Pope Francis: When One Does Not Profess Christ, One Professes the Worldliness of the Devil

Img 606x341 1303 vaticano francis first

Pope Francis’ first homily was a call for the Church and all Christians to focus on the cross. 

My favorite quotes from it are:

  • We can build many things, but if we do not confess Jesus Christ, nothing will avail. We will become a pitiful NGO, but not the Church, the Bride of Christ. 

  • When one does not profess Jesus Christ – I recall the phrase of Leon Bloy – “Whoever does not pray to God, prays to the devil.” When one does not profess Jesus Christ, one professes the worldliness of the devil.

  • When we walk without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, and when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord. We are worldly, we are bishops, priests, cardinals, Popes, but not disciples of the Lord.

  • I would like that all of us, after these days of grace, might have the courage – the courage – to walk in the presence of the Lord, with the Cross of the Lord: to build the Church on the Blood of the Lord, which is shed on the Cross, and to profess the one glory, Christ Crucified. In this way, the Church will go forward.

  • My hope for all of us is that the Holy Spirit, that the prayer of Our Lady, our Mother, might grant us this grace: to walk, to build, to profess Jesus Christ Crucified.

The full text of the homily, from the Vatican website is below. I put the quotes I took from it in bold. 

In these three readings I see that there is something in common: it is movement. In the first reading, movement is the journey [itself]; in the second reading, movement is in the up-building of the Church. In the third, in the Gospel, the movement is in [the act of] profession: walking, building, professing.

Walking: the House of Jacob. “O house of Jacob, Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.” This is the first thing God said to Abraham: “Walk in my presence and be blameless.” Walking: our life is a journey and when we stop, there is something wrong. Walking always, in the presence of the Lord, in the light of the Lord, seeking to live with that blamelessness, which God asks of Abraham, in his promise.

Building: to build the Church. There is talk of stones: stones have consistency, but [the stones spoken of are] living stones, stones anointed by the Holy Spirit. Build up the Church, the Bride of Christ, the cornerstone of which is the same Lord. With [every] movement in our lives, let us build!

Third, professing: we can walk as much we want, we can build many things, but if we do not confess Jesus Christ, nothing will avail. We will become a pitiful NGO, but not the Church, the Bride of Christ. When one does not walk, one stalls. When one does not built on solid rocks, what happens? What happens is what happens to children on the beach when they make sandcastles: everything collapses, it is without consistency. When one does not profess Jesus Christ – I recall the phrase of Leon Bloy – “Whoever does not pray to God, prays to the devil.” When one does not profess Jesus Christ, one professes the worldliness of the devil.

Walking, building-constructing, professing: the thing, however, is not so easy, because in walking, in building, in professing, there are sometimes shake-ups – there are movements that are not part of the path: there are movements that pull us back.

This Gospel continues with a special situation. The same Peter who confessed Jesus Christ, says, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. I will follow you, but let us not speak of the Cross. This has nothing to do with it.” He says, “I’ll follow you on other ways, that do not include the Cross.” When we walk without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, and when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord. We are worldly, we are bishops, priests, cardinals, Popes, but not disciples of the Lord.

I would like that all of us, after these days of grace, might have the courage – the courage – to walk in the presence of the Lord, with the Cross of the Lord: to build the Church on the Blood of the Lord, which is shed on the Cross, and to profess the one glory, Christ Crucified. In this way, the Church will go forward.

My hope for all of us is that the Holy Spirit, that the prayer of Our Lady, our Mother, might grant us this grace: to walk, to build, to profess Jesus Christ Crucified. So be it.

  • Bill S

    “When one does not profess Jesus Christ – I recall the phrase of Leon Bloy – “Whoever does not pray to God, prays to the devil.” When one does not profess Jesus Christ, one professes the worldliness of the devil.”

    I can see Leon Bloy’s statement about praying to God. I can’t see extending that to professing Jesus Christ. What about the five billion non-Christians living in the world?

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Bill, we’ve discussed this over and over again, including citing the Catechism. Why do you raise red herrings just to be argumentative?

    • Theodore Seeber

      Lumen Gentium. Then Nostra Aetate. Do, please, go and read them.

  • Bill S

    Rebecca,

    I know what the Catechism says and it is a lot more inclusive than what the Pope said. He took a reasonable statement that you either pray to God or the devil (reasonable but false) and turned it into you either profess Christ or the worldliness of the devil. He’s the one being argumentative not me. I wouldn’t pick that battle with anyone. You’re kidding right?

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Bill, I doubt very much that the Holy Father was being argumentative, with you or anyone else.

    • Theodore Seeber

      If you find the Catechism and Vatican II documents too hard to understand, may I suggest CS Lewis’ _The Last Battle_ which makes *exactly* the same point?

  • Bill S

    No. He was arguing with me. He looked right at me when he said it :-).

    His homily was to Catholics not the world. I’ll cut him some slack on that one.

  • http://www.thoughtsfromanamericanwoman.wordpress.com Patty

    I may be wrong but I take the statement “Whoever does not pray to God, prays to the devil.” to mean that if it is not from God then it is from the devil. So if you pray to a cow then you are actually praying to the devil, if you pray in the name of Jesus Christ then you pray to God. To my non theologian mind it is rather a simple idea. The basis of Christianity is to turn our hearts to Jesus and Our Heavenly Father and not to wordly things.

  • king

    also do not pray to Mary the mother of Jesus because she is not a God.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      No one prays to Mary. We ask Mary to pray for us, much the same way that I asked people to pray for me when I began deadline week with its mountain of work on my job. Our Mother most certainly is not God. But she is the Mother of God, and we believe this gives her a special “in” with him. In other words, her prayers avail much.

      I am going to allow your comment and answer you because I realize that the viewpoint you are espousing is due to a widespread ignorance. But this blog is a Catholic, Christian blog. It is not the place to go if you want to spread calumnies against the Catholic Church.

  • Bill S

    “The basis of Christianity is to turn our hearts to Jesus and Our Heavenly Father and not to wordly things.”

    Yes, Patty, I agree. That is the basis of Christianiy in a nutshell. However, Christianity is a set of beliefs held by Christians that, for the most part, works very well. If I have a drinking problem and I blame it on the devil, I can think of how much power Jesus or Mary or St. Michael, etc. has over the devil and I can draw enough inspiration and strength to resist drinking.

    But there are other worldviews that draw their inspiration from other sources. Those are not all from the devil. That is what the new Pope would have everyone believe. In that it keeps Christians on the straight and narrow, it is a wonderful sentiment. In that it accuses all others of praying to the devil, it is foolish and irresponsible.

  • Bill S

    You don’t pray to Mary or the saints. You don’t say the rosary. We don’t worship saints but we do pray to them. It’s like “I pray thee, can you give me directions to town hall?” Praying is just asking. Even praying to her to pray for us.

  • pagansister

    Is a Buddhist then condemned to a hell because he doesn’t pray to God? Buddhists don’t believe in God. I would assume that the Pope was directing his statements to those who follow the Catholic faith.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I would guess we’re over-thinking this comment. The Holy Father will no doubt clarify it by his actions in the future.

  • pagansister

    You might be right about the over-thinking part, Rebecca.


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