Tagged: mercy

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Papal critics: embrace Mercy!

“God has imprisoned all human beings in their own disobedience only to show mercy to them all.” — Rm 11:32 (NJB) When Pope Francis ended his Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy in 2016, he issued an apostolic letter entitled Misericordia et Misera, dedicated to the theme of mercy. In this letter, His Holiness extended permission to any priest to validly grant absolution in the Sacrament of Penance with people who had procured an abortion (before this...

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Showing mercy towards traditionalists

“Respect must everywhere be shown for the feelings of all those who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition, by a wide and generous application of the directives already issued” — Pope St. John Paul II Ecclesia Dei, #6.b Semina verbi It is undeniable that much of the resistance to Pope Francis’ magisterium, reforms, and pontificate comes from some Church quarters with a certain traditionalist leaning. In fact, one must also acknowledge that this resistance...

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Don’t Kill Their Joy

Pope Francis often makes a clear distinction between what he sees as a cold recitation of the Church’s doctrine and a vibrant encounter with the person of Jesus Christ. One of the clearest statements along these lines was in Amoris Laetitia, in which Francis wrote, “Rather than offering the healing power of grace and the light of the Gospel message, some would ‘indoctrinate’ that message, turning it into ‘dead stones to be hurled at others’.”...

The Stupid Shepherd

What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray? And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray. In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little...

John Calvin and Communion in the Hand

John Calvin, the Reformation theologian in Geneva who lead the development of Protestant theology, was nothing if not a brilliant mind. Calvin’s contributions to the history of theology are almost always wrong, but they are so skillfully wrong that I cannot help but be impressed by their intricacy. One example of this is Calvin’s perception of the numinous, a concept not elucidated until 1917 by the Lutheran Rudolf Otto. In his most famous work, The...

When Mercy Saved Me

“Proclaim that mercy is the greatest attribute of God. All the works of My hands are crowned with mercy.” -Divine Mercy in My Soul, paragraph 301 “I desire mercy and not sacrifice. For I have come to call not the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:13) I am an addict. The matter of my addiction is between God and me but, because there is a Church and I am a part of it, it’s also between...

Rawlins Brothers

The death penalty and the mystery of mercy

Regarding the death penalty, I owe my existence to the last-minute commutation of a death sentence and the eventual pardon of my great-grandfather, who murdered a child in 1904. Back in the late 1800s and early 1900s, my great-great-grandfather, Joseph “Crazy Joe” Rawlins, was engaged in a feud in South Georgia with a man named William L Carter. Rawlins was a farmer and a former Baptist preacher with five children, while Carter (also a farmer...

The Foolish Mercy of Accompaniment

For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength. (1 Corinthians 1:22-25) Step back for a minute and think about what we believe as Catholics. The...

Humanae Vitae and Me

Back in May, my family went to Mass in another state because we were visiting my in-laws. The kids were in rare form. Our 4-year-old daughter repeatedly tried to go under the pew, and protested loudly whenever my wife or I pulled her back and picked her up. Repeated attempts to shush her, bribe her, and punish her were fruitless. Our 1-year-old had kept us up most of the night, and was fussy and cranky...

The Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul

“Once we turn our back on the cross,” Pope Francis declares, “Even though we may attain the heights of glory, we will be fooling ourselves, since it will not be God’s glory, but the snare of the enemy.” In his homily for the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul this year (available here on the Vatican website), the Holy Father focuses on the transformation Christ’s love begets in His disciples, taking them from a life...