Christians can’t lead ‘double life,’ pope says in homily

By Francis X. Rocca | Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — A “double life” that honors both worldly values and the teachings of Jesus is not an option for Christians, even when obedience to God leads to persecution, Pope Francis said in a morning homily April 11.

The pope spoke at Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Vatican guesthouse where he has been living since his election in March.

Speaking to a congregation of employees of the Vatican newspaper, Pope Francis commented on the day’s reading from the Acts of Apostles (5:27-33), in which Peter refuses an order to stop preaching in Jesus’ name, saying: “We must obey God rather than men.”

“In our life, we also hear things that do not come from Jesus, that do not come from God,” said the pope, according to a report on Vatican Radio.

Such “proposals of sin” lead us away from the Lord, he said, and “this will not make us happy.” At times we try to lead a “double life,” nurtured by “what Jesus tells us” as well as “what the world shows us,” the pope said.

But God the father “gives us the (Holy) Spirit, without limit, to listen to Jesus and go along Jesus’ road.”

Following that road requires the “grace of courage,” the pope said, not only because obedience to God often entails persecution and the anger of the world, but because it means admitting one’s weakness. Yet failure should not be cause for despair.

“The Lord forgives us,” the pope said, “because he is so good.”