From Saint Peter's Square, Pope Francis calls for Christians to set aside complaining and to avoid the religiosity of appearances.
Christians must avoid the risk of a religiosity of appearances, said Pope Francis. Pope Francis firmly denounced this attitude in his catechesis delivered at the Angelus on August 29, 2021. He asked Christians to stop complaining about the world and to purify first their own hearts.
In his teaching delivered from the window of the Apostolic Palace, Pope Francis explained why Jesus allowed himself not to observe Jewish rituals before meals, much to the chagrin of the scribes and Pharisees of the day. For the Argentine pope, Jesus does not act to challenge the rituals but to put faith in God at the center.
By observing above all the external formalities, one ends up falling into a “religiosity of appearances,” warned the Bishop of Rome. Jesus wants “a faith that reaches the heart,” he insisted, recalling the “revolutionary words” of Christ: “it is not what comes from outside that is bad, but what is born from there on the ‘inside’.”
An “infallible means” to overcome evil…
From there, the head of the Catholic Church asked to stop imagining that evil would come mainly from the behavior of others or of society. “It’s always the fault of the ‘others’: the people, the rulers, bad luck,” he said in astonishment.
But for the Pope, spending time uttering these reproaches “is wasting time.” He insisted that we “cannot be truly religious by complaining: anger, resentment and sadness close the doors of God.”
Thus, the Bishop of Rome asked for the grace not to waste his time “polluting the world with complaints, because it is not Christian.” He then gave the assembled crowd an “infallible means” to overcome evil: “to begin by overcoming it in yourself.”
Before concluding, he therefore improvised this question: “How many of us, in the day or in the week, are able to accuse ourselves?” “Blaming yourself is” wisdom “that does good.” And he added: “For me, it makes me feel good, when I manage to do it!”