I saw this quote from St. John Cardinal Neumann on TH2, and I thought it was really cool. Neumann is describing the Church:
There is a religious communion claiming a divine commission, and holding all other religious bodies around it heretical or infidel; it is a well-organized, well-disciplined body; it is a sort of secret society, binding together its members by influences and by engagements which it is difficult for strangers to ascertain. It is spread over the known world; it may be weak or insignificant locally, but is strong on the whole from its continuity; it may be smaller than other religious bodies together, but it is larger than each separately. It is a natural enemy to governments external to itself; it is intolerant and engrossing, and tends to a new modelling of society; it breaks laws, it divides families. It is a gross superstition; it is charged with the foulest crimes; it is despised by the intellect of the day; it is frightful to the imagination of many. And there is but one communion such. Place this description before Pliny or Julian; place it before Frederick the Second or Guiznot. "Apparent diræ facies". Each knows at once, without asking a question, who is meant by it. One object, and only one, absorbs each item of the detail of the delineation.