In our public life we move further and further away from God and the things of God, and yet in the hearts of men and women there is that yearning for happiness. When the first Apostles went out into the streets of Jerusalem at the first Pentecost, they had nothing material to give to the poor and needy. What they had to give was quite different. "Silver and gold I have none", said St. Peter, "but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, walk". The crippled man, his handicap cured, went leaping into the Temple in order to praise God.

The towns and cities of our land are full of people who do not need our silver and gold, but desperately need to hear the good news of the Gospel. They are lame and crippled without God. They perish because they do not have any vision about life and its meaning and about the right way to find happiness. They are lame and crippled without God. They need to know, they need to experience, that there is a God who loves them. They have to realize that their lives are only worthwhile if God becomes important to them.

The worst poverty today is the poverty of not having spiritual values in life. It is more crippling than material poverty. We Christians have to realize just how much we have to give, simply because we are baptized. Our solidarity with Christ is deepened each time we receive him in Holy Communion. We have within us a power to do wonderful things for God. We have the proud name of Christian; we are followers of Christ; we belong to him. Why is it then that we so often lack confidence in him? Why do we think we are helpless? In the meantime the spirit of men goes hungry, and in a sense lost.

We live in a world where so much has been achieved. Our generation knows how to put men on the moon, but does not know the meaning of life. It looks to the people of faith for help. But often we remain silent, uncertain how to respond. We have to cure that lack of confidence in God. How do we do it? The answer is simple but very demanding. We need the inspiration of the Holy Spirit; we need to speak about God as people who know Him; as people who have seen the unseen. It can only happen if we learn to pray. We must appreciate and understand the value of prayer in our lives; parishes must become schools of prayer; families should build their unity on prayer together; our lay organizations will only limp along unless they help their members to pray more intensely.

This country, (and any country) will become Christian again when groups of people come together and know that "where two or three are gathered together in His name, there He is in their midst." They will meet, perhaps just to share silence in the presence of God, or to pray aloud, helping one another. That should take place in every family every day. It should be introduced to every meeting or assembly of Christians. Then we would become sensitive to the will of God. We would be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Source: Cardinal Basil Hume. O.S.B.