In 2012, after 10 years of pastoral work in Vienna, I had the impression that the presence of our religious community in Vienna was irrelevant. Yes, there were beautiful pastoral experiences here and there. But at the end of the day, we had failed to build anything of lasting value. I felt like a drop of water on a forest fire. A friend of ours, the dean of our region of the diocese, felt the same way. In his parish he had the bleak experience that in one year only one child registered for First Communion classes. And that child came from another parish. We hardly had any young people in our churches. There was talk of one percent church attendance among people under 35. And yet I had the impression that I always had way too much to do.

At some point it got to be too much for me. Or too little. I couldn’t take it anymore. This couldn’t go on like this. I couldn’t imagine that the Lord wanted this. That fewer and fewer people still had a connection to him. I made a decision. In view of the enormous challenges, it would make little difference whether I devoted a little more or less time to my too many tasks every day. As a religious I had 3 to 4 hours of daily prayer time already. I decided to add an additional daily time of adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament to the 3-4 hours that my life in my religious Congregation already had me on my knees. Looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Because it helped me to change my mindset. Because it showed me that I am not the “Lord of the harvest” (Mt 9:38). That „unless the Lord builds the house, everyone who builds it labors in vain.“ (Ps. 127:1) The sources of fruitful activity in the Lord’s vineyard do not lie primarily in our strategies and structures, but in the deep waters of God’s grace.

John Paul II., Prayer und Mission

In his last address to the young people of Rome, two weeks before his death, on March 17, 2005, John Paul II impressively illustrated this: “But shouldn’t we also say with St. John of the Cross, “Those who are very active and think that they embrace the world with their preaching and with their outward works should remember that they are of much greater use to the Church and much more welcome to God, without mentioning the good example they would set, if they would spend at least half that time being with Him in prayer?” Jesus, help us to understand that we who are committed to “doing” in your Church, even in the urgent field of the new evangelization, must first learn to „be“, that is, to