Pope Notes 3 Idols That Continue to Seduce

Comments on Psalm 61(62) at General Audience

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 10, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Violence, political and financial corruption, and wealth are three idols that often take God’s place in human hearts, says John Paul II.

Trust in God, on the contrary, is the only «rock» of human existence, that is, «a fortress and bulwark of protection,» said the Pope during his address at today’s general audience. He dedicated the address on comment on Psalm 61(62).

The poetic biblical passage opens with the famous words: «My soul rests in God alone, from whom comes my salvation. God alone is my rock and salvation, my secure height; I shall never fall.»

The heavy rain that fell in the morning prevented the meeting being held outdoors in St. Peter’s Square. Given the great crowd of pilgrims, the meeting was held at two different moments and places.

The Holy Father first greeted German-speaking and English-speaking pilgrims congregated in St. Peter’s Basilica. Later, he greeted the rest of the faithful in Paul VI Hall.

With the addresses, he continued his series of meditations on the Psalms and canticles of the Bible which form part of vespers, the evening prayer of the Church.

The meditation revealed the «three idols» that the Psalm describes as «contrary to the dignity of man and to social coexistence,» John Paul II said.

«The first false god is violence which, unfortunately, humanity continues to engage in also in our blood-drenched days,» the Pope said. «This idol is accompanied by an immense procession of abominable wars, oppressions, prevarications, tortures and killings, inflicted without a trace of remorse.»

«The second false god is robbery, which is manifested in extortion, social injustice, usury, and political and financial corruption. Too many people cultivate the illusion of satisfying in this world their own greed,» he added, quoting the Psalm.

«Finally, wealth is the third idol to which the heart of man attaches itself with the deceitful hope of being able to save himself from death and assure himself prestige and power,» the Holy Father explained.

«By serving this diabolical triad, man forgets that the idols have no consistency; what is more, they are harmful. By trusting in things and in himself, man forgets he is ‘a breath … an illusion,'» he continued.

«If we were more aware of our perishability and limitations as creatures, we would not choose the path of trust in idols, nor would we organize our lives on a hierarchy of fragile and inconsistent pseudo-values,» the Pope said.

«We would opt, rather, for the other trust, that which is centered on the Lord, source of eternity and peace,» he added. «To him alone, in fact, power belongs; he alone is source of grace; he alone is the author of justice.»

Other commentaries are posted at www.zenit.org/english/audience.

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