A great sea change came over my life when, quite by accident, I first stumbled upon a copy of Joseph Ratzinger’s Introduction to Christianity. Based on a set of lectures, given in the summer of 1967, that captivated large numbers of German university students, it appeared in English two years later. I discovered it several years after while wandering about in a Catholic bookstore.
I’d never heard of Ratzinger before but was instantly struck on first opening the book and seeing the following sentence set down in the Preface, revealing the whole point of writing the thing:
Its aim is to help understand faith afresh as something which makes possible true humanity in the world of today, to expound faith without changing it into the small coin of empty talk painfully laboring to hide a complete spiritual vacuum.