From Jesus of Nazareth by ‘Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI:
“At the heart of all temptations… is the act of pushing God aside because we perceive Him as secondary, if not actually superfluous and annoying, in comparison with all the apeparently far more urgent matters that fill our lives, 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 that is the temptation the 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 to blatant. It pretends to show us a better way, where we finally abandon our illusions and threw 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’s 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.
God is the issue. Is He real, reality Itself or isn’t He? Is He good or do we have to invent the good ourselves? The God question is the fundamental question, and it sets us down right at the crossroads of human existence. What must the Savior of the world do, or not do that is the question the temptations of Jesus are about.”
Alfred Delp, a German theologian, executed by the Nazi’s said:
“Bread is important. Freedom is more important, but what is most important of all is unbroken fidelity and faithful adoration.”
Benedict XVI continues:
“When this ordering of goods is no longer respected, but turned on its head, the result is not justice or concern for human suffering the result is rather ruin and destruction even of material good themselves. When God is regarded as a secondary matter that can be set aside temporarily, or permanently, on account of more important things, it is precisely these supposedly more important things, that come to nothing. It is not just the negative outcome of a Marxist experiment that proves this, the aid given by the West to developing countries has been purely technically and materially based. It has not only left God out of the picture but has driven men away from God. and this aid proudly claiming to know better is itself what first turned the Third World into what we now mean today by that term.It has thrust aside indigenous religious , ethical and social structures and filled the resulting vacuum with its technocratic mindset. The idea was that we can turn stones into bread; instead our aide has only given stones in place of bread. The issue is the primacy of God.”