Born Helena Kowalska in the small Polish town of Lodz, St. Faustina was one of 10 children in a family struggling to survive during World War I. Because her parents needed her to help support the family, she received only three years of education. At age 20, she answered Christ’s call and entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. While at the convent, the Lord spoke to her and told her that she was to be an apostle of his mercy. Despite her lack of schooling, she wrote several notebooks under the guidance of Christ that contained profound theological insights.
Near the middle of the Gospel of John (8:1-11), we encounter the story of a woman caught in adultery who is brought before Jesus for judgment. Jesus’ actions that day have much to teach us about the nature of the relationship between mercy and justice.
Do you have a loved one who has left the Church? A spouse, a child, a sibling, a friend? Perhaps they still consider themselves Catholic, but they just don’t go to Mass. As Catholics, we know we should evangelize. But, we often are not even sure what to say to encourage the faith of those closest to us. Would you like to invite them back to church, but you just don’t know how? The Diocese of Lansing is holding a conference to teach you how! Called by Name will be held Oct. 21-22, 2016 at the Summit in Dimondale.
Pictured right: Pope Francis is greeted by the faithful at Blonia Park during World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland.
As part of this Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis designated a Holy Door at St. Peter’s in Rome, and asked that all Bishops establish a particular door in each diocesan cathedral that would be available as a pilgrimage site for everyone. The door itself is a symbol in recognition of Christ – the sole door through which we enter salvation (Jn 10:9) and the one way that leads to the Father. (Jn 14:6)
The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant (Mt 18:21-35) challenges each of us to respond to the immense mercy we have received from the Father by showing that same mercy to our neighbor. At the same time, this parable reminds us that there are serious consequences for our failing to do so.
The parable begins with Peter asking Jesus, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus replies by telling Peter that he must forgive not seven times, but 77 times.