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1. Evil hearts are experts at creating confusion and contention.

Visit EarthBeat , NCR's new reporting project that explores the ways Catholics and other faith groups are taking action on the climate crisis. Peter's Square. The pope continued his series of talks on the Ten Commandments, reflecting on the final commands, "You shall not covet The last commandments, he said, encapsulate the essence of all of God's commands -- that every sin or transgression stems from "coveting" and being caught up in evil thoughts and desires.

The commandments aim to set clear limits, which, if they are crossed, do great harm to oneself and to one's relationship with God and others, the pope said. All transgressions and sins, he said, stem from "one common inner root: evil desires. But not a formal or legal transgression. A transgression that wounds, wounds oneself, wounds others.

He said Jesus explains in the Gospel of St. Mark that what is evil comes from what is inside a person, what is in their hearts -- evil thoughts like, "unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. The Ten Commandments will have no impact or effect if people do not understand the source of sin is inside them and the challenge is to "free the heart from all of these evil and ugly things," the pope said. God's laws could be reduced to just a "beautiful facade of a life that is still the life of a slave and not children" of God, he said.

The laws of the Bible are not meant to "deceive people that a literal obedience to the law brings one to an artificial and, for that matter, unattainable salvation," he said. The law is meant to bring people to the truth about themselves -- to recognize their poverty and to authentically open themselves up to the mercy of God, "who transforms us and renews us. God is the only one who is able to renew our hearts as long as we open our heart to him. That's the only condition. The commandments help people face "the disarray of our hearts in order to stop living selfishly" and become authentic children of God, redeemed by the Son and taught and guided by the Holy Spirit.

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People must confront their evil desires, beg God for mercy, pope says. Nov 21, Many a man who has not committed an outward act of sensual lust has nevertheless thought it over and relished it, and so perpetrated it in his soul. Many a man who had not the courage to be a thief in very deed, has nevertheless been a thief a thousand times over in his heart ; and he who dared not blaspheme God with his lips, has cursed God in his heart ten thousand times. These evil thoughts are signs of what is in the heart.

They would not bubble up within us if they were not first there. They could not come into the mind if they were not essential to the soul. Those ebullitions of evil temper, in which we wish people were dead, or otherwise injured, and would fain punish them if we could, are in the same class as murders. Murders themselves arise from the evil passions of the human heart. If the fire was not there temptation could not fan it to a flame.

Is it not because men love themselves better than their neighbours that they commit murder? It is clear to every one that it must be so.

5 Indicators of an Evil and Wicked Heart - Association of Biblical Counselors

Hence it is the failure of the affections to work accurately, which leads men to the commission of this terrible deed. An evil nature sits by the fire-side, and murders men in thought, and hurls daggers at them in the house in words, because it is evil, self-loving, and vile. The inventory next mentions acts of unchastity. Men would never fall into evil lusts if it were not that they are dear to their hearts.

Because these things are sweet to the heart, therefore men follow them. If the ox drinketh water, it is because the ox thirsteth; and if man goeth after vice, it is because his soul longeth after it. Those who never indulged in these actions may yet have meditated upon them, and in such a case the heart has committed uncleanness before God. So also the injuring of others by theft is from the heart.

Is it not again because we love ourselves better than God, and better than others, that we are tempted to covet and led from covetousness to acts of dishonesty? When the list closes with blasphemy, what is this but the heart setting itself up higher than God, and then seeking to tread God beneath its feet by the use of opprobrious and wicked epithets concerning him? The heart is at the bottom of it all. There would be no murder, no fornication, there could be no blasphemy, if the heart were pure and right; if God were loved first and foremost, these offences could not occur; but the heart is mischievous, and hence these things.

The Saviour does not stop to prove that these things come out of the heart ; he asserts it, and asserts it because it is self-evident. When you see a thing coming forth you are clear it was there first. If we see the hornets of sin flying out of a man, we suppose at once that there is sin within him. Look at yonder spring; it is bubbling tip with cool and fresh water ; do you not conclude that somewhere or other there is a reservoir of this water from which it rises?

If this needed any sustaining at all I might offer these few observations. Albeit there may be schools of virtue, there is certainly no necessity to open a school for vice. Your child will have evil thoughts without your sending him to a diabolical infant school; lads who have never seen the act of theft, children who have been brought up in the midst of honesty, will be found guilty of little thefts early enough in life. Lying and false witness, which is one form of lying, is so common, that perhaps to find a tongue which never did bear false witness would be to find a tongue that never spoke; is this caused by education or by nature?

It is so common a thing that even where the ear has heard nothing but the most rigid truth, children learn to lie and men learn to lie and commonly do lie and love to tell an evil tale against their fellow men whether it be true or not, bearing false witness with an avidity which is perfectly shocking. Is this a matter of education, or is it a depraved heart?

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You never need educate any man into sin. As soon as ever the young crocodile has left its shell it begins to act just like its parent, and to bite at the stick which broke the shell. The serpent is scarcely born before it rears itself and begins to hiss. The young tiger may be nurtured in your parlour, but it will develop ere long the same thirst for blood as if it were in the forest. So is it with man ; he sins as naturally as the young lion seeks for blood, or the young serpent stores up venom.

Sin is in his very nature that taints his inmost soul.

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What is worse, it is certain that men sin under all conceivable circumstances. You have heard much romance about unsophisticated nature: it used to be a theory that the untutored savage saw God in every cloud and heard him in the wind. But when travellers go to see these model untutored savages, what miserable specimens of humanity they are! The very philosophers who once set them up as being models change their minds, and tell us that they are a connecting link between man and the ape.

This is what unsophisticated nature becomes.

The tagrags of conventionalism are taken away, the tricks of commerce are removed, and the child of nature is brought up naked, and a very pretty child he is! The character of the uncivilized man is generally such that it were impossible for us to describe it in your hearing, so degraded and so debased is savage man.


Evil at Heart

Is he not better, however, if he be highly educated? I suppose there was no nation of antiquity more highly educated than the Greeks, and yet if history be credited the private characters of her best philosophers, such as Socrates and Solon, were stained with vices revolting to the mind. In modern times there has been ample proof that neither ignorance nor learning are an effectual check to sin. The fool learns sin without his book, and the scholar learns it none the less with all his lore.

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One of the most educated nations of modern times is the Hindoo, and what is the moral character of the Hindoo? Those who have been among the Hindoos never dare to tell all that they have seen, and missionaries inform us in a whisper that what they have seen in the temples where the Hindoos meet for worship, and where surely the better parts of their nature ought to be seen in the presence of their gods, is so utterly obscene that it is degrading to the mind to know that such a thing exists.

People must confront their evil desires, beg God for mercy, pope says

A man with religion is not any better than a man without it unless that religion changes his heart and makes a new man of him. If you shall take a child and tutor him in all the outward observances of our own holy faith, if you shall see that in everything he is brought up after the straitest sect that your judgment shall select, yet unless the Holy Ghost shall come and give him a new heart and a right spirit his heart will find out ways of showing its sin, put it under what restraint you will.

Nay, it has been notorious that some who were brought up with Puritanic rigidity have been the most vicious in after life, and those who have not been so have become what is almost as detestable, hypocritical pretenders to a religion to whose real power they are strangers.

The old nature everywhere, wash it, and cleanse it, and bind it, and curb it, and bridle it, is still the old fallen nature, and cannot understand spiritual things. You may take the man and treat him as they did the demoniac of old, you may bind him with chains, you may seek to tame him down, but when the old evil spirit comes up again he snaps the bonds of morality and rushes away to one form of sin or another, either to the outward excess of his carnal passions or else to the equally vicious excess of hypocrisy, formalism and self-conceit.

These things may strengthen this truth surely.

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Man sins in every place, in every shape; and yet more, he sins after he knows the mischief of sin. As the moth flies into the candle after singeing its wings, so man will fly into sin after he knows the bitterness of it. If he reforms as to one sin he takes up another, till he doth no better for himself than Dr. They do so; they give up, perhaps, drunkenness. What then? Why then they become self-righteous. If you can drive a man from outward vice, how far have you improved him if he lives in inward sin? You have benefited him as far as the sight of man is concerned, but not before God.

There was a man killed on Holbom Hill this week, and I have heard that there was little or no external appearance of injury upon his body. He had been crushed between an omnibus and a cart, and all the wounds were internal, but he died just as surely as if he had been beaten black and blue, or cut in a thousand gashes. So a man may die of internal sin; it does not appear outwardly for certain reasons, but he will die of it just the same if it be within.

Many a man has died from internal bleeding, and yet there has been no wound whatever to be seen by the eye.

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You, my dear hearer, may go to hell as well dressed in the garnishings of morality as in the rags of immorality.