Friday, January 27, 2017

Moral Posturing and Temptation

Constructing a world by our own lights, without reference to God, building on our own foundation; refusing to acknowledge the reality of anything beyond the political and material, while setting God aside as an illusion--this is the temptation that threatens us in many varied forms.

Moral posturing is part and parcel of temptation. It does not invite us directly to do evil--no, that would be far too blatant. It pretends to show us a better way, where we finally abandon our illusions and throw ourselves into the work of actually making the world a better place. It claims, moreover, to speak for true realism: What's real is what is right there in front of us--power and bread. By comparison, the things of God fade into unreality, into a secondary world that no one really needs.
[Joseph Ratzinger, Jesus of Nazareth, Ignatius Press (San Francisco: 2007), 28-29.]

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