Divine Mercy Q&A

What Does Christ Mean by 'Simplicity'?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Dr. Robert Stackpole is working on a book project and will return to column writing in the coming months. In the meantime, we're reposting the following column that first ran in August 2009.

One of the faithful readers and correspondents of this column is a man named Thomas, from Houston, Texas. Several months ago he sent me yet another excellent question, and I apologize to him for taking so long to get an answer to him. The question was this:

Does Catholicism 'Revel In Suffering'?

In our day and age, with the help of television, the internet, relatively easy global travel, and ample opportunities for cultural exchange, North Americans have become more aware of the religious traditions of the East than ever before. The basic teachings of Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism are familiar to almost every high school graduate now, and many of us have visited the great temples and holy shrines of these religions on trips to Asia.

Is Divine Mercy Devotion Just Based on Private Revelations?

Some of our readers encounter clergy on occasion who are not "up-to-speed" with regard to the official response of the Catholic Church to the Divine Mercy message and devotion. Usually, the misunderstanding surrounds the Church's official stance toward "Divine Mercy Sunday." For example, a Mr. Siddle wrote to us asking if his bishop and clergy were right in saying that the Feast of The Divine Mercy is based merely on St. Faustina's "private revelations," and therefore priests "are under no obligation to celebrate it in their parishes."

What is the Meaning of the Rays?

In one of my Divine Mercy Q&A columns, I had the opportunity to briefly discuss the meaning of the word "mystery" in the Catholic tradition. In a nutshell, what I said was that a "holy mystery" is not something that we are completely in the dark about; it's just something about which there always remains more to be said. A holy mystery is a truth so deep that we can never completely unpack or express every aspect of it.

Why Does God Let His Best Friends Get 'Beaten Up' So Often?

Not long ago a good friend of mine, a Carmelite named Mellie, sent me a question that is certainly refreshing for its honesty. After recounting for me the many good people in her life, family and friends, who have suffered so much at the hands of wicked persons, she wrote:

How One Divine Mercy Critic Misses the Mark

It sometimes happens that well-intentioned, doctrinally "orthodox" Catholic believers get a hold of wrong information about the Divine Mercy message and devotion, and they end up discouraging their friends or parishioners from having anything to do with it. This seems to be the case with an essay that is circulating among traditional Catholics, an essay written by a priest who questions the orthodoxy not only of devotion to The Divine Mercy, but also of the teachings on Divine Mercy of our late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II.