Loading
Materialism robs us of our humanity, warns Pope Francis
By Kerri Lenartowick
Pope Francis celebrates Mass in St. Peter's Square Sept. 29. Credit: Lauren Cater / CNA.
Pope Francis celebrates Mass in St. Peter's Square Sept. 29. Credit: Lauren Cater / CNA.

.- Pope Francis celebrated Mass in cloudy St. Peter’s Square this morning, cautioning the faithful against the danger of losing their personal identity to materialism.

“Whenever material things, money, worldliness, become the center of our lives, they take hold of us, they possess us; we lose our very identity as human beings,” he said on September 29.

Sunday’s Mass was held at the close of an international weekend conference in Rome for catechists during the year of faith.

The Pope explained that Christians must be on guard against “the danger of complacency, comfort, worldliness in our lifestyles and in our hearts, of making our well-being the most important thing in our lives.”

When materialism takes over, we “end up becoming self-absorbed and finding security in material things which ultimately rob us of our face, our human face.”

The human person is “made in the image and likeness of God, not in the image and likeness of material objects, not in that of idols!” he exclaimed.

Too much concern for material things can lead us to “lose the memory of God.”  With this forgetfulness, Christians “become empty; like the rich man in the Gospel, we no longer have a face!”

Mary serves as an example for all because she maintains the remembrance of God.

Moreover, Mary “sees God’s wondrous works in her life but doesn’t think about honor, prestige or wealth; she doesn’t become self-absorbed,” noted the Pope.

Instead, she goes to help others.

When Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth after the Annunciation, Pope Francis said, she recalls “God’s work, God’s fidelity in her own life, in the history of her people.”

Christian catechists should seek to be like Mary, putting the remembrance of God “at the service of proclamation, not to be important, not to talk about himself or herself, but to talk about God, about his love and his fidelity.”

“The catechist, then, is a Christian who is mindful of God, who is guided by the memory of God in his or her entire life and who is able to awaken that memory in the hearts of others,” explained the Pontiff.

Yet, “this is not easy!” he acknowledged. “It engages our entire existence!”

The work of the catechist is not merely his or her own work, Pope Francis reminded the congregation. 

Rather, the gift of faith in our lives “contains our own memory of God’s history with us, the memory of our encountering God who always takes the first step, who creates, saves, and transforms us.”

An estimated 600 priests were vested for the mass, as well as cardinals and bishops from around the world, including Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, and Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, who is part of the group of eight cardinals appointed to advise the Pope on possible reforms to the Roman Curia.

Pope Francis concluded Mass with the traditional noon Angelus prayer and greeted the various groups present. 

He particularly thanked His Beatitude John X, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, for his presence at the liturgy. He called the Patriarch “my brother.”

The Pope then greeted the cheering pilgrims from his Popemobile, stopping to bless babies and the disabled.

The crowds were so large that they spilled out of St. Peter’s Square, filling Via della Conciliazione, the street leading to the square.  Hand-painted flags waved with messages like “thank you for having called us” and “we go to serve without fear.”  Many people wore “Year of Faith” scarves around their necks.

Tags: Culture, Pope Francis


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Jul
28

Liturgical Calendar

July 28, 2014

Monday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:31-35

Gospel
Date
07/28/14
07/27/14
07/26/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 13: 1-11
Gospel:: Mt 13: 31-35

Saint of the Day

St. Victor I, Pope »

Saint
Date
07/27/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:31-35

Homily
Date
07/28/14
07/27/14
07/26/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: