Friday, September 26, 2014

Pope Francis Pops the Soap Bubble of Christian Vanity

Pope Francis used his homily during the morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta to warn Christians against vanity when practicing the faith.  The Holy Father keyed off of the scriptural reading from the Book of Ecclesiastes to dwell upon vanity, which the pontiff illustrated through several examples of living to be seen.

Pope Francis emulated the inspiration for his regnal name by railing against doctors of the law who stroll around the square wearing luxurious attire like princes.  This certainly sounds like words that could be uttered by St. Francis Assisi.  

Pope Francis celebrating Mass at acro Convento and Saint Francis Basilica in Assisi

Pope Francis pastorally inspired homilies used tangible metaphors, like soap bubbles and onions, to drive home his point against vanity.  But the Holy Father supplemented these symbols with the rich history of the Church.  

“The Egyptian Fathers of the desert said that vanity is a temptation against which we must battle our whole life, because it always comes back to take the truth away from us. And in order to understand this they said: It’s like an onion. You take it, and begin to peel it – the onion – and you peel away vanity today, a little bit tomorrow, and your whole life your peeling away vanity in order to overcome it. And at the end you are pleased: I removed the vanity, I peeled the onion, but the odor remains with you on your hand. Let us ask the Lord for the grace to not be vain, to be true, with the truth of reality and of the Gospel.”

The answer from the Holy Father is humility, prayer leading to acts of charity.

h/t  Vatican Radio  

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