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Forced Social Distancing

Apocalyptic Disaster, or Act of Mercy?

When we take a moment and look at the world around us, it becomes pretty clear that we’ve been increasingly “social distanced,” at least since the invention of social media.

But decades before social media was even a thing, Fulton Sheen commented on how communication in a Godless society ultimately leads to “social distancing.”

How so?

Well, when we fail to communicate with God, we naturally lose our ability to communicate with each other. And as a society, we’ve been failing to communicate with God for decades.

This failure to communicate has only gotten worse since Sheen’s day. When social media came onto the scene, it was a social disaster waiting to happen. And it has happened. As Sheen put it (and I quote this verbatim): “Never in history has man been more connected to others in the world; and yet never in history has man found himself so alone and isolated.”

Why are we so isolated—so socially distanced?

We’ve forgotten God — our personal, spiritual, and societal point of reference for the meaning and purpose of life. We look for meaning and purpose in the increases in dopamine we get when people click that “like” button next to our many purposeless social posts. And when the “likes” stop, we get depressed because nobody is there to acknowledge our personal “value.”

We need to look to God and realize our value is ingrained in, and inseparable from, the fact that we are made in His image and likeness (see what I did there).

Today, thanks to this coronavirus scare, our world has come to a screeching halt. Although many of us think of this pandemic as an apocalyptic disaster, let’s take a different view…

This is an incredible act of mercy.

This is our wakeup call. It’s an invitation to rediscover our life’s true meaning and purpose. And I can hardly think of any modern figure better suited to guide us than Venerable Fulton Sheen.

Everything Sheen did throughout his life was about helping the world rediscover the fundamental truths that define (or ought to define) our entire existence; helping us see that the only way to true happiness is by following the Way—Jesus Christ. SHEEN WAS MADE FOR THIS MOMENT IN HISTORY!

How do we best get to know this saint and prophet for our times?

You’re probably familiar with the line immortalized by Al Pacino: “Say hello to my little friend!” Well, Fulton Sheen shared a similar sentiment years before whenever he spoke about his best friends—BOOKS! Sheen had many of these “friends,” and he has left many for us to enjoy and help us make sense of our world, understand its errors, and see clearly how to fix them.

On Friday I’ll share with you my “top 5” picks for books by Sheen that you should be reading right now. But for now, just seek out ANYTHING you can find by Fulton Sheen (his talks abound on YouTube). Trust me, it will impact your life for the better.

Let’s use this time of “social distancing” to rediscover our life’s meaning and purpose—with Venerable Fulton Sheen as our guide.


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