For the last couple of days, I’ve given some thought to what you said about how Christianity must not to allow itself to be eclipsed by certain human virtues but must assimilate them (since they, too, are equally incapable of flourishing without implicitly basing themselves on Christ). . . There is a danger that belief in God may (by a distortion, of course, but the danger is still there, in fact) make us lazy, preoccupied with our own ‘ petty salvation ‘, charitable only as a matter of form . . . —The remedy, I believe, for this slackening of the Christian effort, is always the same: to understand that God is obtained by carrying through our task as men,—that Providence in no way dispenses us from effort,—that our neighbour must be loved in himself through love of God.—When I try to analyse myself, it seems to me that my own individual hopes of a heavenly reward do not prevent me from devoting myself to this world’s tasks with the same feelings of conviction, and ardour, and renunciation that I would try to have—that I imagine I would have—if I had no faith.—But I owe this to the particular view I’ve arrived at of the relations between the fulfillment of this world and the kingdom of God . . .
–– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Making of a Mind; Letters from a Soldier-Priest (p. 223-24);