Pope Francis has adviced all faithful to recognize the idols that keep them away from God and cut off from it. Speaking on, after his return from a month vacation, the Pope Francis said the idols of drugs, money and vanity is distracting people from God and rendering them blind to love.
The Catholic Pope resumed his weekly catechism lessons on Wednesday, August 1, and told his weekly general audience that the “supermarket of idols” seen every around the world today promises happiness but never delivers. He listed the following as evidence of a veneration of idols:
- Lust for money
- for success
- for Smartphones
- spending too much time in front of the mirror
- or going to a tarot card readers
- and lusting about idols of drugs
In his words, Pope Francis said: “How many young people have ruined their health by adoring the idol of drugs?” He encouraged all faithful to recognize their idol “and throw it out the window.” Speaking further about idolatry, the Pope reflected on the first Commandment in his catechesis, saying idolatry is a very real and current temptation.
“The commandment prohibits the making of idols or images of any sort. We are talking about a human tendency, which spares neither believers nor atheists, ” he said, according to Vatican News.
Citing the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 2113) the Pope said idolatry “consists in divinizing what is not God” and he invited Christians to meditate on “What is really my God? Is it the One and True Love, or is it my own image, my personal success, even within the Church?”
According to Pope Francis, an idol is a “vision” that tends to become an obsession. “An idol is really a projection of the self onto an object or a project.” He also pointed that advertising uses this dynamic to turn a smartphone or a car into “a way to respond to our existential needs” and to be happy, adding that when everything in our lives is focused only on that object or idol, we become slaves.
“In ancient times human sacrifices were made to idols,” he said, “but even today people sacrifice their children for their careers, neglecting them or simply refusing to have them,” he continued.
“Money robs us of life, and pleasure leads to loneliness. Economic structures sacrifice human lives for better profits. One lives in hypocrisy, doing and saying what others expect of us because the god of self-affirmation imposes it. And lives are ruined; families are destroyed; and young people are abandoned to destructive habits, all to increase profit.”
The Pope said that God never demands life, rather he gives life. The true God doesn’t offer a projection of our success, but teaches us to love.” Rather than asking us to sacrifice our children, he said, “God gives his Son for us.”
In conclusion, Pope Francis pointed out that God teaches us to live day-to-day rather than letting false idols deceive us into hoping only in the future. He said recognizing our tendency toward idolatry, “places us on the path towards love,” and “love is incompatible with idolatry.”