We Need God…
The world is crying in pain; our sins have inflicted us greatly. Anger and anxiety are commonplace. People want a life of peace and to have eternal life with our most merciful Lord. Jesus is right here waiting for us, wanting to help us, trying to help us, and desiring to love us for all eternity. Our loving Lord is constantly trying to show us the Way. We simply reject His helping grace and saving mercy, by choosing to not obey Him, which keeps us from finding the path to a life of peace and eternal life with Him, because we have been misguided for so long and have become blinded by our sins.
“One thing is necessary the salvation of our souls” (St. Alphonsus).
We Must Sincerely Choose God
It is simply horrible how we have failed to really understand if we don’t learn how to whole heartedly choose God in this life, we won’t have Him in the next. Everyone wants eternal life yet, “there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:14) says Jesus. And the “few” are getting fewer and fewer with the passing of time. People simply aren’t giving 100% of our lives to sincerely live to love God as we have come to believe we don’t need to.
“The greater part of mankind will be lost forever” (St. John Newman).
From the beginning of Christianity until today, the saints, who found eternal life and have been given outstanding wisdom from God—far greater than we have obtained—have been speaking about the fewness of the saved. Some saints spoke louder than others, but the saints have spoken a unanimous voice of this tragic loss of life. They are a resounding gong of sorts for us, who have ears that can hear, to heed their warning. But many people, who have heard their messages, can’t understand why the saints would make such a horrifying claim, because God is supposed to love us, yet, from our lack of grace to understand, we ignore the saints cry’s thinking they are wrong, or we believe the saints are speaking about someone other than ourselves as being the ones on the path of death. In this blog, I will clearly explain how it is possible and absolutely true that most tragically “scarcely anyone is saved” as St. Alphonsus, Doctor of the Church, declares is true, so we can obtain the knowledge we need to seek out God’s grace to amend our ways, receive His mercy and be counted among the “few” who go to Heaven.
I know we don’t want to believe this reality of few being saved, but the saints aren’t lying. They don’t say these things for us to live in despair, but for us to see our confusion and lack of wisdom to know how this is possible, so we can turn to God and be motivated to see our errors so to repent and stop our sins. That way our minds will become opened into gaining the wisdom needed to see the Way correctly. God wants us in Heaven and the saints do too.
In the Beginning
Throughout the old and new testament God tells us in order to be saved we must love Him with ALL of our heart, soul, mind and strength (cf. Deuteronomy 6:5). That is a tall order. But that is what our life is all about…loving God. Jesus didn’t leave Heaven and come to die an agonizing death to give us a free pass to sin, abolish justice and eradicate the law of love; that would be preposterous. But rather He came to fulfill the law (cf. Matthew 5:17). We must love Him for the sake of love alone. Jesus told St. Bridget of Sweden that,“Bad Christians…[think] since He is merciful [He] pays no attention [and they can live life as they wish]…[Jesus says] these people will…be driven away from my kingdom… only a person who has charity [love for Me] can obtain my kingdom.”
Therefore, we must truly LOVE GOD for eternal life as the Word says and the saints confirm. That is true belief in God. God clearly told us in the Word, if we want eternal life, we have to love Him with “ALL of your heart.” (Luke 10:27), not part of our heart or only love (obey) the commands we choose or like. God is the Word. The Word and God are literally the same. “The Word became flesh” (John 1:14). When we obey the Word, we love/obey God. We must strive to give all of our heart to work towards obeying all of the Word, all of the time because we don’t want to offend our Lord at all; we want to love Him. We need to believe following Jesus’ example, living His Word, hating all sin, because we want to obey Him and love Him, is “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). Then and only then can we accept God’s mercy. That way when we sin and fail to obey God, we will still stay with God’s saving mercy, from our pure desires to love Him by sincerely hating all of our sins. Sanctifying grace is only accepted by those who honestly love God and sincerely hate their sins, which is very hard to obtain. But, there is no other way to Heaven. If we still fail to truly love God because of any sin, we reject His mercy by loving our sin instead. And this is obviously harder to do than we might think.
“He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him” (Hebrews 5:9).
How to be Saved
How to obtain salvation is very simple, all we need to do is truly love God and not reject His love by desiring our sins. That is it! That is the quality someone has who has true belief in God. Someone who really believes in God really loves Him and doesn’t want to offend Him by any of their sins. However, even though salvation is very simply to obtain, it is very hard to accept God’s saving grace, because we love to sin. Think I’m wrong? It is very true; we have made countless sins an accepted part of our life as we blindfully, mortally wound Our Lord’s Sacred Heart by each and every transgression we free willingly choose to commit with no desire to amend. We willfully desire to sin.
“Sin is the executioner of the good God, and the assassin of the soul. It snatches us away from Heaven to precipitate (hasten) us into Hell. And we love it!” (St. John Vianney).
Part of us wants to do the right thing, but sadly most have been taught very incorrectly and have developed horrible habits of sin and are not working to amend them. Then we wind up loving what we should hate. To continue in our sinful ways, we even justify our sins, and for many, we have become so blind, we can’t even recognize many of our choices as even being sinful. We have become blinded to the truth about ourselves. Yet, eternal life is only waiting for “those who love Him” (James 1:12) by hating all of our sins…not saying we hate our sins with our words and then living life committing the same sins over and over again from our proven love for them. No, we must hate our sins by our actions: seeking God’s grace to stop them. We can’t love both God and sin, we “will either hate one and love the other” (Matthew 6:24). “You who love the Lord, hate evil” (Psalm 97:10).
“Do we love our sins more [than God]? Therefore let us hate our sins and love Him who will exact punishment for them” (St Augustine, Doctor of the Church).
But most of us are very confused as to what sin really is. Many even declare, “I’m not a sinner,” and sadly, even for those who do admit to being a sinner, we don’t even work to amend the sins we do see. We confess them and then commit them over and over again. We need to learn what real love is, unlearn our sinful ways, and teach and re-teach others correctly how to actually love God and obtain His grace, that takes away our sins, so to STOP our sins and embrace His saving grace. How can we truly love God, if we aren’t even trying to stop sinning? We can’t. Tragically, we don’t know how to love God. Yet, it is simple; we love God by not offending Him by our sins. This needs to be our focus in life. All of our prayers and works are useless, if we still desire to sin (don’t desire to obey all of the Word).
“Many souls might attain to great sanctity if only they were directed aright from the first!” (St. Theresa of Lisieux).
We pray the Our Father and ask God to “forgive us of our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespasses against us.” We ask for forgiveness, but we don’t want to stop sinning. How can we expect forgiveness, if we don’t want to stop our crimes against God? That isn’t true sorrow. That is a lie for the devil to own our souls.
We simply aren’t properly seeking God or eternal life and one of the reasons is from a failure to read the Word since “sacred scriptures…are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation” (2 Timothy 3:15). Oh, we might be reading the Word, but we are interpreting it incorrectly, and we aren’t reading it with the honest desire to actually live the commands. We read the Word looking at all of those other people who sinned. When we should be reading the Word looking for how we have committed the same offences so we can see our errors and change. We read the Word looking at all of the good others did, but we should be reading the Word and looking into our lives to see how we can do the same good for God too. Because of that, we don’t sincerely wholeheartedly change our lives to obey Him (cf. John 14:15). We just read the Word to learn the Word, not to live it. The Bible isn’t just something exciting to learn about; it is our instructions on how to live our lives to please God and obtain Eternal Life. We must live it.
We might think we are obeying, but that is another deception from the devil as I will explain. On top of that, we neglect to properly or ever examine our choices to see where we have failed to love as God has loved so we can repent and change. But the Word says, we are supposed to “pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching…for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Timothy 4:16).
Unfortunately, even though we aren’t truly living the Word–not all of it, the devil has us still convinced we will somehow be saved by God’s mercy, since we think of our selves as “good,” or good enough, or that our sins don’t matter since God’s loves us, even though we don’t really try to obey God. Do our works really make us “good” if we don’t try to obey God? Are there really no consequences of our sins? Sure, we might obey some of His Words, but where is our desire to obey all the Word, all of the time? Truly, God didn’t come to suffer and die for us so we can abuse His mercy, by asking for forgiveness and eternal life, when we don’t even sincerely seek to love Him–all of Him (obey all of His Word, all of the time). We might think we are seeking God, but we are actually doing it with a heart that still loves some sin. We are seeking and rejecting at the same time as our life of distress proves. Since those who are seeking God properly are obtaining the grace He gives and have wonderful peace. “Great peace have those who love [obey] your law; nothing can make them stumble [despair]” (Psalm 119:165). How can we really love God if we aren’t honestly trying to follow Him? The Word is full of directions on how to live so to have that life of peace and salvation God promises to those who love Him; we just need to sincerely follow His instructions. And when we correctly obey God we have a wonderful life of constant joy (even during sorrow and suffering). There is a reason so few are saved.
“A great number of Christians are lost [going to hell]” (St. Leonard of Port Maurice).
We Presume We are Saved
Tragically, the devil has convinced most of us to believe we are saved, when horribly we aren’t, so as to remove our desire to “work out your [our] salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). Few people have grown so much in their faith to consistently have true sorrow for their sins so as to maintain saving grace within their souls. Yet, today, hardly anyone even knows what true sorrow is never mind has acquired the grace to possess it. But without a truly contrite (sorrowful) heart for all of our sins, we reject God’s merciful forgiveness.
We have been tricked into thinking real faith is living without fear, and to walk around saying “I trust in Jesus” without a fear in the world. But that can’t be further from the truth. “This confidence [in God’s mercy] does not remove from it its great fear of offending God, nor make it less careful…rather it is more careful than before” (St. Theresa of Avila). Having a great fear of sin and its consequences upon us and God is vital. If we love God, we are going to be horrified to sin against Him and do all we can to see that we don’t.
The Word says “few” find the path to Heaven, and the saints verify, “the majority of men shall not see God” (St. Justin Martyr). Denying these truths with this horrible presumption of salvation, assuming one is saved, which most suffer from, has caused an insurmountable amount of souls to fall into eternal damnation because it has captured our minds and led us away from what we should be focusing on in life: HOW TO LOVE GOD. For those who know God, we seem to spend our time trying to figure out how to take mercy from God, not how to love Him. And we love God by not offending Him by our sins. Where is our focus in life?
“From presumption [of salvation] restrain your servant and let it not rule me [so as to cause my eternal demise]” (Psalm 19:14).
We are not saved by only “saying” we believe in Christ, praying, attending Mass (Church) or doing good works. We are saved by His grace—sanctifying grace—from His suffering, death and resurrection which is His free gift of everlasting life that we received at our baptism that purified our souls of all of our original and actual sins. “For it is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:8). Yet, we sadly reject that saving grace from unrepentant sin, and just one unrepentant sin at the moment of death is enough to reject Eternal Life forever. All of the good works in the world won’t save us…no matter how close we think we are to God, if we still aren’t sorry we have offend God, still desire, any one of our sins.
If we aren’t seeking to stop just one sin (mortal or venial), we have rejected God’s saving love, the saving Love God has spent our entire lives trying to get us to accept. We can’t desire to sin and have a true saving love for God. We must hate all sin. We can be doing very holy things, but remember that isn’t what saves. We are saved by grace and lost by sin. If we blindfully still cling on to just one sin, we loose salvation for ever. We might think we do so many great things for God and have such a great relationship with Him, that surely we are saved. Then, I have to tell you, you most certainly are lacking the true humility–knowing ones sinfulness–we need to accept God’s saving grace. We must know our misery and how we don’t deserve salvation, no matter how much “good” we do. It is by God’s mercy that we are saved, not from our works or bounds of prayers. We must sincerely desire to sin no more because we can’t stand the misery that lives within ourselves. We must have a holy hatred of ourselves so to cling to God’s mercy to transform us into His love. I promise, we aren’t on the path to holiness if we don’t make stopping our sins our number one priority and despise that we commit them. If we don’t go to sleep seeking to amend our sins, wake up the next day desiring to live our resolutions and live our day striving to fulfill His will perfectly (striving to please God), then our priorities are not Gods, and we are still rejecting His saving love. This is what we must strive for–truly strive for–perfect obedience. If we haven’t been deceived and can have a true hope in God’s mercy to save us, we will be working to become a saint, since everything else rejects God’s mercy from our still love for sin.
Please, realize the devil wants the faithful…it is no big catch to have the atheist. He wants the Christian who God’s pines for. He wants to convince those who know God and especially those who are trying to do the right thing, they are holy, when in God’s eyes we are simply miserable blasphemers of His name as we clam to be Christians, but aren’t even seeking to become saints. We want to stay as sinners. We might do great things for God, and think we love Him. And we might love Him, it just hasn’t grown into a saving love, unless we don’t desire to stop all of our sins, come to hate all of our sins and prove we haven’t been deceived and are doing this correctly, by our constant grow in faith, hope and charity (love), by the continuous removal of our sins. Our works are only great in our eyes or the eyes of our friends, not God’s unless we seek to sin no more. God could be using us for doing much good too, but God wants to use those good works for us to grow in our faith to where we sincerely love Him by wholeheartedly work to stop our each and every offence, one sin at a time, so we won’t reject His saving love. This is the truth the devil doesn’t want us to know so we will remain complacent in our sins. Our thoughts of righteousness is just a trap from the devil trying to capture God’s children, who desire to be truly faithful, in their pride. We all have pride and the devil uses it as best he can to kill us in it. He doesn’t want us to see our sinfulness and come to know our true misery. That way, we can’t sincerely run to God with a truly contrite heart but rather die from presumption.
That magnificent gift of saving grace, that Christ gave us from His sacrifice didn’t only forgive us of our sins, it also took away our sins making us a perfect saint (forgiven and atoned for), a completely “new creation,” and placed “His seal upon us and given the Spirit in our hearts as a first installment [towards our eternal life]” (2 Corinthians 1:22). And this “new creation” is how everyone’s soul must be to be welcomed into Heaven (cf. Revelation 21:27).
The state of being a “new creation”—a perfect saint—after our baptism doesn’t last for long. Our first deliberate mortal or venial sin we commit, after we gain full knowledge of the Law, destroys our new creation, making us now tainted by our sins. If we desire that sin or any sins, by not seeking to amend it–don’t truly hate it, we reject Eternal Life. Yes, all sin is just terribly offensive to God, pushes away His love and makes our purified soul impure causing us to become stained with sin again, and any mortal sin, including the willful “desire to sin,” rejects Life. Wanting to offend God is a grave matter. We need to work hard to learn how to hate all of our sins, not desire them, so to restore the saving grace practically all of us have lost and seek to never deliberately sin again and restore our “new creation.”
“If we [who have been baptized] sin deliberately after receiving knowledge of the truth [come to the age of reason to have full knowledge of sin], there no longer remains sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:26).
It is true, serious sin, sins that are of a grave matter, like desiring any sin (not seeking to amend), which we free willingly commit after our baptism, not only stains our soul, but it rejects the very lifesaving mercy, our sanctifying grace, that God anguished to give us; it forfeits God’s seal, and it embraces Death (Hell) instead. This is a horrible reality, but one we must meet straight on to combat it and win.
A lot of people don’t want to think that God punishes, but throughout the Word it clearly says God is most certainly fair and just too. Everyone will receive God’s just punishment from their unrepented sins because “the [Word provides] evidence of the just judgement of God” as He will “repay with afflictions”…“inflicting punishment…on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal ruin” (2 Thessalonians 1:5-9).
Now, from our in ability to hear and see properly—our spiritual blindness that everyone to some degree suffers from (since we all sin)—countless people are suffering greatly and unknowingly picking Hell over Heaven, because they die with unforgiven sin upon our souls. They never new they loved sin and rejected God’s mercy while they lived so they never sought their salvation. How tragic! Sadly, there are even some people were want to know the truth and are “trying to learn but [were] never able to reach a knowledge of the truth [for they still clung to some sins]” (2 Timothy 3:7).
“Children, let no one deceive you. The person who acts in righteousness is righteous” (1 John 3:7).
Do we act righteous? Do we honestly “consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials”(James 1:2)? Have we really allowed Jesus to take away our sins and now live a life of great peace–especially during our crosses? If we have truly decided to follow Christ (obeying His Word) obedience to His Word will go from non-compliance, to some compliance, to perfect compliance. If we are truly seeking to obey all of God’s Word, God will be changing us continuously into wonderful obedient sons and daughters. We will not still struggle with the same problems, we will be changing. If we aren’t successfully changing into the image of Christ, we are doing something very wrong. Turn to God in the sacraments of the Church with a truly contrite (sorrowful) heart, God’s mercy is calling us out of our life of sin, like He did with the prodigal son. He is excitingly waiting for our return (cf. Luke 15:11-32). God wants to send us His incredible mercy to heal us, take away our sins, re-purify our souls, and to restore our sanctifying grace, so we can be fully in Christ and saved. All we need to do is repent with true sorrow and change from our sinful ways, yet, over and over again we are rejecting His mercy, by choosing our sin instead.
“I desire to bestow My graces upon souls, but they don’t want to accept them [as they choose sin instead]” (Jesus to St. Faustina – Diary #367).
How can we accept God’s grace when we are constantly rejecting it by choosing to sin? We must learn how to amend our ways. We must learn how to obtain God’s grace for the strength to do so. God is so merciful and wonderful, however, He is not mocked, “for a person will reap only what he sows” (Galatians 6:7). God is a God of love and justice. If we prefer sin over His love, He won’t force His mercy (love) upon anyone; we have a free will. And if we choose sin instead of God, even though “the loss of each soul plunges Me [Jesus] into mortal sadness” (Jesus to St. Faustina), God will let us go, and we will be lost forever.
“[From the prayers of My few faithful] I have increased My graces to them [the lost]. But, in their scorn for it all, they have piled sin upon sin [and reject My grace]. (Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden).
Sadly, we have not really learned how to reject sin, and most don’t even try throughout their day to not sin. Most just allow whatever to happen, happen. But St. Theresa of Avila says we need to have the “greatest fear of offending Him,” but for most, we have no fear at all, never mind the “greatest.” The evil one has stripped fear from our lives. Fear of the Lord, we simply don’t know what that is. Many of us don’t even know what sin is any more. Oh, how horrible! We pray, go to Mass and do works, while at the same time willfully scourging Him from not seeking to remove our sins, and we are tricked into thinking we are holy to keep us blind. It is an atrocity. It is as if hurting Our God is no big deal. The connection between sin and offending God is practically lost.
Most don’t even think about if they are sinning, and for those who have some consciousness of sin, it is slight…the understanding of the gravity of sin just isn’t there anymore. We have not fully grasped horrors of sin. Frankly, we have not become truly convinced that sin leads to an eternity of anguish, even though the Word says, “sin,…leads to death [hell]…[and] obedience,… leads to righteousness [salvation]” (Romans 6:16). If we were convinced the Word was the truth, we obviously would change and stop offending God whom we should be loving, but we lack faith in the Word. We don’t have true belief in God: the Word made flesh. Nobody wants to go to Hell for all eternity. Yet, the world is dying from its overwhelming sins as their great lack of peace, distress during the cross, proves their great consequences from sin. People aren’t changing. Oh, but they need God’s mercy (help) so much.
“Those who have done good deeds [will go] to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds [will go] to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:29).
A lot of the time with religion or life in general, we put our efforts and focus on things that aren’t necessary for eternal life and make that our “first priority.” We can get so caught up on things that are of little value. For some, we will even say, “of course eternal life is most important,” but we don’t have an active plan on how to obtain it as we sadly say one thing but our actions prove another. From our passions being somewhere other than working towards salvation, we seldom or even ever contemplate eternal life. Many don’t even know what it takes to obtain eternal life. Some have been eluded by the devil into thinking salvation is for those who “say” they believe in God or show up at Church on Sunday (have some belief). From a lack of correct instruction and not fervently seeking the truth, they never obtain a saving faith. Even for many of those involved in the Church, they can have their priorities outside of God’s and lose sight of the goal—the salvation of our souls.
Most suffer from a “don’t worry, God will forgive me” attitude and exhibit a great lack a concern about how they are offending God, thinking “it is no big deal,” which is simply not true. Sin is a “big deal” and should be our greatest concern to amend…that is if we don’t want to offend God—love Him. Sin harms our beloved Lord. If we really loved God we would be devastated by our sins. Desiring or not seeking to amend one sin, is a deadly desire and rejects Eternal Life.
Or some of us are misunderstanding one Bible verse or saint quote, and we will cling on to that one deception so to not have “fear of the Lord” consume our souls so we can’t work with fervor to repent and change. Sadly, many of us want to remain blind.
Horribly, the devil has us caught up in all kinds of concerns above loving God (stopping our sins); perhaps it is being concerned that we are successful in our job or ministry, or, worried that we are not good enough at something, or not being seen as friendly or holy. Perhaps we are concerned about our unhappy spouse/family, or not being attractive, or not having enough money to pay the bills. Maybe our priorities are seeking our health, or the approval (love) of others, etc. Oh, the things we place first in our life and are concerned above not offending God…they are countless. Nothing, no matter how important it is in life is greater than seeking to stop our sins against God. All the devil needs to do is sway our focus away from the goal (stopping our sins), even just a little, and He has our souls. He just needs to make loving God #2 and we reject salvation. We can be doing fantastically holy things but if we still put just one thing over loving God (seeking to stop sinning), we still are choosing Hell for ever. And I tell you, many many people in the Church who are considered holy righteous people from their great prayers and works, simply aren’t seeking to stop all of their sins. If they are it isn’t their number one concern. The devil has them fooled. Even they don’t have been deceived and don’t know why they are alive and that is to love God (stop sinning). The devil has our soul.
“If you love me, you will keep [obey] my commandments [the entire Word]” ( John 14:15).
Our goal should be to win the crown of life (cf. 1 Corinthians 9:25). And run with a plan to obtain it. We must love God with ALL of our heart and have a plan to remove our sins by obeying God’s will perfectly. We need to honestly ask ourselves, where is our focus? What is our daily goal? How can we think we are going to be one of the “few” by not making loving God #1, truly that needs to be our greatest concern. Those who don’t look diligently, with all of our effort seeking the truth about themselves and the correct Way, they will never find it, as the path to eternal life is a hard and obscure road to walk on. Are we really seeking to love God (stop our sins) with all of our heart?
“The road is hard that leads to life [Heaven], and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:14).
“When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8). We might think that is a ridiculous Bible verse as we say, “of course there will be faith…so many people are believers.” Yes, so many believe but with a broken faith—a faith that can’t save. Will Christ find a saving faith on earth? Now that is the question. The few people that have a saving faith are getting fewer and fewer every day as the devil is gobbling them up too. He is deceiving us all. God’s mercy is calling us to change.
“Let Me tell you that there are souls living in the world who love Me dearly. I dwell in their hearts with delight. But they are few….Their number is VERY SMALL” (Jesus to St. Faustina Diary #367).
Honestly, tell me, who do you know who actually lives the Word? Anyone? Are you blessing those who curse you? Maybe you have done it once, but true Christians live the Word all of the time…only out of weakness do they sometimes fall from obeying God’s commands. If you think many live the Word, then I will show you how you are greatly mistaken. Nonetheless, everyone should be living the Word for we have no excuse, because, “what the law requires [for eternal life] is written on their hearts [from God]” (Romans 2:15). Even if we didn’t have the written Word (Bible) to guide us towards correctly loving God and teaching us how to reject our sins—showing us the path to eternal life—we should know better as God instilled His requirements of salvation into our hearts, but it is our very sins, themselves, that has made us blind to this innate truth.
“Do you not know that wrongdoers [unrepented sinners] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived!” (1 Corinthians 6:9).
We can’t tell God we are sorry for our sins, if we aren’t honestly trying to stop them. That is false sorrow and rejects forgiveness. WE MUST CHANGE.
We Lost the Meaning of Salvation
St. Pope John Paul II said,“It is URGENT to rediscover…the authentic…Christian faith, which is not simply a set of propositions to be accepted [they are commands]… a truth to be lived out.” What God desires for eternal life has been diminished so significantly over the years that tragically for many Christians “belief” has now become simply acknowledging Jesus as the Son of Man…Yes, that is a form of belief, and someone needs to believe in Jesus as their savior for eternal life, because we must “confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord” (Romans 10:9). But even the devils “believe” in Jesus as being the Son of God. As the demons have cried out, “I know who you are, the Holy One of God” (Mark 1:24). Therefore, recognizing Jesus as Lord, is simply the beginning of one’s faith conversion, towards a true love for God. That certainly isn’t the end nor is it a faith that can save. We need to “confess from our mouth [with a heart that truly loves God] that Jesus is Lord”…to be saved.
Therefore, if we are “justified by faith” (Romans 5:1) our faith/belief must be more than that of the devils, who are dammed. They surely don’t love God. That kind of belief isn’t a belief that will save. When we possess a saving faith—a faith that can keep God’s saving grace within our souls, it produces good “fruits of righteousness”(Philippians 1:11). In the Word, James 2:14 says, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?” Of course not. But it isn’t the works that saves, it is God’s grace, His sanctifying grace, from His suffering and death. The works are simply the fruit (product) of some faith, and sometimes it is a product of a growing faith or of course a product of a saving faith. We simply can’t tell. But we do know, “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). However, works alone don’t save, but they do very much please God, and show our love for Him (even if it isn’t true love yet), and show His grace working through us. Plus, God rewards us for works done for His honor and glory with many blessings, as He “will repay everyone according to his works” (Romans 2:6) and, for those in the state of grace, works of mercy/love can atone (pay the penalty due) for their sins, helping them to restore their soul to that “new creation” (a saint).
“Above all, let your love for one another be intense, because love covers (forgives and atones) a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).
So what is a faith that can save? The Word clearly shows us, the very people who personally knew Jesus, proclaimed Christ’s Word’s and performed miracles in His name, didn’t have a true love for God—a faith that can save them. Then, what is this belief we need to have to accept Jesus’ gift of salvation? It surely isn’t given to us for only “saying” we believe in Jesus or even for “doing” holy things. No, loving God is obviously much more since,“[those who] ate and drank in your company” and “taught [about Jesus] in our streets” (Luke 13:26), those who “cast out demons in your name” and performed many “deeds of power [miracles] in your name,” for what they thought was faith, were cast away in to Hell as “evildoers” (Matthew 7:22). Wow!
“A great number of souls goes to Hell” (St. Padre Pio).
Therefore, salvation isn’t technically given to us because we “do” or “say” anything. Yet, we do need to have good fruits (works) of the Lord and we do need to “say” we believe in Him. The Word does say, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13). Yes, everyone—who truly loves God (has a saving faith)—and calls upon Him will be saved, not those who don’t truly love God and still desire sin. God verified this by saying, “not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”(Matthew 7:21). Therefore, we must “do the will of the heavenly Father,” because “faith without works is useless” (James 2:20).
And what does the Father will? Well, God the Father told us during the transfiguration, when He said, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to Him” (Mark 9:7). Therefore, to have our sanctifying grace restored that we lost through sinning mortally after our baptism, we must obey—listen/follow Jesus. Only then are we in fact doing the Father’s will, and “shall enter the kingdom of heaven.” However, since most aren’t saved, the fact is—most are not obeying God and are committing mortal sin, nor are they repenting with true sorrow, when they fail. This is the reason so few find the Way.
Yes, “it is certain that few are saved” (St. Aquinas).
Mortal sin is so horrible as it gravely offends God and rejects His love. The more grievous our mortal sins are the more blind we become as the consequences of mortal sin are compiling from gravity of sin, to time not repented of the sin and from the quantity of the sins. We must also be warned, what we consider “grievous” isn’t necessarily the same as what God considers “grievous” as a lot of people have made light of countless horrible offences being committed against God. We simply don’t think as God thinks. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8).
“Moral conscience of many people becomes seriously clouded [from mortal sin]…Too many signs indicate that such an eclipse exists [loss of a sense of sin] in our time” (St. Pope John Paul II).
We can see clearly that we are becoming more morally corrupt as time progresses with bounds of offences that were recognized as sins are now accepted behaviors since we have lost a since of sin as St. Pope John Paul states. Yes, of course, God still loves us and tries with all of His love to call us back to Him by many different means to enlighten us to our errors in our ways but sadly we still don’t see. Sometimes He sends additional grace to move us towards the light but it simply rolls off of us—we just can’t accept it. We are in much darkness. We will pray and do works for the Lord, but unknown to us, “the soul will find profit in nothing…good works it may do will be of any avail to win it glory [forgive or atone]” (St. Theresa of Avila), because all is still being done while being in the state of mortal sin. However, I do want to mention, even someone with mortal sin, if they do good works, God will send them additional grace to hopefully move their soul to accept the grace to be able to see, the error of their ways so they can repent and change. So all isn’t completely lost.
To the surprise of many, practically everyone sins mortally after their baptism, except of course the mentally handicapped and young children who haven’t come to “full knowledge” of their choices. You see, after we inherited from Adam and Eve the inclination to sin, we are so weekended in our nature, we can’t resist desiring to sin (not wanting to stop) and unless we receive God’s grace will sadly choose sin over God. But if we learn how to turn to God for His transforming help, we can run from sin, obtain true sorrow for them and open up our hearts to reject all sins (not desire it) and obtain God’s saving mercy we received at baptism but lost through a lack of contrition for our sins. Wonderfully, Jesus has given us perfect guidance to teach us exactly what we need to do to find the narrow path to Heaven, to obtain true contrition for our sins so we can accept His forgiveness, and that is by following Him (obeying Him) in the Word, since He is “the Way, the truth and the life (John 14:6).
“Whoever wants to be my disciple [to go to heaven] they must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24)
As we know, even with the Word perfectly showing us the path to Heaven, sadly we still fail to obey. However, after we fall into temptation from the evil one and sin, if the sin is mortal it pushes away not only much actual grace (God’s help to live a happy good life) but it completely rejects His saving grace. Wonderfully, however, our most merciful Lord provides us a way to restore that lost grace and give us perfect forgiveness for our sins, that is “if we confess our sins [with true sorrow], He who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). But tragically, most (from the least faithful to the most faithful) don’t possess this kind of sorrow…a sorrow that is true. That is why so few are saved as I will explain later.
Mortal sin, which most—even the very educated, are confused as to what they are—rejects eternal life and countless people are unknowingly living in the state of death and committing many horrible crimes against God thinking they are just fine! Yet the Word is very clear what the mortal sins are.
For a sin to be mortal it must possess three qualities:
- Grave Matter: Must be a serious sin (like loving [desiring] sin-idolatry).
• Full Knowledge: Must know it is wrong either from the knowledge of right from wrong God places within us at creation (natural law) or from knowledge of the laws of the land or knowledge of laws God didn’t place within us from our creation (specific laws).
• Deliberate Consent: Must choose to commit the act or plan (want) to do it. Nobody can accidentally or force you to commit a mortal sin.
But understanding mortal sin goes well beyond these rules as I will explain.
A lot of people are on the right track with some of their sins. Fortunately, they can see some of their big sins and the damage they are causing their life so they called upon God through prayer and the sacraments, His mother and the saints, to intercede with prayers to help. And from their perseverance to never quit, learning from each fall, not despairing knowing God is good and will provide the grace to amend their ways, after they have accepted His grace, through opening up their heart from prayer, fasting and sacrificing, through the sacrament of reconciliation, they have overcome many horrid behaviors that were scourging Our Lord and harming their lives.
However, a lot of the time after we eradicate those blaring sins, we think we are now good. But that is the work of the devil. He wants us complacent. If we aren’t striving to become perfect, to stop offending God with all sin, we can’t possibly love God correctly since ALL sin wounds His Sacred Heart, and if we really care about Him, the way we should, we would tremble at offending Him in the slightest way. We can’t be complacent with any sin that is a mortal desire since lacking the desire to stop offending God at all is a horrible crime against God. We must always be working towards perfection as God told us “do not sin any more” (John 5:14) if we want to be free from mortal sin. He doesn’t want us to ever hurt Him. Of course from our human nature, most will never reach perfection, and always sin venialy but we must be honestly working towards that goal of not sinning—if we are to ever love God with a saving faith.
“Serve God with perfection” (St. Padre Pio).
For many we think we are living God’s Word, but in fact we are only obeying part of it, because we don’t properly read the Word to learn all of God’s commands or we have been taught incorrectly and are trusting others direction, without reading the Word ourselves, and are following the wrong path to our death since ignoring any of God’s commands–even the smallest–is a mortal offences too. Sadly, for some people, they will read the Word, however, from a lack of grace, they don’t understand or agree with some of it and then ignore God’s commands or think they are impossible to obey so they don’t even put forth the effort to try to amend their ways. That is the mindset of someone who doesn’t have saving grace or a saving faith. We can’t say we believe in God, who is “the Word [which] became flesh” (John 1:14), if we don’t believe in all of the Word. That is a must. We must believe God commands are correct and true, and that He will provide us with the grace to change if we properly go to Him. Therefore, if we love God, we need to love the Word; they are One. And the Word is full of bounds of guidance as to what a true Christian really is; that is what the Word is, our directions to eternal life.
One of the reasons most aren’t saved is they simply don’t know what sin is any longer. Yet the Word is full of directions…here are just as few. “Do you not know that wrongdoers [unrepentant sinners] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators [sex outside of marriage in the church], idolaters [loving sin or longing for anything but God], adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites [people who participate in homosexual behaviors], thieves, the greedy [not giving of your time or resources], drunkards, revilers [abusive speaking], robbers—NONE of these will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). We need to obey all of these, if we love God.
Have we been selfish with our time or money (greedy), spoken rudely with another (reviler), taken something for a discount or free (taken advantage of another) being a thief? Don’t think you need to worry about hurting God with those sins…who cares…they are just venial (little sins)…think again. Someone who loves God works hard to NOT SIN AT ALL and never justifies offending God, never desires a single sin, but repents seeks God’s transforming grace and works hard to not offend God with any sin even their venial (less serious sins). They detest all of their sins. Of course we are to remove the more grievous sins first, but true love can’t bear to hurt, the one they love, at all.
“We cling to our infirmities [sins]…He [God] stands at the door of our hearts, begging and imploring of us; ‘Open to me…my love!’ And we, so engrossed by our vanities that we will not rise to let Him in [to save us and we die from our love for sin]” (St. John of Avila).
Similar warnings continues in Galatians 5:19: “The works of the flesh are obvious: fornication [sex outside of marriage in the church], impurity [wearing, watching, participating or listening to any sexually suggestive (unholy) material], licentiousness [lack of sexual self-control-sexual excess inside or outside of marriage], idolatry[loving sin or anything before God], sorcery [obtaining power through evil], enmities [hostility towards others], strife [creating conflict], jealousy [wanting things or attention of others], anger [hostility towards others–lack of love], quarrels [making arguments], dissensions [causing disputes], factions [fighting with a group], envy [wanting someone else’s qualities], drunkenness [self-induced lack of mental control], carousing [partying outside of moderation], and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things [anything like these] will not inherit the kingdom of God.” These are just a few of the warnings and instructions we must heed.
We simply must believe the Word as most people are dying (going to hell) because they don’t. “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart [thinks he is faithful], his religion is vain [he doesn’t really love God]”(James 1:26). The Word is full of wonderfully enlightenment, if we are looking to learn. And if we don’t want to be dead in mortal sin we will seek to obey each and every command from God.
The notion that mortal sin is hard to commit simply isn’t true; that is just another justification from the evil one to keep us from working hard to amend our ways and love God. To be firm in our resolve to change, St. Benedict Joseph Labre says, “Meditate on the horrors of Hell which will last for eternity because of one easily-committed mortal sin.” It is easy to love sin (not desire to amend) especially since we have made countless sins a welcomed and accepted part of our life. We think nothing of countless offences against our most wonderful Lord. That isn’t someone with a saving faith.
“He does mock Him [Jesus]…when he says to Him: ‘O my God, I love you,’ while he loves the sin…He is not even thinking of…being converted from his sin” (St. Jean-Marie Baptist Vianney).
“All the remedies are ready to save men from eternal death, and [horribly] they despise the Blood, and have trampled It under the feet of their disordinate affection [for pleasure of the world]; and it is for this injustice and false judgment that the world is reproved, and will be reproved on the Last Day of Judgment” (God the Father to St. Catherine of Sienna).
more coming soon