Thinking you’re holier than others is a form of self-adoration, Pope says

VATICAN CITY – “Spiritual arrogance” – thinking one is holier or better than others – is a temptation everyone faces and is a form of self-adoration, Pope Francis says .

“Where there are too many ‘I’s, there is too little God,” the pope told about 35,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square on October 23 for the recitation of the Angelus prayer. .

Commenting on the Gospel parable of the Pharisee and the publican, the pope said the lesson Jesus was trying to teach was that in order to draw close to God, people must look within themselves and be aware of their own needs and shortcomings.

“Indeed, in humility we become able to bring to God what we really are, without pretense: the wounds, the sins and the miseries that weigh on our hearts, and to invoke his mercy so that he heals us, restores us and raises us up,” the pope said.

In the Gospel story, the tax collector “asks forgiveness, and the Lord raises him up,” the pope said, while “the Pharisee is exalted, sure of himself, convinced that he is well” .

But not only does he praise himself and list all the good he does, but the Pharisee expresses his disdain for others.

“That’s what spiritual arrogance does,” the pope said. Some may wonder, “’Father, why do you speak to us of spiritual arrogance?’ Because we all risk falling into this trap. It causes you to believe yourself to be righteous and to judge others.

“It’s spiritual arrogance: ‘I’m fine, I’m better than the others: one person does this, another does that,'” he said. Such a thought means “you are worshiping your own ego and erasing your God”.

After reciting the Angelus, Pope Francis invited two young Portuguese people to join him at the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter’s Square. As one held a tablet, the pope became the first person to register as a pilgrim for World Youth Day 2023, which will be held from August 1-6 in the Portuguese capital Lisbon. He made sure that the young man and woman who accompanied him signed up next.