452. But hypocritical charity is the charity of those who in their churches and private dwellings humble themselves almost to the floor before God, devoutly pour forth long prayers, put on a holy expression of countenance, kiss images of the cross and the bones of the dead, and kneel beside sepulchres and there with their mouths mutter words of holy veneration for God, and yet in their heart they are thinking of being themselves worshiped and seeking to be adored as divinities. It is such as these whom the Lord describes in the following words:
When thou doest alms, sound not a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites, who love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men (Matt. 6:2, 5).
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye shut up the kingdom of heaven before men; for ye enter not in yourselves, neither do ye suffer those to enter who wish to enter. Woe unto you, hypocrites! For ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte and when he is made, ye make him twofold more a son of hell than yourselves. Woe unto you, hypocrites! For ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are filled with extortion and excess (Matt. 23:13, 15, 25).
Well hath Isaiah prophesied of you, hypocrites, saying, This people honoreth Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me (Mark 7:6).
Woe unto you, hypocrites! For ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them know it not (Luke 11:44).
Beside other passages. Such are like flesh without blood, like crows and parrots taught to repeat the words of a psalm, and like birds taught to sing the tune of a sacred hymn; and the sound of their voice is like that of a bird-catcher's whistle.