Divine Mercy Q&A

Step Right Up: All Imperfections Welcomed!

I have been flooded with questions about the Sacrament of Reconciliation this year, as people prepare their hearts for Divine Mercy Sunday. Sadly, it is not possible for me to give an in-depth answer to them all in this column (although I try to give at least some kind of answer to everyone who writes to me, on an individual basis).

Suffice it to say that behind many of the questions I have received this year lies the underlying question: Are there some limits to how forgiving Jesus is willing to be in this sacrament?

The Five-Loaves, Two-Fish Philosophy

As we continue from last week our walk through the spiritual works of mercy, we come to the second on the list: "instructing the uninformed."

This means, first of all, accepting our God-given responsibility to be the primary source of religious education and formation for our children. Some Catholics may be surprised to learn that it is not the local Catholic school upon whom this responsibility primarily rests: it is the parents.

Should Works Of Mercy Always Be Done For Free?

Ever since I began my series of columns on the corporal works of mercy, I have had several requests to do a similar series on the spiritual works of mercy. As the saying goes, "there is no time like the present," so I will begin those reflections on the spiritual works, below.

However, before launching into that topic, I want to try to respond to a question sent to me by a woman named Mary a couple of weeks ago. She wrote:

How to Practice the Works of Mercy Today?

In response to Danielle's question a couple of weeks ago about how we can practice the works of mercy today (see here and here), let's continue our walk through the corporal works of mercy by looking at the fifth, sixth and seventh on the traditional list: to visit and comfort those in prison and the sick, and to bury the dead.

If We Serve God For a Heavenly Reward, Is That Selfish?

By Dr. Robert Stackpole, STD

Many of my readers will know that I have the joy of being able to teach some classes in theology to undergraduates at Redeemer Pacific College in British Columbia, Canada, at the same time as I participate in the mission of The John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy. This past week, something happened to me for the first time since I started working on this Q & A column: I received roughly the same question online that one of my students asked me in class - and practically on the same day, too!

Confession: Where 'the Greatest Miracles' Happen

The following is the second part in the series, "Reconciliation: the Sacrament of Mercy and Healing." Read part one.

By Dr. Robert Stackpole, STD

It is not only the Catechism of the Catholic Church that teaches us about the healing graces that flow from sacramental confession. Jesus gave the very same message about this sacrament to St. Faustina. In her Diary, for example, Jesus taught her about His compassion for sinners:

The Sacrament of Mercy and Healing

As we draw closer to Lent, it is good to begin to examine our hearts and our consciences, trying to see clearly our sins and seeking out God's mercy, forgiveness, and help.

Recently, I received several questions about sacramental confession. One person simply wrote: "What can a person do if he has committed mortal sins? And how can he be sorry for them?"

Extraordinary Graces: What are the 'Requirements'?

A fellow named Bob Greenwood recently sent me a question about Divine Mercy Sunday. Perhaps it is one that has been in the back of the mind of other readers of this column as well, so I will reprint his entire question, and respond to it point by point: