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Friday, October 4, 2013

Thoughts from Pope Francis on materialism on this, the Feast of St. Francis

In the spirit of St. Francis, here is my certainly imperfect translation of the Pope's words on the evil of materialism, given today in Assisi at the Hall of the Undressing of St. Francis. I find it thought-provoking because I am always wanting a materially better situation, always wanting to shake off the crosses in my day-to-day life:

Said my brother bishop, "That is the first time in 800 years that a Pope has come here." In those days, the newspapers, the media, they were fantasies. "The Pope is going to undress the Church there!" "Of what will he undress the Church?" "He will strip off the clothes of Bishops, Cardinals; he will undress himself." This is a good opportunity to make a call to the Church to undress. But we all are the Church! All of us! All! From the moment of our baptism, we are all the Church, and all have to go on the road of Jesus, Who has traveled a road of undressing, Himself. He became a servant, a servant Who chose to be humbled even unto the Cross. And if we want to be Christians, there is no other way. But can't we make Christianity a little more human - they say - without the cross, without Jesus, without stripping ourselves? In this way we become Christian pastries, like beautiful cakes, like beautiful sweet things! Beautiful, but not really Christian! Some will say: "But what should the Church give up?" We must strip [ourselves] today of a very serious danger that threatens every person in the Church, everyone: the danger of worldliness. The Christian can not live together with the spirit of the world. The worldliness that brings us to vanity, arrogance, pride. And this is an idol, it is not God. It is an idol! And idolatry is the strongest sin!

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