The phrase “I love thee” is a universal affirmation that expresses the deep sense of belonging that a person feels toward their faith, a Catholic priest in Pennsylvania told The Associated Press on Thursday.
In the church, “I’m an equal person,” said Father Michael Piscopo, who is Catholic and serves as pastor at the Franciscan Monastery of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Fairfield.
“It’s a statement that all people are welcome in the church.
We’re all part of the same family.”
Piscopos family is one of the largest in the world, with more than 2,500 parishioners in Pennsylvania and a parishioner count of more than 15,000.
But many Catholics don’t have the same faith as their peers, he said.
“If you’re not a member of a church, you can’t say ‘love me’ to someone,” he said, adding that the phrase is often misunderstood by people.
“When we say ‘i love you,’ we’re talking about a person who feels like we’re connected, that we’re all brothers and sisters,” he added.
“I want to encourage people to be kind to one another.”
The phrase was first adopted by Catholic bishops and priests in the 1960s to communicate the importance of a person’s commitment to a faith and to the mission of the church.(AP: Tom Williams)Father Piscampos said people often think of love as a private and private thing.
But, in fact, it’s a universal and unconditional sentiment.
“It’s not about being nice to the person,” he explained.
“If someone doesn’t have a heart, it doesn’t mean that they don’t love.
It’s not an ‘I like you’ thing.”
A person may express love in a loving way when they feel the person has given them something of value, Piscapo said.
A person’s heart is what gives life meaning, he added, and if a person is not in love with their church, it could be a sign of their spiritual decay.
A sign of spiritual decay is when a person does not have a sense of what it means to be a member and a brother and sister.
“We have a deep need to be in a community of love,” Father Piscoppo said, citing the Bible and the Bible’s words of reconciliation.
“People have this sense of self, they feel like they’re doing it because they love.
If they’re not in it, then it’s not happening,” he noted.
In fact, he told the AP, the word ‘love’ can be an expression of compassion and that people should use that to express affection.
“What we’re asking is for people to give us a chance to be the love that we need to see the world in the best light, to see it in a way that we feel good about and feel that we can be in touch with it,” he continued.
“The love that Jesus showed is the love of love, and that’s what we’re seeking in our church.
The love that he showed us was love that doesn’t get in the way of God’s work.
We need to show it.”
The AP spoke to several clergy who had shared similar stories of churchgoing with their parishionors.
While the church may not be the place where people are likely to share their own personal stories of love or spirituality, the clergy members said they would not be afraid to share theirs if it meant their parish would receive the love they felt.
“My heart goes out to the people who feel that way,” said Reverend Paul Cogley, a pastor at St. Patrick’s Church in Fairmont, which has more than 20,000 parishionists.
“There are so many things that happen in a Catholic parish and I think the church is the place that can offer that.
We know there are good things going on in the Catholic community, and we just want to be part of that.”
Pisces Catholic Church in West Chester, Pennsylvania, serves as a center for parishioning in the region.(AP photo: Jim Matthews)The phrase “i love thee,” also known as “I give,” was adopted by some church leaders during the 1960’s.
The phrase has a long and varied history, said Father Joseph Giardina, an Episcopal priest and former dean of the College of Cardinals in the U.S. and Italy.
He said it is a phrase used by many priests in parishes across the country, including in Catholic parishes.
“And I think, you know, I think that’s the reason it’s in the language that we use,” Giardini said.
Father Giardinas father, Father Anthony Giardin, is a canon lawyer and professor of liturgy at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Theology.
He taught the phrase at his parishionery in Pennsylvania.
“For me, ‘I give’ is a very