Divine Mercy Q&A

'Special Graces' and 'Plenary Indulgence': Are They the Same Thing?

The following column was first posted on Jan. 17, 2007:

This week, a Mr. Dwyer asked: What is the difference between the special graces promised by Jesus for devout communicants on Divine Mercy Sunday, and the plenary indulgence for Divine Mercy Sunday devotions that was instituted several years ago by Pope John Paul II? Are they the same thing? Or are they different?

Simply put: They are NOT the same thing!

How Should We Celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday?

As we draw nearer to Divine Mercy Sunday on April 19, we often receive questions in Stockbridge, Mass., about the proper way to celebrate the feast day.

This is something that St. Faustina does not reflect upon in much detail in her Diary, and local customs have been established that people sometimes confuse with the liturgical requirements of the day.

So You Want to Change the World?

The Marians of the Immaculate Conception have introduced a 14-part series to help inspire parish cenacle or study groups this coming Lent who are looking for ways to make a difference in this troubled world. By means of introduction to this parish renewal program, its author, Robert Stackpole, STD, sat down to share his thoughts on the series. Robert, a columnist for this website, is the director of the John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy, a lay apostolate of the Marians.

How Can We Learn to Forgive Ourselves?

This column was originally posted on July 25, 2007.

I received a letter recently that was very short, but also expressed profound sadness:

Are the End Times Upon Us?

Editor's Note: This article was originally posted in February 2008.

The topic of this column is one that causes faithful Catholics increasing worry and dismay. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that over the last decade the enemies of Christianity have steadily increased their hold on international institutions (the U.N., the E.U., and soon, perhaps, the U.S. government); on the mainstream media; on the academic establishment; and even on some of the churches (such as the Anglican Communion and the World Council of Churches).

Holier Than Thou?

One of our readers recently complained to me, with considerable dismay, about the way St. Faustina, in her Diary, writes of the superiority of the "religious" way to holiness, in contrast to the way of ordinary, lay Christians.

Through the Eucharist We Actually Become What We Eat!

This Christmas many of us will join other family members for a big Christmas dinner, a joyful family feast. Yet there is another feast at this time of year that is even more important (and, by the way, it involves a much lower calorie intake): the Eucharistic Feast of the Nativity!

More on the Mysteries of Divine Mercy in the Mass

As we saw last week, St. Faustina was filled with wonder and awe at the Real Presence of the Merciful Jesus in the tabernacle. In fact, she was so overwhelmed by His love for her in the Blessed Sacrament that she penned what has to be one of the most beautiful prayers ever written in praise of Jesus in the tabernacle. You can find it in her Diary, entry 80. It's a wonderful prayer that anyone can use during their times of Eucharistic adoration:

On Keeping the 'Christ' and the 'Mass' in 'Christmas'

I received a letter recently from a fellow who finds himself in a predicament that some of our readers may face when they go to spend time with their relatives over the holidays. A man named James from Chicago wrote to me and said: