Christians called to intercede for, not condemn others, pope says

VATICAN CITY — True believers do not condemn people for their sins or shortcomings but intercede on their behalf with God through prayer, Pope Francis said.

Just as Moses implored God’s mercy for his people when they sinned, Christians also must act as intermediaries because even “the worst sinners, the wickedest people, the most corrupt leaders — they are children of God,” the pope said June 17 during his weekly general audience.

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Always, our call is to be loving

Glory to Jesus Christ!
Are you a lover? I’m always trying to be a better lover. We are created in love and for love.

This is God’s way. In Baptism, Chrismation, we are renewed in this love and sent forth to love others. We’re nourished in the Eucharist for this.

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There’s no place like home

I did something on June 7 I haven’t done in a long time. Almost three months, in fact. I went to church.

With Allegheny County entering the “Green Phase” June 5, churches in Archeparchy of Pittsburgh have begun reopening their doors to faithful.

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God grants us inspiration to create a New Jubilee

Christ is Risen!
God is truly a mystery to us creatures. In this Gospel people claimed to know God better than Jesus. Some scoffed at the son of a carpenter and wanted him to keep quiet and go away. Others were amazed at the miracle but couldn’t understand what Jesus was teaching.
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Singing God’s praises through life

St. Gregory Cantor George Tichi Celebrates 90 Years

After George Tichi left the operating room following bypass surgery to alleviate blocked arteries in 2000, the first words out of his mouth was a Troparion.

“When I was coming out of the anesthetic, I vaguely remember I was singing the Troparion from Theophany,” said the cantor at St. Gregory in Upper St. Clair, Pa. of 45 years.

“The nurses and doctors were startled; (they) wanted to know what I was saying. The nurse there recognized the melody as being a religious melody.

“I still know the Slavonic rendition of it today. I can sing it off the top of my head.”

After turning 90 years old on May 24, George is still using his voice to praise God.

The coronavirus situation didn’t put a damper on his birthday party, as 34 honking cars filled with family and friends from St. Gregory drove past his house in Mount Lebanon, Pa.

“I was so very surprised. You could have bowled me over. They kept it a secret from me…of all the people who ever
knew about it, nobody ‘spilled it out’. I knew nothing about it,” George said.

“They wouldn’t let me go outside where they had all the preparations and everything. Then I heard someone say,

‘Where are they? When are they coming?’ I didn’t know who ‘they’ were and what ‘they’ were doing. Then I saw the police; when they came down, they turned their sirens on and flashing lights.”

George was born in the Greenfield section of Pittsburgh, Pa. and was baptized, made his First Holy Communion and married his wife of 70 years, Patricia, at St. John Chrysostom.

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Thoughts for our day

The Anaphora of St. Basil tells of the whole story of our relationship with God.

The story of the Garden of Eden reveals that as human beings, we have not trusted God, but instead thought that we could achieve glorification by our own efforts. By being unfaithful to the divine plan, “man disobeyed you, the true God who created him; he was led astray by the deceit of the Serpent, and by his own transgressions was subjected to death.” Continue reading

Following Christ with a sense of moderation

Glory to Jesus Christ!
I remember a distinct moment in eighth grade when Sister Basil, at the beginning of the school year, said to us, “Please know that I pray for you every day.”

Then she said something shocking. She said, “In my prayers, I pray any of you that do something wrong will be caught immediately.” Continue reading

Hair today, gone tomorrow

I saw an interesting question going around on Twitter the other day: What changes in your life that have been necessitated by being quarantined may carry over whenever our lives get back to normal?

(Or, as normal as can be expected, that is.)

There were a variety of intelligent comments. Some people may continue to work from home, if possible and permitted by their boss. Continue reading

The First Commandment: I am the Lord Your God

Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we continue this series of articles in the field of Moral Theology. One of Moral Theology’s most important lessons is the Decalogue (literally Ten Words) or the Ten Commandments. I am sure you remember them from your catechism classes but let me review them so you may reflect on them for yourselves.

Very often when we hear about the Ten Commandments, we immediately imagine something negative, something that prohibits us from doing something: “Don’t do this or don’t do that.” Yet at the same time, we overlook why God gave the Decalogue to the people.

In Chapter 20 of the Book of Exodus, we read God was a protagonist and gave the commandments to the Jewish people because of His love for them. The Decalogue served as a sign of the Covenant, a sign of God’s love for the Jewish people. By keeping the Ten Commandments, the Jewish people accordingly declared their love for God and obeyed God’s word because of His love.

With the coming of Jesus Christ, scripture inherited a universal character. It also offered the world a new and everlasting Covenant, one established through the suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ for the benefit of all nations. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life” (John 3:16).
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At morning mass, Pope offers prayers for unemployed

VATICAN CITY — As countries continue to reel from the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis offered prayers for the men and women who have been unable to work.

“In these days, many people have lost their jobs, were not rehired, or work off the books. Let us pray for these brothers and sisters of ours who are suffering from this lack of work,” the pope said May 11 at the start of his Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Continue reading