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Life in Christ

513

are all who trust in them.”

42

God, however, is the “living God”

43

who gives life and intervenes in history.

2113

Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains

a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what

is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and re­

veres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons

(for example, satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state,

money, etc. Jesus says, “You cannot serve God and mammon.”

44

Many martyrs died for not adoring “the Beast”

45

refusing even to

simulate such worship. Idolatry rejects the unique Lordship of

God; it is therefore incompatible with communion with God.

46

2114

Human life finds its unity in the adoration of the one God.

The commandment to worship the Lord alone integrates man and

saves him from an endless disintegration. Idolatry is a perversion

of man’s innate religious sense. An idolater is someone who “trans­

fers his indestructible notion of God to anything other than God.”

47

Divination and magic

2115

God can reveal the future to his prophets or to other saints.

Still, a sound Christian attitude consists in putting oneself confi­

dently into the hands of Providence for whatever concerns the

future, and giving up all unhealthy curiosity about it. Improvi­

dence, however, can constitute a lack of responsibility.

2116

All forms of

divination

are to be rejected: recourse to Satan

or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely sup­

posed to “unveil” the future.

48

Consulting horoscopes, astrology,

palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of

clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for

power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human be­

ings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict

the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.

2117

All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to

tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service and have

a supernatural power over others—even if this were for the sake

42

Ps

115:4-5, 8; cf.

Isa

44:9-20;

Jer

10:1-16;

Dan

14:1-30;

Bar

6;

Wis

13:1-15:19.

43

Josh

3:10;

Ps

42:3; etc.

44

Mt

6:24.

45 Cf.

Rev

13-14.

46 Cf.

Gal

5:20;

Eph

5:5.

47 Origen,

Contra Celsum

2, 40: PG 11, 861.

48 Cf.

Deut

18:10;

Jer

29:8.

398, 2534

2289

2473

305