It is All Saints Day today, and I’ve been reading Ratzinger/Benedict this week and came upon this interesting remark about apologetics:
“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. Better witness is borne to the Lord by the splendor of holiness and art which have arisen in the community of believers than by the clever excuses which apologetics has come up with to justify the dark sides which, sadly, are so frequent in the Church’s human history.” — Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), from The Ratzinger Report
We run back into the same old issue – teleology, teleology, teleology (both art and saints disclose what we might be, what we ought to strive for). I think Ratzinger might be right, these telic significations are most powerfully met and felt in art and in the encounter with morally and spiritually excellent people (saints).