"The fascinating thing [about being Catholic] is this great living history into which we enter. Looked at in purely human terms, it is something extraordinary. That an institution with so many human weaknesses and failures is nonetheless preserved in its continuity and that I, living within this great communion, can know that I am in communion with all the living and the dead; and that I also find in it a certainty about the essence of my life -- namely, God who has turned to me -- on which I can found my life, with which I can live and die."
-- Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Salt of the Earth, "The Catholic Faith."
"I believe that by belonging to the Church, and living with her faith, one is given a share in the inspiration allotted to this family. The Church can open up horizons for you and deepen your insight into things you could not understand on your own. then there are, of course, especially gifted me, whom we call saints, who, through their inner closeness to God, penetrate, as it were more deeply into this memory and bring it before us as a living reality. . . . She is my home, my extended family, and thus, I am bound to her in love, just as one is bound to one's family."
-- Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, God and the World, "The Church."