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Only Sanctity

As Joseph Ratzinger put it, shortly before becoming Benedixt XVI: “The only really effective apologia for Christianity comes down to two arguments, namely, the saints the Church has produced and the art which has grown in her womb.”

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The future of American religion depends on believers who can demonstrate, in word and deed alike, that the possibilities of the Christian life are not exhausted by TV preachers and self-help gurus, utopians, and demagogues. It depends on public examples of holiness, and public demonstrations of what the imitation of Christ can mean for a fallen world. We are waiting, not for another political savior or television personality, but for a Dominic or a Francis, an Ignatius or a Wesley, a Wilberforce or a Newman, a Bonhoeffer or  a Solzhenitsyn. Only sanctity can justify Christianity’s existence; only sanctity can make the case for faith; only sanctity, or the hope thereof, can ultimately redeem the world.

—from Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics by Ross Douthat, Conclusion: The Recovery of Christianity

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