VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The root of all evil lies in greed, pride and vanity, Pope Francis said in a morning homily.
Vanity, in fact, compels people to hide their mistakes and cover up what’s real with a facade, he said Sept. 22 during an early morning Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
All that masquerading “sickens the soul,” he said. “Vanity is like osteoporosis of the soul, the bones on the outside look good, but inside they are all ruined.”
Reflecting on the day’s readings, the pope talked about the fruitless path of vanity (Eccl 1:2-11) and Herod’s growing anxiety and worry about being usurped (Lk 9:7-9).
There is a healthy kind of unease the Holy Spirit causes to prompt people to do what is right and good, he said. But then there is a bad kind of unease, like Herod the Great and his son, Herod Antipas, experienced, which “stems from a dirty conscience.”
The two king Herods tried to relieve their apprehensions by killing people, the pope said, going forward “over people’s dead bodies.”
People who do evil and have a bad conscience “cannot live in peace because they live with a constant itch, with hives that don’t leave them in peace,” he said.
All evil is rooted in “greed, vanity and pride,” which continually irritate the conscience, cause fear and never leave any room for that healthy unease from the Holy Spirit, the pope said.
Like scam artists who “mark the cards” to score a win, albeit fake, the vain person lives a life of fakery and appearances.
Everybody knows someone like that, the pope said: people who seem perfect on the outside, going to church every Sunday and making big charitable donations.
While there are real saints out there, he said, there are people putting on a show, who have the face of a saint, but inside suffer from an “osteoporosis” of corruption.
The pope said to remember that Jesus is the only truth, “not the masquerade of vanity. May the Lord free us from these three roots of all evil.”
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103