The number one trusted online resource for Catholic values
A+ A A-

Believing in Mercy


This marvelous parable gives us a fundamental lesson about education.

Join the worldwide Magnificat family by subscribing now: Your prayer life will never be the same!

JesusLookImage by 4222320 from Pixabay.

Parents and educators give [to children] understanding of this divine mercy by believing in it and practicing it. ... It is this faith which will prevent them from falling again, and, if they fall, they will rise again; they will come back because you will have acquainted them with the gentleness of God. They will say, "I know how good God is. I know how to abide in his mercy. From the depths of my sin, I shall rise up and go to my father." They are happy parents who have shown this way to their children, without weakness or compromise, but with a goodness so like that of God that in their worst difficulties they can say humbly with tremendous confidence, "I shall rise up and go to my father; I shall rise up and go to my mother; and through them, I shall go to my Father in heaven." ...

The good thief also teaches us humility and confidence. A whole life of crimes, a whole life of sin: a few minutes before dying, one word of humility and confidence, and he is saved. In the same way the prodigal son recognized his guilt, the good thief, speaking to his companion, cries, For us this is justice; we have received what we deserve (Lk 23:41). Then he looks deep into the eyes of Jesus and reads there who he is: the gentle Savior. Lord, remember me when you shall come into your kingdom. And the ineffable answer is, "Amen, I say to you, this day you shall be with me in Paradise. For you, no hell, not a second of purgatory. The confident look you gave me, this meeting of our eyes, in my mercy and in your faith, has purified you in an instant and rendered us inseparable. Now you are completely pure and already in heaven." A whole life of sin, one humble and confident look toward the crucified, and there was the first canonized saint, and canonized by Jesus himself! A thief who stole heaven! ...

After an act of infidelity, a failure that has humiliated you, if you look toward Jesus with the look of the good thief do you not believe that you will be purified in a moment, in a second, as he was?

This is J. Fraser Field, Founder of CERC. I hope you appreciated this piece. We curate these articles especially for believers like you.

Please show your appreciation by making a $3 donation. CERC is entirely reader supported.



Father d’Elbée. "Believing in Mercy," from I Believe in Love: Retreat Conferences on the Interior Life. Sophia Institute Press (1974).

Printed in the March 2024 edition of Magnificat. Used with permission.

Join the worldwide Magnificat family by subscribing now: Your prayer life will never be the same!

The Author

Father Jean du Cœur de Jésus d’Elbée († 1982) was a French priest and spiritual author. He was a member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

Copyright © 1974

Subscribe to our Weekly Update

* indicates required