Episode 43 with Dr. Robert Stackpole
In today’s podcast with Dr. Robert Stackpole, Director of the John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, MA, we discuss Divine Mercy and Divine Justice.
Justice Opposed to Mercy?
They are not at opposite ends of the spectrum.
God is infinitely perfect, and God is always infinitely merciful and infinitely just at the same time. He loves us so much that He died for us; His love is so deep that He never turns His back on us when we repent. But he also gives us free will to choose good or evil, and there are consequences to those decisions.
God is merciful and just God and perfect at the same time; these are all attributes of God that are bound together.
Mercy and the Existence of Hell
How can a merciful and loving God send someone to hell?
There is a misunderstanding of heaven, hell, and purgatory. As Catholics we believe that the Heavenly Father has given us free will to choose our eternal destiny. If we have fully repented, turned away from sin and toward God, God is always there to forgive and welcome us back.
We believe that the soul must be as white as snow to see God, and even though we are forgiven, a blemish remains and the place, or time, or period of purification after when we disobey, there are consequences but God’s mercy is always available as we struggle in this valley of tears on earth.
When we repent and confess, we are forgiven. This time, or place, or period of sanctification is called purgatory. But the soul has fought the good fight, and will someday be united with God in heaven.
Are We All Going to Heaven?
A belief in today’s society is the idea that everybody is going to heaven.
Unfortunately, there are souls who choose hell. Hell is a place where the soul has denied and rejected God, even though God wants the soul to be with Him in heaven. Hell is where the soul chooses its own destiny and would rather be away from God than with Him for eternity.
This is why God gave us His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. Similarly, when we refuse to obey the law, we face the consequences of punishment. But God’s love is never failing and He is working to bring every single soul that wants a relationship with Him back to Heaven.