ideals because they dare not attempt old ideals. They look forward with enthusiasm, because they are afraid to look back.” The distress of modernity, argues Fulton J. Sheen, is the result of a fear-ridden flight from the cross of Jesus Christ, a reckless reluctance to look back to the salvific sacrifice on Calvary. The consequences of that choice envelop every area of human life. By use of the Parable of the Prodigal Son, Sheen points to the one cure for the modern distress: the grace flowing from the side of the crucified Christ.
Fulton J. Sheen (1895–1979), one of the most renowned Catholic priests of the twentieth century, was an eminent scholar, prolific author, and natural entertainer. His cause for canonization was opened in 2002, and in 2012 Pope Benedict XVI declared him “Venerable.”