Magnificat meditation, 14th June 2000
The temptation to turn Christianity into a kind of moralism and to concentrate everything on man's moral action has always been great. For man sees himself above all. God remains invisible, untouchable and, therefore, man takes his support mainly from his own action. But if God does not act, if God is not a true agent in history who also enters into my personal life, then what does redemption mean? Of what value is our relationship with Christ, and thus, with the Trinitarian God? I think the temptation to reduce Christianity to the level of a type of moralism is very great even in our own day ... For we are all living in an atmosphere of deism. Our notion of natural laws does not facilitate us in believing in any action of God in our world. It seems that there is no room for God himself to act in human history and in my life. And so we have the idea of God who can no longer enter into this cosmos, made and closed against him. What is left? Our action. And we are the ones who must transform the world. We are the ones who must generate redemption. We are the ones who must create the better world, a new world. And if that is how one thinks, then Christianity is dead.
-- Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI)