The Pope has again warned against carrying out necessary reforms in the Church without praying together. "Everything essential in the Church comes from prayer," Francis said during his weekly video address.
In doing so, the Pope continued his series of lectures on prayer – this time on "the Church as a school of prayer". So there are groups "that come together to carry out ecclesiastical reforms, changes in the life of the Church" with a lot of organization and media coverage, Francis continued.
Then it is: "We have to change this, we have to make those about drastic decision …". Among them, he said, are often interesting suggestions. "But where is the prayer?", the Pope asked. This only "opens the door for the Holy Spirit," who in turn inspires how things can go on.
When prayer ceases in the church, Francis said, "it seems for a while that everything can go on as usual". Soon, however, it becomes noticeable that the Church has become "like an empty shell" and "it no longer possesses the source of warmth and love". "Changes in the Church without prayer, are not changes in the Church," Francis warned.
"Pass on the lamp of faith with the oil of prayer"
That's why it's important to "pass the lamp of faith from generation to generation with the oil of prayer". Without this light, Christians could not "see the way to evangelize"; could not "see the faces of our brothers and sisters to reach out and serve them".
In his address, the pope recalled how people usually learn to pray: starting from the bosom of parents and grandparents, through teachers, pastors and others in adolescence, as well as during religious services. In the process, he said, the believer must also go through crises, because "without crises you cannot grow".
The church is best supported, the pope said, by those who pray, less so by those who use money, power or media. "Without faith, everything collapses; and without prayer, faith goes out," Francis warned. Therefore, the Church must also be "the house and school of prayer".