The Pope continued his catechesis on the Year of Faith, by explaining that in a time of 'practical atheism' and secularism, Christians need to give convincing reasons for having both faith and hope.
Benedict XVI reminded Christians that among those reasons, there is the beauty of Mother Nature and human's inner longing for an infinite connection with the Divine.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
"In our catechesis for the Year of Faith, we have seen that a mysterious desire for God lies deep with the human heart. By his grace, God inspires and accompanies our efforts to know him and to find our happiness in him. Yet today, in our secularized world, faith often seems difficult to justify; we are faced with a “practical” atheism, a tendency to think and live “as if God did not exist”.
Yet once God is removed from our lives, we become diminished, for our greatest human dignity consists in being created by God and called to live in communion with him. As believers, we need to offer convincing reasons for our faith and hope.
We can find such reasons in the order and beauty of creation itself, which speaks of its Creator; in the longing for the infinite present in the human heart, which finds satisfaction in God alone; and in faith, which illumines and transforms our lives through our daily union with the Lord. By the witness of our living faith, may we lead others to know and love the God who reveals himself in Christ.
I greet the participants in the Conference of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers. I also greet the El Shaddai European Convention. I welcome the Westminster Cathedral Choir and I thank them, and the other choirs present, for their praise of God in song. Upon all the English-speaking pilgrims present at today’s Audience, including those from England, Denmark, Gibraltar, South Africa, Hong Kong, Japan and the United States, I cordially invoke God’s abundant blessings."