Year of Mercy (2016)

The New Secular Puritan Covenant

Thanksgiving brings back memories for Americans of the Pilgrims and Puritans, carrying out their “errand into the wilderness” to build a “city on a hill,” surviving that first bleak Massachusetts winter of 1620-21. As a kid, I remember that cutting out Puritan hats from black construction paper and taping them to the school windows was [...]

First Mercy: A Reflection on Adam’s Fall

Researching a college essay on mercy, my daughter recently asked me about the seeming absence of God’s mercy at Adam’s fall. Certainly, it is a query worth considering. In the Year of Mercy can we see God’s mercy in the fall of Adam and Eve? Can a world that equates love with good feelings begin [...]

St. John Paul II: No Mercy Without Truth

Mercy featured prominently in the polemics surrounding the recently concluded Synod on the Family. Mercy was frequently counterpoised to dogma as an appeal to dilute ecclesiastical practice, and admit to Holy Communion those who are now “remarried.” Cardinal Kasper went so far as to publish a book between the 2014 and 2015 Synod sessions: Mercy: The [...]

The Role of Catechist in the Year of Mercy

As we await the beginning of the Year of Mercy on December 8, I was asked to speak to fellow catechists regarding the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Of the two groups (each comprising seven acts or works) my fellow catechists were more familiar with the former. This is perhaps because of Christ’s words [...]

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