He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy
must pass through the door of My justice. - Jesus to St. Faustina
Something neo-Albigensians seem to see no need for ...
Protestants would reject the idea as well: You don't need a holy year to show mercy. All you have to do is ask for forgiveness, confess Christ, welcome him into your heart, and you'll be saved. We are all saved, right? Catholics don't think like that - or do they? Some seem to be heading in that direction - kinda sorta.
I read a post on the Pope's visit to the mosque in CAR. Within that post, a blogger I can sometimes appreciate, commented, or more or less questioned the 'need' for a Holy Year of 'mercy':
Mercy! What that adds or expresses about the mercy always available from the Church is unexplained. It is like if I told my wife, "Starting December 8, for a whole year, I'm going to love you!" She would be justified in wondering what that implies about the "normal" time outside of the Year of Love. One suspects more PR: focus the people's attention on the mercy of the Church. The Bear supposes this is not such a bad thing, but it does make it sound "new and improved!" Still, the Bear is inclined to withhold judgment until we see it in action. - SourceI think he's an attorney as well. Attorneys are smart. I know some attorneys - they are really smart.
So here's the deal. I wonder if some of the Catholics who see no need for a Holy Year of Mercy maybe just do not realize the significance of a Holy Year in Judeo-Christian tradition? Then, I wonder if they are unfamiliar with the Devotion to Divine Mercy, as revealed to St. Faustina and promulgated by St. John Paul II?
The Jubilee Year is an entire year wherein the faithful may receive 'the Great Pardon' or plenary indulgence - the full remission of the penalties of sin through confession and firm purpose of amendment. As the Holy Father points out in Misericordiae Vultus:
A Jubilee also entails the granting of indulgences. This practice will acquire an even more important meaning in the Holy Year of Mercy. God’s forgiveness knows no bounds. In the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God makes even more evident his love and its power to destroy all human sin. Reconciliation with God is made possible through the paschal mystery and the mediation of the Church. Thus God is always ready to forgive, and he never tires of forgiving in ways that are continually new and surprising. Nevertheless, all of us know well the experience of sin. We know that we are called to perfection (cf. Mt 5:48), yet we feel the heavy burden of sin. Though we feel the transforming power of grace, we also feel the effects of sin typical of our fallen state. Despite being forgiven, the conflicting consequences of our sins remain. In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, God forgives our sins, which he truly blots out; and yet sin leaves a negative effect on the way we think and act. But the mercy of God is stronger even than this. It becomes indulgence on the part of the Father who, through the Bride of Christ, his Church, reaches the pardoned sinner and frees him from every residue left by the consequences of sin, enabling him to act with charity, to grow in love rather than to fall back into sin. - Holy See[One really ought to read the entire document, Misericordiae Vultus - the Holy Year is much more than the indulgences attached. For a more complete catechesis on the Jubilee Year go here: USCCB.]
The Second Sunday of Easter is the Feast of Divine Mercy and is privileged day to gain a plenary indulgence on, as is the Franciscan feast of the Portziuncola and the Carmelite Toties Quoties of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. All Catholics know there are designated days and seasons for liturgical rites, as well as opportunities to gain special indulgences - even Traditional Catholics know of these - I say it that way because some seem to reject the Devotion to the Divine Mercy and its liturgical Solemnity.
Devotion to the Divine Mercy seems to be well known to most Catholics, although I suspect the Holy Year will be a time to promulgate the devotion and practice even wider - throughout the world. I find these quotes from the Diary of St. Faustina helpful in understanding the need we have for a Jubilee Year of Mercy - and Extraordinary Holy Year.
You will prepare the world for My final coming. (Diary429)
Speak to the world about My mercy ... It is a sign for the end times. After it will come the Day of Justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fountain of My mercy. (Diary 848)
Tell souls about this great mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of My justice, is near. (Diary 965).
I am prolonging the time of mercy for the sake of sinners. But woe to them if they do not recognize this time of My visitation. (Diary 1160)
Before the Day of Justice, I am sending the Day of Mercy. (Diary 1588)
He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice. (Diary 1146).
For more information on Devotion to the Divine Mercy go here.