Pope Francis underlined St. Paul’s warning on the dangers of one’s love for money during today’s homily at morning Mass. The Holy Father also stressed that idolatry to money gives birth to such evils as vanity and pride that turns us into “maniacs of idle issues.”
There is something in the attitude of love for money that takes us away from God,” the Pope said. “There are so many diseases, so many sins, but Jesus emphasizes so much that the love of money, in fact, is the root of all evil.”
Because of this desire of money, the Holy Father continued, many have strayed from the faith. The power of money can make one deviate from the faith and ultimately, lose it.
“But money also sickens one’s thoughts, it also sickens one’s faith and makes them go on another path. These idle words, useless discussions…And it goes further. From there it gives rise to envy, strife, slander, evil suspicions, the conflicts of men with corrupt minds and devoid of truth, who consider religion as a source of income.” ‘I am a Catholic, I go to Mass because that gives me a certain status.’ They are looked upon as good…but underneath I do my business, right? I am a lover of money.’ And here is said a word, that we find very, very frequently in the newspapers. ‘Men with corrupted minds’. Money corrupts! There is no way out. “
For this reason, the Pope noted, Christ is very precise in his preaching on riches when he says: “You cannot serve both God and money.”
“You can not,” the Pope explained, it’s either the one or the other! And this is not communism, eh! This is pure Gospel!”
“These are the words of Jesus! What happens with money? Money gives you a certain comfort in the beginning. But okay … Then you feel a little important and then comes vanity. We read it in Psalm that this is vanity. This vanity is not needed, but you feel someone important: that is vanity. And from vanity comes pride, arrogance. There are three steps: wealth, vanity and pride.
Pope Francis continued saying that some may object that the Ten Commandments say nothing about the evils of money. “Yet when we worship moneywe are sinning against the first Commandment and making money our idol in place of God. The early Fathers of the Church, he said, put it in a very blunt way, calling money the dung of the devil which corrupts and leads us away from our faith.”
“Instead of focusing on money,” the Pope concluded, “we should strive for justice, piety, faith and charity, as well as the gifts of patience and meekness which are the ways of the Lord.”