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Pope, at general audience, warns against envy and vainglory

February 28, 2024

At his February 28 general audience, held in Paul VI Audience Hall, Pope Francis warned against envy and vainglory, in the ninth talk in a series of Wednesday general audiences devoted to the virtues and vices.

The Pope, speaking in a hoarse voice, said that he had a “cold,” and therefore asked an aide to deliver his prepared remarks.

“In our catechesis on the virtues and the vices, we now turn to envy and vainglory,” the Pontiff wrote, in the words of the Vatican’s summary of his remarks. “Envy, already present in the story of Cain and Abel, is a destructive force fueled by resentment towards others, and can lead to deadly hatred. The remedy to envy lies in Saint Paul’s exhortation: ‘Love one another with brotherly affection, compete in esteeming one another’“ (Rom 12:10).

The summary continued:

Vainglory is marked by an inflated self-esteem, a craving for constant praise and frequently prone to using other people for one’s own ends. Saint Paul’s example of boasting of his weakness rather than achievements offers an effective way for overcoming vainglory.

May we, like him, know that God’s grace is sufficient, since his power is made perfect in weakness, and all the more gladly boast of our weaknesses, that the power of Christ may set us free for a more generous love of others.


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