Pope Francis: Temptations (cont.)
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Pope Francis: Temptations (cont.)

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Day 33: "Pope for the Day" series on "The Joy of the Gospel." No to spiritual worldliness

Day 33: "Pope for the Day" series on "The Joy of the Gospel." No to spiritual worldliness

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    Pope Francis: Temptations (cont.) Pope Francis: Temptations (cont.) Presentation Transcript

    • Pope Francis: Temptations (cont.) No to spiritual worldliness From The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii gaudium) nn. 93-94, by Pope Francis Gregorio Borgia/AP
    • Pope Boniface VIII 93. Spiritual worldliness, which hides behind the appearance of piety and even love for the Church, consists in seeking not the Lord’s glory but human glory and personal well- being. It is what the Lord reprimanded the Pharisees for: “How can you believe, who receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” (Jn 5:44). It is a subtle way of seeking one’s “own interests, not those of Jesus Christ” (Phil 2:21). Pauline.org
    • It takes on many forms, depending on the kinds of persons and groups into which it seeps. Since it is based on carefully cultivated appearances, it is not always linked to outward sin; from without, everything appears as it should be. But if it were to seep into the Church, “it would be infinitely more disastrous than any other worldliness which is simply moral”. Pauline.org
    • 94. This worldliness can be fuelled in two deeply interrelated ways. One is the attraction of gnosticism,* a purely subjective faith whose only interest is a certain experience or a set of ideas and bits of information which are meant to console and enlighten, but which ultimately keep one imprisoned in his or her own thoughts and feelings. *Program definition: a heresy underlying a spectrum of heresies, which claims that liberating knowledge and salvation derive from an intuited, subjective experience of God. Accordingly, since matter is considered evil, God did not become incarnate in Christ, and salvation is attained by escaping the material and corporeal in one’s nature and in the world. Pauline.org
    • The other is the self-absorbed promethean neopelagianism* of those who ultimately trust only in their own powers and feel superior to others because they observe certain rules or remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style from the past. A supposed soundness of doctrine or discipline leads instead to a narcissistic and authoritarian elitism, whereby instead of evangelizing, one analyzes and classifies others, and instead of opening the door to grace, one exhausts his or her energies in inspecting and verifying. * Program definition: a re-emerging belief that one can know and choose good over evil without the help of grace. Francis uses the term to describe persons whose narrow, outdated religiosity in effect leads them to trust more in external observance than in the grace of God and to judge others on the basis of such observance. He labels neopelagians as conceitedly imaginative. Pauline.org
    • In neither case is one really concerned about Jesus Christ or others. These are manifestations of an anthropocentric immanentism.* It is impossible to think that a genuine evangelizing thrust could emerge from these adulterated forms of Christianity. http://bit.ly/18B5RDK * Program definition: an outlook centered on the human person that concerns itself with his or her temporal interests and destiny at the expense of the transcendent. Pauline.org
    • For reflection & prayer Which form of “spiritual worldliness” to I tend toward: self-styled religious experience, or life according to the rules? What is the good in each? What is the danger in each for me? Lord, too often “religious” people are called hypocrites by those who find it a fitting label, a handy excuse for not participating in the life of a sinful Church. Their self-righteousness blinds them to the flowering of holiness that grows alongside the weeds. When I look at myself, I admit that I see some truth to their accusation. Thank you for the life of grace in me! “Cleanse me of my hidden faults!” (Ps. 19:12)