Friday, July 29, 2005

Any discussion of Church and society that is not marked by a sympathetic awareness of the sectarian option is not to be fully trusted. In Catholicism, the monastic tradition keeps alive the awareness that there is a radically "other way," and that, in some circumstances of cultural disintegration and hostility to the Gospel, it may be the best way, indeed the normative way. No matter how impressive its institutions or how large its numbers or how palpable its cultural influence, the Church must never forget that it is, in the final analysis, the "little flock" completely dependent on the promise of its Lord.

Fr. Richard J. Neuhaus, forward to Building a Free Society (Grand Rapids, Mich: Eerdmans, 1993). xvi.