In today’s general audience held in St. Peter’s Square and in the Paul VI Hall, Pope John Paul II speaking on Psalm 61, taught that the “two types of trust” which are contrasted in the psalm are trust in God, “source of eternity and peace,” and trust in a false god, that of “violence, covetousness and riches.”
The two forms of trust “are two fundamental choices,” said the Pope, “one good and one perverse, which entail two types of moral conduct. There is above all trust in God...'God is my rock and my salvation; my fortress, I shall not be shaken'."
"There also exists," he continued, "another type of trust, of an idolatrous nature, which the psalmist focuses on with critical attention. It is a trust that moves one to seek safety and stability in violence, covetousness and riches."
"The first false god [is] the violence which humanity unfortunately continues to resort to even in these bloody days,” he said. “Accompanying this idol is an immense procession of wars, oppression, perversions, torture and killing, inflicted without any trace of remorse."
The Pope then said that "the second false god is robbery which is expressed in extortion, social injustice, usury, political and economic corruption. Too many people cultivate the 'illusion' of satisfying in this way their own greed.”
“Finally,” said the Holy Father, “riches is the third idol to which 'man's heart attaches itself' in the false hope of being saved from death and being assured of gaining power and prestige."
The Pope affirmed that "if we were conscious of our mortality and of the limits of man, we would not choose to trust in idols, nor would we organize our life on a series of fragile and inconsistent pseudo-values. We would aim rather for another type of trust, one whose center is in the Lord, source of eternity and peace."
"The Second Vatican Council applied to priests the invitation of this psalm 'to keep our heart detached from riches',” said John Paul II. “However,” he pointed out, “this call to reject perverse trust and to choose trust that brings us to God is valid for all and must become a guiding star in our daily behaviour, moral decisions, in our choice of lifestyle."