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Rome Reports

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The General Audience returns: The pope talks about the temptation of idolatry


After the summer break, the Pope has returned to celebrate the General Audience. This time in the Paul VI audience hall because of intense heat in Rome.

Francis continued with his catechesis on the commandments. He focused on the first commandment, "You shall have no other gods before me." The Pope explained the temptation of idolatry, which affects both believers and non-believers alike. He said it is to worship what is not God and which ends up becoming an obsession.

Francis said that there are idols such as money, beauty or fame that promise happiness but in reality rob us of our life. Therefore, he asked each pilgrim to discover what is the object of their idolatry.

SUMMARY OF PAPAL CATECHESIS:

Dear brothers and sisters: As we resume our catechesis on the Ten Commandments, we now consider the first commandment: “I am the Lord, your God... You shall have no other gods before me” (Ex 20:3). 

The Lord alone is God; he must be the ultimate centre of our lives and our values, rather than some object, image or idea of our own making. All of us are tempted to this kind of idolatry: to turn away from the true God and to fashion a false god that is no more than a projection of our own selfish desires. Such idols then demand our worship and sacrifices (cf. vv. 4 5). 

How often in our world does money become an idol to which we are willing to sacrifice our children, by ignoring them or even by refusing to bring them into the world? In the end, idols enslave; they promise a happiness that they simply cannot deliver. The worship of the true God, on the other hand, teaches us, in love, to find freedom, happiness and life in abundance. 

Let us ask for the grace to make God the centre of our lives, to reject every temptation to idolatry, and to open our eyes to the divine love that alone brings lasting joy and fulfilment.