Beware of vanity, vain Christians are like soap bubbles!

“Showing off,” “living for appearances” is an attitude than poses a great risk to Christians. Vanity can lead a person to show off the fact that they are donating to the Church, “then he scams the Church from the other direction.”

Oct 01, 2014

“Showing off,” “living for appearances” is an attitude than poses a great risk to Christians. Vanity can lead a person to show off the fact that they are donating to the Church, “then he scams the Church from the other direction.”Even when we look at some funeral monuments, we feel it's vanity, because the truth is returning to the bare earth, as the Servant of God Paul VI said. Vanity makes us "walk down the streets" with "luxurious outfits, like princes” and acting all “melancholy and sad, so that everyone will notice that you're fasting,” AsiaNews quotes the Pope.

The Pope described vanity as a “very serious spiritual illness”: “l
iving for appearances, living to be seen.” More than moralistic, Francis’ homily was an analysis of what draws people away from the meaning of our existence and from joy, not just in today’s world but throughout human history. Pope Francis started with a reading from the Book of Ecclesiastes: “vanity of vanities and all things are vanity” before going on to mention the Egyptian Fathers of the desert said that vanity is a temptation against which we must battle our whole life because it always comes back to take the truth away from us. And in order to understand this they said: It's like an onion. You take it, and begin to peel it - the onion - and you peel away vanity today, a little bit tomorrow, and your whole life your peeling away vanity in order to overcome it.

The Pope stressed that even when Christians do good deeds, they must resist the temptation of appearances and showing off.
If you "do not have something substantial, you too will pass like all things,” Francis said.

The Pope pointed out that vanity is a temptation that taunts pagans and Christians, “people of faith” alike. “Jesus
often rebuked those who boasted,” Francis recalled.

"How many Christians live for appearances?” Francis asked “Their life seems like a soap bubble. The soap bubble is beautiful, with all its colours! But it lasts only a second, and then what? Even when we look at some funeral monuments, we feel it's vanity, because the truth is returning to the bare earth, as the Servant of God Paul VI said. The bare earth awaits us, this is our final truth. In the meantime, do I boast or do I do something? Do I do good? Do I seek God? Do I pray? Substantial things. And vanity is a liar, a fantasist, it deceives itself, it deceives the vain, because in the beginning he pretends to be [something], but in the end he really believes himself to be that, he believes.
He believes it. Poor thing!"

"Vanity," the Pope said, "sows wicked anxiety, takes away peace. It's like those who put on too much make-up, and then are afraid the rain" will come "and all that make-up will come streaming down." Vanity does not give us peace, he repeated. "Only the truth gives us peace." Pope Francis said Jesus is the unique rock on which we can build our life. "And we consider that this proposal of the devil, of the demon, also tempted Jesus to vanity in the desert," saying to Him: "Come with me, let us go up to the temple, let us make a spectacle. Throw yourself down and everyone will believe in you." The demon presented to Jesus "vanity on a platter." Vanity, the Pope said, "is a very serious spiritual illness.”

Christians who live that way," he continued, "for appearances, for vanity, seem like peacocks, they strut about like peacocks." They are the people who say, "I am a Christian, I am to that priest, to that sister, to that bishop; my family is a Christian family." They boast. But, the Pope asked, "what about your life with the Lord? How do you pray? Your life in the works of mercy, how's that going? Do you visit the sick? Reality."

This, he added, is why "Jesus tells us we must build our house - that is, our Christian life - on the rock, on the truth." On the other hand, Jesus warned that "the vain build their house on sand, and that house falls, that Christian life falls, slips, because it is not able to resist temptations.”


Source: Vatican Insider

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