Devout Sinners

James V. Schall reflects on sin and faith:

We recognize that it is a Church of sinners. Just because one is a sinner, he is not therefore an unbeliever.

Often, it is just the opposite. Because I sin, therefore, I believe. What other alternative is there? Where else can I find even a claim for forgiveness? People, like Nietzsche, scandalized to discover within the Church practicing sinners, do not get it. The main point of Christ’s coming in the way He did was to redeem us in our sins, if we would.

Because we sin, it does not automatically follow that we cease to believe. Chesterton, a practically sinless man if there ever was one, on being asked why he became a Catholic, answered frankly: “To get rid of my sins.” And in The Everlasting Man, we read: “The Church is justified, not because her children do not sin, but because they do.”