Catechetical instruction of Pope Francis during the General audience of 1 August was focused on idolatry, the subject is of great importance and actuality. “The world, – said the Holy Father, represents a kind of ‘supermarket’ idols that can be objects, images, ideas, and roles.”
The deification of what is not God, is “the constant temptation of faith” and it applies not only to the false cults of paganism. The development of idolatry, explained Pope Francis during the General audience in the Paul VI Hall in the first place is due to the “vision that aims to become a fixation, an obsession”:
“Idol is actually a projection of ourselves to the objects or plans. This is used, for example, in advertising: I don’t see the object itself, but it’s a car, a smartphone, a new role or other things as a means of achieving and meeting my basic needs. And I’m looking for it, I’m talking about, I think about it; the idea of getting this object or to implement this project, to achieve this state, it seems surprising path to happiness a tower to reach heaven (see Genesis 11,1-9), and everyone adjusts to achieve this goal.”
The second phase of development of the destructive idolatry: idols demand worship, and we added the Pope, worship them and sacrifice:
“In ancient times, idols, human sacrifices were offered, the same thing is happening today: for the sake of career sacrificing their children, neglecting them or just not creating them; the beauty demands victims. How many hours some people spend in front of the mirror to put on makeup… And it is also idolatry. Doing makeup is not bad, but in moderation and not to become a goddess. Glory requires sacrifice, purity and authenticity”.
Idols, further underlined the Holy Father, “requires blood”:
“Steal money life and fun leads to loneliness. Economic structures are sacrificing human lives for the sake of greater profits. Remember that a lot of people are out of work. Why? Because the owners of some companies, decided to fire people in order to earn more money. <…> The man lives in hypocrisy, does and says what is expected from him, for that he imposes his own idol of self-affirmation. So destroyed lives, ruined families, and young people fall into the power of destructive patterns, just to increase profits. The drug also is an idol. How many young people are destroying the health and lives by worshiping the idol of drugs.”
The third stage of idolatry is the most tragic, stressed Pope Francis:
“Idols enslave. They promise happiness, but don’t give it; and man discovers that he lives for the sake of some thing or idea, once in a self-destructive maelstrom and expecting a result that never comes. Idols promise life but actually taking it away. The true God does not require of life: He gives her. The true God does not offer projections of our success: He teaches us to love. The true God does not require children, but He gives His Son for us. The idols direct our gaze into the future, forcing us to despise the present; the true God teaches us to live in reality every day”.
“The recognition of their own idolatry, – concluded the Pope, is the beginning of grace and a sign that we have embarked on the path of love.” In fact, love is incompatible with idolatry:
“Idols steal our love, they make us blind to love. To love truly, we must be free from any idols that we should realize their idols and get rid of them”.