The root of all evil lies in greed, pride and vanity, Pope Francis has said in a morning homily.
Vanity, in fact, compels people to hide their mistakes and cover up
what’s real with a facade, he said during an early morning Mass in the
chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
All that masquerading “sickens the soul”, he said. “Vanity is like
osteoporosis of the soul, the bones on the outside look good, but inside
they are all ruined.”
Reflecting on the day’s readings, the Pope talked about the fruitless
path of vanity (Eccl 1:2-11) and Herod’s growing anxiety and worry
about being usurped (Lk 9:7-9).
There is a healthy kind of unease the Holy Spirit causes to prompt
people to do what is right and good, he said. But then there is a bad
kind of unease, like Herod the Great and his son, Herod Antipas,
experienced, which “stems from a dirty conscience.”
The two king Herods tried to relieve their apprehensions by killing
people, the Pope said, going forward “over people’s dead bodies.”
People who do evil and have a bad conscience “cannot live in peace
because they live with a constant itch, with hives that don’t leave them
in peace,” he said.
All evil is rooted in “greed, vanity and pride,” which continually
irritate the conscience, cause fear and never leave any room for that
healthy unease from the Holy Spirit, the Pope said.
Like scam artists who “mark the cards” to score a win, albeit fake, the vain person lives a life of fakery and appearances.
Everybody knows someone like that, the Pope said: people who seem
perfect on the outside, going to church every Sunday and making big
While there are real saints out there, he said, there are people
putting on a show, who have the face of a saint, but inside suffer from
an “osteoporosis” of corruption.
The Pope said to remember that Jesus is the only truth, “not the
masquerade of vanity. May the Lord free us from these three roots of all