Top Ten of 2016

The 10 most viewed posts (not counting the home page) of 2016:

10. Plato and music education, viewed 517 times. (2014)
9. Too busy to pray and St. Francis de Sales, viewed 519 times. (2015)
8. C. S. Lewis: My prayer when I die, viewed 765 times. (2016)
7. St. Thomas Aquinas and remedies for sorrow, viewed 859 times. (2015)
6. St. Augustine and right/wrong, viewed 1,035 times. (2015)
5. C. S. Lewis, children and work, viewed 1,662 times. (2014)
4. St. Augustine: Despair, Presumption, viewed 2,013 times. (2015)
3. St. Augustine: The Truth is Like a Lion, viewed 2,649 times. (2015)
2. Augustine: He who sings prays twice, viewed 4,701 times. (2015)

And the number one post of 2016 (drumroll, please) ….

1. Screwtape on politics?, viewed 9,401 times. (2016)


  1. Unsurprisingly, the list is dominated by St. Augustine and C. S. Lewis (especially since the faux Screwtape post goes into CLS’s account).
  2. I need a consistent style for post titles.
  3. Politics sells. 😦

Fulton Sheen: The Catholic faith is like a lion in a cage

The Catholic faith is like a lion in a cage. You don’t need to defend it—you simply need to open the cage door.

Attr. to Venerable Fulton J. Sheen

I might not have suspected this one except that it sounds suspiciously like a fauxtation attributed to St. Augustine: “The truth is like a lion. You don’t have to defend it. Let it loose and it will defend itself.” I dealt with that one in a previous post, tracing it back to the famous Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon.

I couldn’t find this rendition of it attributed to +Sheen before 2006. I did find it, however, in Scott Hahn’s conversion story: “What we discovered was that the Catholic Church almost doesn’t even need a defense. It’s more like a lion; just let it out of its cage and it takes care of itself.” It’s entirely possible that Dr. Hahn got the phrase from +Sheen, but it’s also quite possible that he was familiar with the quotation from Spurgeon.

Archbishop Sheen wrote an awful lot and said an awful lot more, so I’m not going to proclaim dogmatically that he didn’t say it. But until someone shows me when and where he said it, I’m going to remain skeptical.