Loading
Without God, man falls into idolatry, Pope warns
By David Kerr
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- “When God disappears, man falls into the slavery of idolatry,” Pope Benedict XVI said at the June 15 General Audience in St. Peter’s Square.

This phenomenon, he said, is clearly “shown by the totalitarian regimes of our time and with various forms of nihilism, which make man dependent on idols and idolatry, which enslave.”

The Pope said that this “seduction” of “the illusion of being able to ‘serve two masters’” has been a “constant temptation to believers” throughout salvation history.

To make his case, Pope Benedict drew upon the Old Testament story of the prophet Elijah. He lived in the kingdom of Israel in the 9th century B.C. , during a time of famine. As a result, King Ahab and most people worshiped both God and the idol Baal who, they believed, brought life and fertility to both humanity and nature.

“While claiming to follow the Lord, God, invisible and mysterious, people also sought safety in a god who was understandable and predictable,” the Pope observed.

In response to Israel’s divided allegiance to God, Elijah proposed a contest to be held on Mount Carmel. Two altars were built on top of the mountain and Elijah challenged the priests of Baal to bring down fire upon the prepared sacrifice. The rival priests resort to even spilling their own blood to convince Baal to send fire, but to no effect.

Elijah then ordered that the altar to God be drenched with water three times and asked him to accept the sacrifice. Fire fell from the sky, and Elijah prayed intently for rain to fall to end the famine.

“In response to Elijah’s prayer, God reveals his fidelity, mercy and saving power through the consuming fire sent down from heaven. He also enables the people to turn back to him and to reaffirm the covenant made with their fathers,” said the Pope.

The story of Elijah, he said, should also remind people to pray for the conversion of others.

“As we look to Elijah’s example, let us be ever more convinced of the power of intercessory prayer, so that we can help all people to know the one true God, to turn away from every form of idolatry, and to receive the grace offered to us on the wood of the Cross and in the fire of the Holy Spirit.”

This was the sixth Wednesday audience delivered by Pope Benedict on the topic of prayer. His previous theme – the lives of the saints – took two years to complete.

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

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
23

Liturgical Calendar

October 23, 2014

Thursday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 12:49-53

Gospel
Date
10/23/14
10/22/14
10/21/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Eph 3:14-21
Gospel:: Lk 12: 49-53

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/23/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 12:49-53

Homily
Date
10/23/14
10/22/14
10/21/14