On How Wordliness Destroys Christian Identity
and Leads to Apostasy
In his Nov. 16, 2015 Homily at Santa Marta, the Holy Father commenting on the 1st reading taken from the first Book of Maccabees, how worldliness, justifying to act and live just like what others are doing, leads to the dissolution and destruction of Christian identity which will eventually lead to losing one’s faith and apostasy.
We, Christians, should live in the middle of the world, without being worldly, without being mundane, knowing that we are called to live the life of Christ. Necessarily, our Christian values will have to clash against the worldly and pagan mentality and we must be steadfast to live according to our faith in the middle of the world.
Any pretext or excuse to be just like anybody else, to do what most people do, and live the same way how others live: all these constitute a grave imprudence if the prevailing and predominant customs in a society are incompatible with our Christian values, or better, with the life and teachings of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and our life as disciples of Christ.
Hence, we have to be always on guard, dear friends, and we need to live with fortitude our own interior environment and to be cautiously discerning so as not to be swayed by the inconspicuous, insidious but contagious influence of a worldly, materialistic and godless society in our mindset and lifestyle so as to faithfully live according to our Christian vocation.
-Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, priest of Opus Dei, CATHOLICS STRIVING FOR HOLINESS. We are also in Facebook: www.facebook.com/CatholicsstrivingforHoliness. Hope you like our page and invite your friends as well to do so in order to help more people.
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Below you find the Vatican radio news report on Pope Francis’ homily.
****NEWS STARTS HERE, CAPS MINE****
WORLDLINESS LEADS TO THE SINGLE THOUGHT AND APOSTASY
The first reading of the day from the first Book of the Maccabees, tells of “a root of evil” that arose in those days: the Hellenistic King Antiochus Epiphanes imposes pagan customs in Israel, to the ” chosen people “, that is, the” Church of that time. ” Pope Francis commented that, “the image of the root is under the ground.” The “phenomenology of the root” is this: “What is not seen does not seem to do any harm, but then it grows and shows its true nature.” “It was a rational root” that pushed some Israelites to ally with neighbouring nations to be protected: “Why so many differences? Because since we went our own way many evils have come upon us. We go to them, we are equal. ” The Pope explained this reading with three words: “WORLDLINESS, APOSTASY, PERSECUTION”. WORLDLINESS IN LIFE IS TO DO WHAT THE WORLD DOES. IT’S SAYING: “WE PUT UP FOR AUCTION OUR IDENTITY CARD; WE ARE EQUAL TO EVERYONE. ” Thus, many Jews “disowned the faith and fell away from the Holy Alliance.” And what “seemed so rational- ‘we are like everyone else, we are normal’ – became their destruction”:
“Then the king recommended that his whole kingdom should be one people – the one thought; worldliness – and each abandoned their own customs. All peoples adapted themselves to the orders of the king; also many Jews accepted his worship: they sacrificed to idols and profaned the Sabbath. APOSTASY. THAT IS, WORLDLINESS THAT LEADS YOU TO ONE UNIQUE THOUGHT, AND TO APOSTASY. NO DIFFERENCES ARE PERMITTED: ALL ARE EQUAL. And in the history of the Church, the history we have seen, I think of a case, where religious feasts were renamed – the birth of the Lord has another name – in order to erase its identity “.
HUMANISM TODAY DESTROYS THE CHRISTIAN IDENTITY
In Israel the books of the law were burned “and if someone obeyed the law, the judgment of the king condemned him to death.” That’s “persecution”, initiated by a “root of bitterness”. “I have always been struck – the Pope said – that the Lord, at the Last Supper, in that long prayer, praying for unity and asking the Father that he would deliver them from every spirit of the world, from all worldliness, because worldliness destroys identity; worldliness leads to the single thought”:
“It starts from a root, but it is small, and ends up an abomination of desolation, in persecution. This is the deception of worldliness, and why Jesus asked the Father, at that Supper: ‘Father, I do not ask you to remove them from the world, but keep them from the world’, this mentality, this humanism, which is to take the place of the true man, Jesus Christ, that comes to take away the Christian identity and brings us to the single thought: ‘They all do it, why not us?’. THIS, IN THESE TIMES, SHOULD MAKE US THINK: WHAT IS MY IDENTITY? IS IT ‘CHRISTIAN OR WORLDLY? OR DO I SAY TO MYSELF CHRISTIAN BECAUSE I WAS BAPTIZED AS A CHILD OR WAS BORN IN A CHRISTIAN COUNTRY, WHERE EVERYONE IS CHRISTIAN? WORLDLINESS THAT COMES SLOWLY, IT GROWS, IT JUSTIFIES ITSELF AND INFECTS: IT GROWS LIKE THE ROOT, IT DEFENDS ITSELF – ‘BUT, WE DO AS OTHERS DO, WE ARE NOT SO DIFFERENT’ -, ALWAYS LOOKING FOR A JUSTIFICATION, AND EVENTUALLY IT BECOMES CONTAGIOUS, AND MANY EVILS COME FROM THERE.”
BEWARE OF POISONOUS ROOTS THAT GROW AND INFECT
“The liturgy, in these last days of the liturgical year” – said the Pope – exhorts us TO BEWARE OF “POISONOUS ROOTS” THAT “LEAD AWAY FROM THE LORD”:
“AND WE ASK THE LORD FOR THE CHURCH, THAT THE LORD WILL GUARD IT FROM ALL FORMS OF WORLDLINESS. THAT THE CHURCH WILL ALWAYS HAVE THE IDENTITY GIVEN TO IT BY JESUS CHRIST; THAT WE WILL ALL HAVE THE IDENTITY THAT WE RECEIVED IN BAPTISM. MAY THE LORD GIVE US THE GRACE TO MAINTAIN AND PRESERVE OUR CHRISTIAN IDENTITY AGAINST THE SPIRIT OF WORLDLINESS THAT ALWAYS GROWS, JUSTIFIES ITSELF AND IS CONTAGIOUS.”