The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor

O'Connor, Flannery, ed. Sally Fitzgerald

Vintage, 1980

p. 307

The church is a church of sinners. ‘The church is founded on Peter who denied Christ three times and couldn’t walk on water by himself . . . you are expecting his successors to walk on the water. All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful. . . Human nature is so faulty that it can resist any amount of grace and most of the time it does. The Church does well to hold her own; you are asking that she show a profit. When she shows a profit, you have a saint . . .