Today, I will be reviewing Remade for Happiness. This book was originally published in 1946, but Ignatius Press has recently re-released it for our spiritual edification! There are fourteen chapters in this book. The first seven are questions Sheen asks and answers for us.
1. Are you happy?
2. What is God like?
3. What are you like?
4. How did you get that way?
5. Who can remake you?
6. Is religion purely individual?
7. How can you be remade (if you so choose to be remade)?
As you can see, there is a natural progression with the questions. The first question leads us to the realization that though we experience moments of happiness, we are not truly happy. If we were, then we wouldn’t need to continue to look for happiness. The second question introduces to God, the One who can make us happy. We are then juxtaposed with God and it is explained why we are the way we are. Chapter Five brings God back into the picture and explains that we cannot remake ourselves. If we could, we would not need God. Six also strips away the pride of the individual letting us know that we cannot experience salvation alone. We need others to get to Heaven. That is why we have Mother Church. Then, in one of the longer chapters, Chapter Seven walks us through the process of being remade.
The next four chapters in this book walk us through the Four Last Things – Judgment, Purgatory, Hell, and Heaven. He explains that in our judgment, everything will be stripped away and we will be left to be judged by our choices. However, God will not be the one judging us. We will be judging ourselves by the life we lived. There will be no pleading or bargaining, merely the cold reality of truth. After this judgment, he explains so succinctly that there are three possible destinations. “Hell: Pain without Love; Purgatory: Pain with Love; and Heaven: Love without Pain.” The final three chapters fittingly deal with faith, hope, and charity (or love).
I was born 3 years after Fulton Sheen’s death, so I never had the opportunity to see or listen to him live. That doesn’t mean I haven’t watched or listened to almost all of his old programs, though. This book is classic Sheen and reads like he is there speaking the words to you. It is practical, straightforward theology without unnecessary words. Part of me is telling me to pass on my copy of this book to someone else, so they may gain from its riches. The other part of me is telling me to keep this book and reread it at least once more. You too might experience this conflict after you read it, so you better buy two!
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Copyright 2015 Stuart Dunn