Pope Francis, in Lumen Fidei, refers to the famous account of the Golden Calf, noting that one reason idols are attractive is because they are “the work of our hands” and that before an idol “there is no risk that we will be called to abandon our security”. And:Share
Idols exist, we begin to see, as a pretext for setting ourselves at the centre of reality and worshiping the work of our own hands. Once man has lost the fundamental orientation which unifies his existence, he breaks down into the multiplicity of his desires; in refusing to await the time of promise, his life-story disintegrates into a myriad of unconnected instants. Idolatry, then, is always polytheism, an aimless passing from one lord to another. Idolatry does not offer a journey but rather a plethora of paths leading nowhere and forming a vast labyrinth. Those who choose not to put their trust in God must hear the din of countless idols crying out: "Put your trust in me!"Among the idols of our age are false autonomy, disordered liberty, and false freedom. The rotten fruits are all around us: greed and lust, contraception and abortion, fornication and adultery, pride and homosexuality. These reflect a multiplicity of desires, each promising freedom while never delivering on the promise, for our deepest desire can only be satisfied by and in God. And so satisfaction is sought in consumption, in having, in possessing, and in even trying to remake ourselves and our natures into something they are not and cannot be.
“When people become self-centred and self-enclosed,” says Francis in his new encyclical, “their greed increases. The emptier a person’s heart is, the more he or she needs things to buy, own and consume. It becomes almost impossible to accept the limits imposed by reality.” This comes in the context of physical goods, but also applies to personal relationships. Once a disordered desire—for a thing, for a person, for an act—becomes the center of our lives, we must make everything else stand behind it and bow before it. When something or someone in God's creation becomes the center of our life and the focus of our passions, we must turn against God himself; in short, we become insane. Even though we can, by reason, recognize God's “eternal power and deity”, as the Apostle Paul told the Roman Christians, those who pursue lusts and impurity refuse to honor or worship him. “Claiming to be wise,” he states, “they became fools...” (Read more.)