salvation

JOHN 3:16: WE PERISH WHEN WE LOSE ETERNAL LIFE

 

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NO ONE IS EVER DESERTED BY GOD IN THIS MORTAL LIFE

 

“[God] who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4)

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

God is just. Infinitely just. He is neither arbitrary or capricious. No one is lost by surprise. Everyone, at the end of life’s journey, will be able to tally up a gargantuan amount of graces sent by the Father of Mercy to save us. A bitter victory it will thus be, as F.W. Faber points out, if we manage to succeed in rejecting these graces.

How much grace God sends to someone estranged from Him is not subject to precise theological formulation.The starting point is the Infinite Goodness of God who is generous to every soul. The great Saint Alphonsus de Ligouri  quotes with complete approval Soto who said:

“I am absolutely certain, and I believe that all the Holy Doctors who were worthy of the name were always most positive, that no one was ever deserted by God is this mortal life”  (The Great Means of Salvation and of Perfection, p.149).

A more recent theologian, Father Garrigou-LaGrange says: Christ’s humanity communicates to us from minute to minute the actual grace of the present moment, as the air we breathe continually enters our lungs. *** Outside the sacraments, this activity of the Savior transmits the lights of faith to unbelievers who do not resist it.” 

Finally, Father Faber states: “Figures could not put down the number of graces  [God] has given and is hourly giving to us” (p. 142); Faber states that even a man in mortal sin, through faith and hope, receives “incessant crowds of…actual graces” (p. 250). At page 313 Faber states that “God is infinitely merciful to every soul,” and “no one ever has been lost…by surprise….”  ( The Creator and the Creature, TAN).

Tom Mulcahy, M.A.

Image: Divine Mercy Image. From Wikipedia: “Original painting of the Divine Mercy (by Eugeniusz Kazimirowski in 1934). This is the only painting which was done under the indications of Sister Faustina when she was still alive, unlike the painting by Adolf Hyła which was done in 1943 after Saint Faustina’s death in 1938 but still the most known.” AUTHOR: By HistoryisResearch, April 4, 2016. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

 

P.S. The quote from Father Garrigou-LaGrange is from The Three Ages of the Interior Life. In his encyclical, Redemptoris Missio, Saint John Paul II says the following:

Salvation in Christ Is Offered to All 10. “The universality of salvation means that it is granted not only to those who explicitly believe in Christ and have entered the Church. Since salvation is offered to all, it must be made concretely available to all. But it is clear that today, as in the past, many people do not have an opportunity to come to know or accept the gospel revelation or to enter the Church. The social and cultural conditions in which they live do not permit this, and frequently they have been brought up in other religious traditions. For such people salvation in Christ is accessible by virtue of a grace which, while having a mysterious relationship to the Church, does not make them formally part of the Church but enlightens them in a way which is accommodated to their spiritual and material situation. This grace comes from Christ; it is the result of his Sacrifice and is communicated by the Holy Spirit. It enables each person to attain salvation through his or her free cooperation.”

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ONE SOUL FOR GOD

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“My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19-20)

Imagine for a moment that you’re in Heaven – safely home in HIS infinite love. You’re in a meadow, the beauty of which is so intense that even your glorified senses seem overwhelmed by the torrents of delight streaming through them. Suddenly, you see walking towards you a person you hardly knew on earth.

As this person comes closer to you, you can see that he is shaking almost relentlessly in what can only be described as a veritable excess of holy joy and profound gratitude. He hugs you – never before have you been hugged like that! You feel as if this person will never let you go. Finally, when he does let go, he says, “Don’t you remember me. You gave me that CD on confession one day at work. I hadn’t been to confession in fifteen years, and I really had no desire to listen to the disk, but one day on the way home from work I listened to it – and my life was changed! I went to confession that same weekend, poured out my heart to the priest, and now I’m here in Heaven, saved, truly saved, forever! How can I ever thank you enough!”

You give this man a hug. Tears start to roll down your face. You can hardly even remember giving this guy the CD. You lift your heart to the Heavenly Father in gratitude and thank Him for the very small part he let you play in the salvation of one of God’s blessed and precious souls.

Who can fathom the value of helping to lead a soul to saving grace? Such an act will echo down the halls of eternity with the sound of sweet joy – a pleasant memory of a good deed that will ring true forever.

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Tom Mulcahy

Inspiration: The tone and content of this note relies heavily on F.W. Faber’s writings;  and James 5:20. Book recommendation: The Creator and the Creature by Fr. Faber.

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