During his Tuesday morning homily at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis warned Catholics against leading double lives. He explained that worldliness can lead them astray.
"It leads to a double life: one of appearances and one that is true. And it takes you away from God and destroys your Christian identity.”
The Pope added that this is why it's necessary to "pray with humility.” He said Christians should ask God for the strength to call themselves Christians and to also live in that way.
EXTRACTS FROM THE POPE'S HOMILY
(Source: Vatican Radio)
Spiritual worldliness, Pope Francis said, tempts us towards an inconsistent lifestyle, in which we pretend to be one thing but live in another way. It may be difficult to recognize, he said, but just as woodworm slowly destroys things, so worldliness slowly leads us to lose our Christian identity.
Worldliness, he went on, leads to inconsistency between the things we say – "Oh, I’m a good Catholic, Father, I go to Mass every Sunday” – and the things we do at work, such as offering or receiving bribes for example. This is not being consistent, the Pope said, rather it leads to a double life which distances us from God and destroys our Christian identity.
For this reason, Pope Francis continued, Jesus strongly pleads with his Father to save his disciples from such a worldly spirit. The Christian spirit, on the other hand, the Christian identity, he said, is never egoistic, but always tries to be consistent, avoiding scandal, helping others and showing a good example.
The Pope responded to objections such as, "It’s not easy, Father, to live in this world where there are so many temptations and we are lured by the attractions of a double life every single day!” For us it is impossible, he said, and only God can help us avoid such worldliness, which is why we pray in the Psalms, "The Lord, upholds me”. He is our support against that spirit which destroys our Christian identity.