"Greed, vanity and pride are the root of all evil": they produce an “bad” restlessness in man, fruit of a dirty conscience and the "good restlessness" that comes from the Holy Spirit and that pushes to do good things said Pope Francis at Mass this morning in the Casa Santa Marta.
He was inspired by the Gospel of the day on King Herod’s restlessness
because, after killing John the Baptist, he felt threatened by Jesus.
He was troubled just as his father, Herod the Great, was after the visit
of the Magi.
"Our soul can be consumed by two types of worry: a good one gifted us by
the Holy Spirit, that spurs an anxious soul to do good things" and a
"bad worry, one that is born of a guilty conscience". The two Herods
resolved their troubles killing, going forward by passing "over the
corpses of the people".
"These people who did so much harm, who did harm
and then had a guilty conscience and could not live in peace, their
lives pervaded by a continuous itching, a rash that would not leave them
alone ... These people have done evil, but evil always has the same
root, all evil: greed, vanity and pride. And all three do not allow
peace of conscience; all three do allow the healthy concern of the Holy
Spirit in, they prevent you from living well: uneasy with fear. Greed,
vanity and pride are the root of all evil ".
The first reading of the day, taken from Ecclesiastes speaks of the
vanity. "The vanity that fills us. The vanity that has long life because
it is like a soap bubble. The vanity that does not give us any real
gain. What does man gain for all his anxious labor? When he is anxious
to appear, to pretend, to seem. This is vanity. To put it simply: vanity
is making up one’s life. And this sickens the soul, because you make up
your life to appear, to seem, and do everything out of pretense, for
vanity, in the end what can you hope to gain? Vanity is like an
osteoporosis of the soul: From the outside the bones seem good, but
inside they are ruined. Vanity leads us to fraud". Like fraudsters mark
the "cards to win - he added - and then "this victory is fake, it is
not true. This is the vanity to pretend to live, to live to seem, to
appear to live. And this restless soul".
Saint Bernard - the Pope said –
has strong words for the vain: "But think about what you will be. You
will be meal for worms. And all this pretense in life is a lie, because
the worms will eat and you will be nothing".
But where is the power of
Driven by pride and malice, "do not let your mistakes be seen,
cover everything, everything is covered":
"How many people do we know who seem ... 'But they are such a good
person! They go to Mass every Sunday. They give large donations to the
Church '. This is what you see, but osteoporosis is the corruption they
have inside. There are people like that - but there are holy people as
well! - That does this. Vanity is this: It gives you a perfect face and
but the truth is otherwise. And where is our strength and security, our
refuge? We read in the Psalm: 'Lord, You have been our refuge from
generation to a generation'. And before the Gospel we have remembered
the words of Jesus: 'I am the way, the truth and the life'. This is the
truth, not the pretense of vanity. May the Lord deliver us from these
three roots of all evil: greed, vanity and pride. But above all vanity,
that causes so much hurt".