Pope Francis Warns of the Danger of "spiritual arrogance"

Pope Francis delivers the Angelus address on Oct. 23, 2022. | Vatican Media

In his Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis warned that “spiritual arrogance” can lead to adoration of one’s ego instead of God.

Speaking from the window of the Apostolic Palace on Oct. 23, the pope said that there is a temptation to “concern ourselves with how we appear rather than how we are” and to be “trapped by narcissism.”

“Where there is too much ‘I,’ there is too little God,” Pope Francis said.

He explained that with true humility, on the other hand, “we become capable of bringing what we are to God, without pretense: the wounds, the sins and the miseries that weigh on our hearts, and to invoke his mercy so that he may heal us, restore us and raise us up.”

“It will be he who raises us up, not us. The more we descend with humility, the more God raises us up," he said.


Reflecting on Sunday’s Gospel from chapter 18 of the Gospel of Luke, Pope Francis said that everyone should look closely at the parable of the Pharisee and the publican and ask themselves whether they are judgemental and convinced of their own righteousness, like the Pharisee.

Pope Francis said: “To rise towards Him we must descend within ourselves: to cultivate the sincerity and humility of the heart that give us an honest outlook on our frailties and interior poverty.”

“Let us ask the intercession of Mary Most Holy, the humble servant of the Lord, the living image of what the Lord loves to accomplish, overthrowing the powerful from their thrones and raising the humble,” he said.

After praying the Angelus with the crowd, Pope Francis invited Catholics to sustain missionaries with prayer and concrete solidarity on World Mission Sunday, which he said is "an important occasion to awaken in all the baptized the desire to participate in the universal mission of the Church, through witness and proclamation of the Gospel."

The pope also appealed for dialogue and reconciliation in Ethiopia and offered his condolences to all who are suffering from the severe flooding that has affected many countries in Africa.

"I am following the continuing state of conflict in Ethiopia with trepidation. Once again I repeat with heartfelt concern that violence does not resolve discord, but only increases its tragic consequences. I appeal to those with political responsibility to end the suffering of the unarmed population and to find equitable solutions for lasting peace throughout the country," he said.

"May our prayers, solidarity, and necessary humanitarian aid not be lacking for our Ethiopian brothers and sisters, so sorely tried," he added.

After inviting young people from Portugal to join him in the window of the Apostolic Palace, Pope Francis clicked on a tablet and became the first person to register for World Youth Day, which will take place in Lisbon in August 2023.

"Dear young people, I invite you to register for this meeting in which, after a long period of separation, we will rediscover the joy of fraternal embrace between peoples and between generations, which we need so much," he said.

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Courtney Mares is a Rome Correspondent for Catholic News Agency. A graduate of Harvard University, she has reported from news bureaus on three continents and was awarded the Gardner Fellowship for her work with North Korean refugees.