As a young man Dietrich von Hildebrand was introduced by Max Scheler to the Christian saints; his imagination was fired by the holiness that he discerned in them. This encounter with the saints was the single most important influence on Hildebrand’s conversion in 1914. 

He subsequently reflected as a philosopher on Christian holiness, and in fact he thought that the glory shining in the saints is available to philosophical l reflection, since it is given in our experience. While acknowledging that the creed by which the saints live is beyond the reach of any human philosophy, he held that their lives give off a new kind of light that can be perceived by non-believers. 

He has much to say about the way in which the holiness of the saint is related to the morality of the "noble pagan"— about the way in which this morality is preserved but transformed in Christian holiness.

“The great mystery of our metaphysical situation is that we cannot even be wholly ourselves until we are reborn in Christ.”
From Transformation in Christ

Recommended Reading

See Also

Liturgy and Personality

The principal point of the book you are about to read is that the liturgy of the Church decisively shapes a healthy personality. Hildebrand insists throughout the text that the primary purpose of the liturgy is not to form the personality but to give proper praise to God, the supreme value. Nevertheless, precisely by ordering human beings to thoroughly to God, the liturgy does in fact, as a derivative effect, contribute to their flourishing. - Bishop Robert Barron | From the Foreword

Topics:Liturgy  •  Personality  •  Truth  •  Value  •  Virtue  •  Reverence

The Dietrich von Hildebrand LifeGuide

South Bend: Saint Augustine's Press, 2007. Ed. Jules van Schaijik