I’ve begun reading Introduction to Christianity by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (some of you may know the fellow as Pope Benedict XVI). It’s a challenging read, though not insurmountable. Though somewhat technical, it has reminded me, so far, of Chesterton’s Orthodoxy, in its juxtaposition of materialism and Christianity. I did want to post a portion from the introductory passages:

“Are you really he?” This question was asked anxiously in a dark hour even by John the Baptist, the prophet who had directed his own disciples to the rabbi from Nazareth and recognized him as the greater, for whom he could only prepare the way. Are you really he? The believer will repeatedly experience the darkness in which the contradiction of unbelief surrounds him like a gloomy prison from which there is no escape, and the indifference of the world, which goes its way unchanged as if nothing had happened, seems only to mock his hope. We have to pose the question, “Are you really he?”, not only out of intellectual honesty and because of reason’s responsibility, but also in accordance with the interior law of love, which wants to know more and more him to whom it has given its Yes, so as to be able to love him more. Are you really he? Ultimately, all the reflections contained in this book are subordinate to this question and thus revolve around the basic form of the confession: “I believe in you, Jesus of Nazareth, as the meaning (logos) of the world and of my life.”