Why The Church Is Important
With that we have already made the next point. I am in the Church for the same reasons that I am a Christian in the first place. For one cannot believe alone. One can believe only as a fellow believer. Faith is by its very nature a force for unification. Its primordial image is the story of Pentecost, the miracle of understanding among people who by their origins and history are foreign to one another. Faith is ecclesial or it is not faith. Furthermore, just as one cannot believe alone but only as a fellow believer, neither can one believe on the basis of one’s own authority and ingenuity, but only when there is an authorization to believe that is not within my power and does not come from me but rather goes before me. A faith of one’s own devising is an oxymoron. For a self-made faith would only vouch for and be able to say what I already am and know anyway; it could not go beyond the boundary of my ego. Hence a self-made Church, a congregation that creates itself, that exists by its own graces, is also an oxymoron. Although faith demands communion, it is the sort of communion that has authority and takes the lead, not the sort that is my own creation, the instrument of my own wishes.
Ratzinger, J. (2009). Credo for Today: What Christians Believe. (M. J. Miller, H. Taylor, M. F. McCarthy, A. Walker, J. R. Foster, G. Harrison, & M. J. O’Connell, Trans.) (pp. 193–194). San Francisco: Ignatius Press.