GHU Presents a Guest Editorial by
Sister Marcelena,SCC

Sister Marcelena explains why gossip makes Jesus cry.

Hello boys and girls. My name is Sister Marcelena. I am delighted that JB has asked me to write a guest editorial.

I was JB's second grade teacher. She was a flighty bony little thing back then. She used to get up from her desk unexcused, and run around the room with scabby knees stained pink with Mercurochrome showing underneath her uniform skirt and a thick head of red hair falling over her eyes and her beanie falling off her head. Sacred Heart of Jesus! I don' t think I ever heard such a big voice coming out of such a small little thing. Today they would have said she had ADD but back then we just slapped them silly until they calmed down. And it worked too! Look at JB. She didn't have to take ritelin! And she got through college and graduate school and now works at a Catholic University as a librarian. Why they stopped corporal punishment is beyond me. Parents must prefer drugged up listless children. I thank the Blessed Virgin Mary
that I'm not teaching now!

In those days we had two grades to a classroom. I also taught first grade. JB's sister was in that grade. She looked like a blond version of her sister. She was one of those who constantly wriggled in her seat with her hand up calling out, "Sister, sister sister!" Once during a spelling test she yelled out, "Sister, do you spell cat C-A-T?". Oh dear--just remembering that has sped up my pulse, excuse me a minute while I get a small glass of altar wine. Of course, I only use wine for medicinal purposes.

I'm back children, I feel much better! Now I am retired and living in the Sisters of Christian Charity mother house in New Jersey. Sister Nicholas and Sister Pietra are here with me. In the afternoons, after vespers, we watch first EWTN and that spunky Mother Angelica, and then the soap opera General Hospital. By the looks of most men, we thank the Holy Family we are safe in our celibacy. However, once in awhile our vow is tested. First it was that adorable Moon Doggie from those Gidget movies-James Darren. After that it was the handsome Jeffrey Hunter who played Jesus in the movie the Greatest Story Ever Told. Then there was that Al Pacino fellow. Oh--and later that handsome Jon Bon Jovi!! Now its that handsome Maurice Benard!! I have such impure thoughts about him that I have to say the Apostles Creed over and over in my head to keep those sinful thoughts out of my head! Oh well, at least it gives me something to liven up my Confession! How many times can poor Father Vetter hear: "I got impatient with Sister Nicholas"? Normally, we sisters put the poor man to sleep.

Mr. Benard plays such a nice Catholic fellow on General Hospital! He attends and gives money to his Church. He has all his children Baptized in the Faith and plans to send them to Catholic School. Oh--we know he's a mobster but back in Hazleton where I taught JB we had plenty of those! But as I taught JB--we don't hate the sinner, we hate the sin, and we pray for the sinner's salvation. You know what the Lord said, "He who is without sin may cast the first stone."

JB tells me that lately people have been spreading malicious gossip about that nice Mr. Benard all over the Internets. We may think gossip is harmless and fun to spread among our friends. But children, gossip is a grave sin against God's Eighth Commandment :

264. What is the eighth commandment of God? 
The eighth commandment of God is: Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. 
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. (Exodus 20:16) 

265. What are we commanded by the eighth commandment? 
By the eighth commandment we are commanded to speak the truth in all things, but especially in what concerns the good name and honor of others. 
Wherefore, put away lying and speak truth each one with his neighbor, because we are members of one another. (Ephesians 4:25) 

266. What does the eighth commandment forbid? 
The eighth commandment forbids lies, rash judgment, detraction, calumny, and the telling of secrets we are bound to keep. 
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord. (Proverbs 12:22) 

267. When does a person commit the sin of rash judgment? 
A person commits the sin of rash judgment when, without sufficient reason, he believes something harmful to another's character. 
Before thou inquire, blame no man. (Ecclesiasticus 11:7) 

268. When does a person commit the sin of detraction? 
A person commits the sin of detraction when, without a good reason, he makes known the hidden faults of another. 
A good name is better than great riches, and good favor is above silver and gold. (Proverbs 22:1) 

269. When does a person commit the sin of calumny or slander? 
A person commits the sin of calumny or slander when by lying he injures the good name of another. 
Devise not a lie against thy brother, neither do the like against thy friend. (Ecclesiasticus 7:13) 

Our Lord Jesus Christ died on the Cross to erase the stain of Original sin and all sin. He was both God and human and as he was nailed to that Cross he felt intense pain--more intense then you and I can can ever feel. Whenever you and I knowingly commit a sin, Jesus feels that pain over and over again. Children, when we gossip we cause Jesus intense pain and make him cry. Yes, we make our Savior and our Salvation cry over and over again. Now is that the way to repay Jesus for saving our souls? By making him cry? Once Jesus starts to cry, then his mother the Blessed Mother starts to cry, then St. Joseph, St. Michael, St. Jude, St. Anthony and all the angels and saints! Pretty soon it will be raining for forty days and forty nights and Noah will need to build another Arc!!

Gossip is a sin--and if we do not stop it, if we do not repent, if we are not sorry, we are not forgiven by God. If we die with sins on our souls, we either spend centuries suffering in Purgatory or, if grave enough, we are sent to the boiling cauldron of Hell!

Oh I know the temptation to spread gossip is a strong one. Why just today I was tempted to blab to Sister Pietra that Sister Nicholas leaked through her Depends. And I am so tempted to bad talk that Paris Hilton creature!! Immaculate Heart of Mary HOW DID THAT STUPID GIRL LOSE A DOG?? She has not brain one in her head. Oh dear, children. Sister Marcelena is getting excited again. I must go have another sip of my medication and say an Act of Contrition. I'll be right back!

I'm back! I feel much better! Now what was I saying? Oh yes- we must fight Satan's temptation children. Not because we fear the roaring fire pits of Hell! But because we love Jesus and don't want to make him cry! And because we want to spend eternal life with him in heaven. And when we don't give in, we can offer our sacrifice up for the poor souls in Purgatory so that they get out sooner. Like that Frank Sinatra. He's probably in Purgatory for carrying on with that Ava Gardner and Mia Farrow! Of course he did repent in the end so I don't think he's in Hell.

I would like to ask you a favor children. The founder of my order, the Blessed Mother Pauline von Mallinckrodt has been, through much prayer and sacrifice, Beatified and on her way to becoming a saint. Please pray that the Holy Father in Rome sees fit to bestow sainthood upon Mother Pauline soon! We have been working on this for almost a century. Why that Mother Teresa was Beatified lickedy split--and NOT ONE miracle was ever attributed to her! But it is not for me to question the wisdom of God or the Holy Father.

I get tired so easily now children. Its time for Sister Marcelena to have more medication and take a nap. My thanks to JB again for giving me the opportunity to talk to you about the evil sin of gossip during the beginning of the Lenten season. Keep a Holy Lent children. Go to the Stations of the Cross on Fridays, try to pray the Holy Rosary more often and meditate on how your sins hurt Jesus. God Bless you!

Yours in Christ,

Sister Marcelena, SCC


Edition of the Baltimore Catechism in use when JB was in 2nd grade
Catechism of the Catholic Church today
Sisters of Christian Charity
Mother Pauline Join the Companions of Pauline
Eternal World Television Network (EWTN)

Heavenly Father, we beseech you in the name of your beloved Son and through
the intercession of His Immaculate Mother Mary, grant that your servant,
Blessed Pauline may soon be declared a saint. Amen