Divine Mercy Q&A

Is Asking St. Faustina to Pray for Us a 'Pagan' Practice?

Last week we had a look at the Catholic understanding of how Church doctrine legitimately "develops" over time. That is to say, how it develops from things implicit, or in "seed" form, in the teachings of the apostles, to the full flowering of those doctrines - the deeper understanding of them and the clearer articulation of them - in later centuries. We looked at examples such as the Church's teachings on purgatory, on slavery, and even on the doctrine that mercy is the greatest attribute of God.

Why Do Some Doctrines Seem to Lack Biblical Support?

I am delighted to be back in action after a year's hiatus from this column. And no sooner did we make the decision to restart this Q&A series than we received a wheelbarrow full of new and excellent questions from readers of thedivinemercy.org and marian.org.

The first question comes from a man named Ron, who asked me about the seemingly slender amount of support in the New Testament for the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory:


Is St. Faustina too Liberal or too Conservative?

If you live long enough, I guess, you will eventually find every form of lunacy somewhere in print. I recently celebrated my 50th birthday (personally, I like to think of it as "my first half century"), and around the same time, several of the readers of this column brought to my attention some websites claiming to represent "Traditional Catholicism." I saw articles attacking St. Faustina and the Divine Mercy devotion as "heresy."

Why So Many Images? Which One is Best?

Get a group of Divine Mercy devotees from around the world into a room, and it won't be long before they are discussing which version of the Image of The Divine Mercy they use most in their own land and which version they like best. Several questions about this matter have landed in my e-mail box in recent months. For example, one anonymous e-mailer sent me this:


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."