"I do not pray for success, I pray for faithfulness."
— Mother Teresa
The other day I came across this gem from Peter Kreeft:
I think nobody alive today is a more powerful agent of conversion than someone like Mother Teresa. You can refute arguments but not her life. When she came to the National Prayer Breakfast and lectured President Clinton about abortion, he had nothing to say to her. He can’t argue with a saint. It’s too bad there isn’t an easier way, because becoming a saint is not the easiest thing in the world. It’s much easier to become an apologist or a philosopher or a theologian.
If you've ever been in the comments section of the internet you know it's basically just incessant bickering, senseless condemnation, virtue signalling, and an endless minefield of political correctness. For every brilliant concept ever put forth there are a million counter arguments. It seems, with enough condescension, anyone can become a self-appointed authority in philosophy, religion, history, and science. No matter what you say, there is someone out there who will try to prove you wrong. So around and around we go.
I'll be honest, I love a good debate. A hearty philosophical discussion will make my day. But there are days, like today, when I look at the endless cycle of fruitless dialogue, and I just feel so tired.
And that's when I remind myself that it isn't an argument that will save the world. It's a person.
We can't argue with someone like Mother Teresa, who ordered her whole life towards serving Christ in the poorest of the poor, because while there might be any number of arguments about why God doesn't exist, or why Catholicism is corrupt, why celibacy is outdated, or how the government can fix everything, etc. etc., in her short time on earth, this faithful, celibate, Catholic nun brought Love to everyone she encountered. It was Love that changed the world around her.
There’s nothing more beautiful than a soul alive in Jesus Christ. As Pope Benedict XVI said, “The ultimate apologetic is saints…” When we meet people who are truly alive—when we encounter saints—all our questions seem to fade. We just want what they have.
The pursuit of truth is crucial. Great reading, critical thinking, and open dialogue are all an absolutely necessary part of the process. But let us begin with ordering our lives towards love. Let us get on with the work of becoming saints. As Christ begins to work in us, we will see the fruits of truth making a difference in our lives.