BEFORE THE CROSS | Sharing Jesus’ mission means making reparation for others’ sins, too

When the Jewish people returned to Jerusalem after 50 years in exile, they set about rebuilding the Temple. The destruction of the Temple wasn't their fault — that was due to the sins of others. But the task of rebuilding fell to them.

Their example serves as a pattern for our Lenten discipline and, really, for all of Christian life.

POPE’S MESSAGE | Don’t confess other’s faults, own up to sins

Pope Francis received a bouquet of flowers at his general audience Jan. 3 in Paul VI hall at the Vatican.

VATICAN CITY — Fear and the shame of admitting one's own sins leads to pointing fingers and accusing others rather than recognizing one's own faults, Pope Francis said.

"It's difficult to admit being guilty, but it does so much good to confess with sincerity. But you must confess your own sins," the pope said Jan. 3 at his first general audience of the new year.

POPE'S MESSAGE | Look at your own sins before judging others

Pope Francis ordained 11 priests at a Mass April 17 in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. Nine were ordained for the Diocese of Rome and two for the Rogationist religious order.

VATICAN CITY — Christians must look to their own sins and failings and not fall into the temptation of hypocrisy that causes them to believe they are better than others, Pope Francis said.

"The relationship of salvation" with God cannot move forward if people justify themselves and look at the mistakes of others instead of fixing their gaze on the Lord, he said at his weekly general audience April 20.

"This is the line of salvation, the relationship between me — the sinner, and the Lord," he told tens of thousands of people gathered in St. Peter's Square.

I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW | The words of our merciful God measure our behavior

Bishop Robert J. Hermann

Whenever it's difficult to pray, I simply say, "Lord, show me my sins."

That statement opens an avalanche of conversation between the Lord and myself, which I find freeing. In the past, I have tried to justify my sinful attitudes without finding peace. Why? My attitudes flowed from my sinfulness rather than from the word of God, which measures my behavior in the light of God's truth.

DEAR FATHER | No amount of prayer can help souls in hell

Msgr. Matthew Mitas

Q: Can the souls in hell benefit from our prayers on their behalf?

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