Fulton J. Sheen's Preface to Religion (1946) seeks to bring the curious, open soul the answers that they seek. For someone on the periphery of faith, wondering why they are the way they are and where they can find relief from inner turmoil, the answers in this book will lead them to the Truth. In addition to his media appearances, Archbishop Sheen also wrote dozens of books and articles on theology and Catholicism. His 1946 work Preface to Religion explores the truth about God, mankind, and the individual reader. He asks the reader to look inward, to reflect on their life and its true nature in order to find the source of their discontent. "Your life has been a series of disappointments, shocks, and disillusionments," Archbishop Sheen explains. "How have you reacted to your disappointments? Either you became cynical or else you became religious." The cynic seeks life's pleasures, but finds no true joy in them. The gulf between the happiness they imagine and the reality of life gets wider and wider. And even those pleasures that they enjoyed at one time can turn to pain. But for those who instead turn to religion, they find what never disappoints: "Perfect Life, Perfect Truth, and Perfect Love." The book explores human nature, seeking to answer why we say we wish to do one thing, but instead do the opposite. "Your soul is the battlefield of a great civil war...God made us one way; we made ourselves, in virtue of our freedom, another way." This pull between our true nature as made by God and our actions through our own weakness is the constant tension in our lives. "You are like a man fallen into a well. You know you ought not to be there, and you know you cannot get out by yourself."
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