Thursday, May 26, 2005

Best of Times, Worst of Times

"Historians tell of the widespread immorality of Rome of that time, the dissolute popes, almost all of them with children and grandchildren, the vice, the turpitude. But there was a paradox: in that same Rome of those years, which are described as a black time for the Church, we find exceptional saints: Ignatius, Francis Xavier, Philip Neri, Charles Borromeo and Camillo De Lellis (farther afield, in Spain for example, Teresa of Avila was born the very year Philip first saw the light in Florence). When one considers this stuff of sanctity one may well wonder whether it really was a black time for the Church.

"For Christians it is a sign that where sin is abundant grace is super-abundant. And it is astonishing to note that popes and cardinals so publicly given over to sin were so able to recognize saints and safeguard the depositum fidei."

from "Saint Philip Neri", by Antonio Socci