[Blessed John Henry] Newman spoke of the church’s power of assimilation, by which he meant its capacity to take into itself elements from the cultural environment and adapt them to its purposes. To press the analogy, just as a healthy animal is able to take in what it can from the world around it, as well as to resist what it must, so the church uses logoi spermatikoi even as it holds off elements that are incompatible with its identity and proper functioning. Two clear indications of disease within an organism are precisely the incapacity to assimilate and the incapacity to resist, and therefore the church remains healthy in the measure that it is organic and assimilating in its unity.
* This excerpt is from “Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith” by Fr. Robert Barron