If the Church in Europe wants to reverse the decline in religious practise, particularly visible in Mass attendance and confession, then it needs to start again from God, it needs to start celebrating God, professing God and witnessing to God in the midst of a “wounded Europe”.
This was Pope Benedict XVI’s message to the Italian Bishops Conference gathered in Plenary Assembly at the Vatican on the theme “Mature in faith and witnesses of humanity”.
In order to start again from God, however, the Church needs people who know about their faith, for if “many of the baptized have lost their identity and affiliation” with the Church, it is because “they do not know the essential content of faith, or they think they can nourish it independently of the Church”.
“In a time in which for many God has become the Great Unknown and Jesus reduced to a great historical figure” people will only be attracted to an encounter with Christ by men and women who have a “deep experience of God”, because the “first condition to speak about God is to speak with God, becoming more and more men of God, nourished by an intense life of prayer and shaped by his Grace”.
In short, “there will be no revival of missionary action without the renewal of the quality of our faith and our prayer”.