What are the requirements for salvation
knowledge gives us the encouragement to seek a saving faith
To accept Jesus’ saving grace He died to give us–to be saved–God requires one thing from us…TRUE BELIEF IN GOD. “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved” (Acts 16:31). Well, what kind of belief must we have? God tells us, we can’t just have some belief, our belief must be true.
What good is it to profess, we believe Jesus is Lord, if our hearts don’t yet TRULY believe; “such faith has no power to save” (James 2:14).
This is because “The Lord, who weighs hearts” (Proverbs 21:2), knows many of us are “deceiving your[our]selves” (James 1:22). Truly, our words are meaningless if our faith doesn’t match what we profess. We need a SAVING FAITH.
“If you confess with your mouth [with true faith] that Jesus is Lord and [truly] believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9-10).
Some have been deceived into believing all we need to do for salvation is to “confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord…[and] you will be saved.” Sadly, the devil deceives many with this Bible verse, into ignoring the rest of the Bible and thinking it is easy to be saved. That deception keeps us from seeking God’s mercy during our lives so we can grow from just some faith into a mature saving faith.
Please don’t be deceived, the “road is HARD that leads to life” (Matthew 7:14).
To be saved, we must “GROW in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18), from just some faith “until we all attain to the unity of faith [become united with Jesus…not attached to sin] and knowledge of the Son of God [come to know The Way], to mature manhood [a mature saving faith]” (Ephesians 4:13), so we can accept Jesus’ sanctifying grace He died to give us, and not reject it from still being attached to our will–sin and the world–and not Our Savior.
Yes, for by “grace you have been saved through [TRUE] faith” (Ephesians 2:8).
What is True Faith?
True faith in Jesus is when we grow in faith/trust to believe so greatly that Jesus is Lord, that He is The Way to Heaven, that we are willing to do or suffering anything, even death, so to FOLLOW HIM–that we sincerely strive to perfectly obey Him and do His will. True faith is when we truly detest sinning, not only so we can obtain Heaven but mostly because we can’t bear to offend God whom we want to perfectly love and can’t bear to lose, which is how we prove we truly love Him.
This means true faith–true belief in Christ–is when we have true love for God which gives us true sorrow for our sins.
Therefore the requirements of salvation are:
- True Love for God
- True Sorrow for Our Sins
But true love and true sorrow are quite hard to obtain. Remember, “the road is HARD that leads to Life” (Matthew 7:14).
A Heart That Truly Loves God
Please know salvation is given to us by Jesus dying for our sins.
“In Him and through His blood, we have been redeemed [from death], and our sins forgiven” (Ephesians 1:7).
But this gift we must ACCEPT.
Sure, we first received forgiven purified souls at our baptisms, but we were NOT given a heart that truly loves God. Therefore, a heart of true love is what we must seek Mercy to give us if we wish to Live, because “if we willfully persist in sin after having received the knowledge of the truth [knowledge of The Way that is written on our hearts], there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins [Jesus’ death doesn’t forgive us of our sins]” (Hebrews 10:26).
Yes, we rejected God’s saving forgiving mercy from our baptism–we recontaminated our hearts with unrepentant sin–when we matured enough to gain full knowledge of right from wrong and desired our very first sin: didn’t want to stop or hate any sin so to love God (lacked contrition/hatred for sin). Oh, how young were we when we did this! Yes, mortal sins is much more than most understand. To learn more please read, “What are the Mortal Sins.”
Therefore, to be saved, we must seek Jesus, through prayer and by following Him, to gain a heart that doesn’t will to sin but WILL’S TO LOVE GOD…and so to not be deceived, we must prove our love by our actions. To learn more please read, “How to Be a True Follower of Christ.”
“The souls in hell having been found at the moment of death with will [desire] to sin [any sin], have with them an infinite degree of guilt; and the punishment they suffer, though less than they deserve [because of the infinite degree of guilt from one sin], is yet, so far as it exists, endless.”
–St. Catherine of Genoa
But horribly from our lack of seeking Christ for grace to give us a heart of love for Him, from our lack hatred for sin/self-love, we willfully persist in bounds of sins–our habitual sins–as is clearly seen in our lives because we put forth little if any effort into amending them.
But if we want to be saved, we need to change and seek Christ throughout the rest of our lives for the grace needed to grow in faith to obtain true love for God and true contrition/hatred for our sins.
“Thy death will not save me, if I do not on my part detest every evil [sin] and have true sorrow for the sins I have committed against Thee.
But sadly most only seek God’s grace for other reasons, not to grow into true love for God nor to gain true sorrow for our sins…which is why we are dying.
Mercy is waiting for us, but we haven’t been seeking Him correctly. Most are clueless we even need such a faith…so why would we seek God to give us it. Horribly, most people approach God with proud hearts…we don’t seek Him for help, so we can learn and grow in faith to obtain a heart of true love for Him, but for other reasons of self-love:
- we want God’s help in our lives to make our or even others lives better,
- we want to feel holy, successful or knowledgeable,
- we want to feel God’s love…
But we don’t seek God for help so we can LOVE HIM: to stop sinning, so we won’t OFFEND HIM again, but rather, we seek Him to benefit ourselves and others temporal needs or even selfish wants alone. Tragically, most have very little real love for God. We just keep on sinning without even an effort to change so to truly LOVE HIM. Tragic! To learn more please read, “How to Perfectly Love God.”
“That praise wounds My Heart, because love has been banished…Souls without [true] love and without [true] devotion, souls full of egoism and self-love, souls full of pride and arrogance, souls full of deceit and hypocrisy, lukewarm souls who have just enough warmth to keep them alive: My Heart cannot bear this. All the graces that I pour out upon them flow off them as off the face of a rock.”
–Jesus to St. Faustina
We Must Be Willing to Shed Blood
If we desire to accept God’s saving forgiving mercy that He died to give us, our “love [must] be sincere” (Romans 12:9). When we sincerely love God, we would rather suffer anything–even death–rather than offend God in the slightest way. That is when we finally love God above ourselves.
Therefore, our hatred for sin and desire to perfectly love God must grow to where we are literally willing to shed blood to avoid sinning–that is, to avoid doing anything that isn’t God’s will in our thoughts, words and actions.
“In your struggle against [stopping] sin you have not yet resisted [temptation enough] to the point of shedding blood” (Hebrews 12:4).
To get to this point in ones faith takes much grace, because from the consequences of Adam and Eve’s first sin, we all bear the consequence of having a great inclination–a great desire–for sin, as we clearly prove from our constant habitual sins.
Without much (helping) grace from God (mercy), we are hardly willing to do anything to avoid offending God, never mind suffer so greatly to not transgress against Our Lord, we would be willing to die.
Therefore, if we want to remove our desire for sin (desire for disobedience) and replace it with a desire to love God, we need to spend our lives seeking Mercy, so God can remove our stony hearts and give us a natural one.
“I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26).
Then we will no longer be a “people [who] honors me [God] with their lips, but their hearts are far from me,” (Matthew 15:8). We will be a people who truly “hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good” (Romans 12:9), who learned how to obtain a hatred for sin so great our hearts sincerely desire to perfectly love God (truly desires to sin no more)…with a sorrow that embraces forgiving mercy, so now, we can truly love God and be saved by Him.
“Return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, weeping, and mourning [over your sins]. Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God.” (Joel 2:12-13)
However, it should be made clear, this contrition we need to fully accept God’s forgiving mercy–to become “dead to sin” (Romans 6:11)–can’t only be for some of our sins either. This kind of true contrition–willing to suffer death than sin–needs to be obtained for all of them, since the lack of true hatred for offending God with any sin, even the slightest, is an abomination of love. To learn more please read, “What is True Sorrow.”
“If you ask me what [true] repentance is, I tell you that it is an anguish of the soul, and a detestation for past sin, and a firm resolve never to sin again…No my friends, you must not rely on tears alone. They are often deceiving, and many persons weep in the confessional and fall back into the same sin at the first opportunity…Christians who has sinned and wishes to obtain pardon, MUST be so minded that he would rather suffer the most cruel tortures than fall back into the sin which he has just confessed.”
–St. John Vianney
Therefore, we shouldn’t just seek to truly love God, but to perfectly love God–to “sin no more” Since if we truly love God, we shouldn’t want to offend Him at all. To accept God’s saving forgiving mercy, our goal must be to perfectly remove our self-love–our sinful will–so we can never offend God again. We simply can’t want to offend God, whom we should be perfectly loving, in the slightest way if we wish to Live. That means we should be seeking to become saints.
“When my friends have me…they imitate the life and conduct of my saints.”
–Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden
This is why we need to seek Our Savior throughout our lives, to send us much grace, to transform our hearts–to remove our desire for sin and the pleasures of the world–so we can desire God alone and be saved by Him. Please read the home page article to learn why St. Augustine warns us that “Very Few Christians Are Saved.”
The Requirements of Salvation (True Belief in Christ):
TRUE LOVE FOR GOD–to truly love God above all and desire nothing but Him and His will, we must:
- True Trust in Jesus–Truly believe all that God allows–even horrible tragedy–is for the good of our souls (that God will make it into something good), if we can learn, do what God wants and grow closer to Him through the cross…If we can stop loving our will and learn to let it go so to follow Him correctly. Then, never worrying or complaining through life’s problems but trusting, God can lead us to Eternal Life;
- Detachment from the Word–Willingness to surrender everything we desire (long for) for happiness–the pleasures of the world we go to in order to fill us (people, power, possessions)–that isn’t God and His will (no idolatry/attachments) so we can desire God alone;
- Only Want God’s Will–desire to let go of all we want to do, since we know it is derived from sin and only do want what God’s wills, which is perfect…not just in big thing in our lives but in our every thought, word and deed.
- Lose our Pride–fully understand we are great sinners, who don’t know The Way to Heaven/how to love Him, and need Mercy to teach, strengthen guide us so we can get there;
- Want to Perfectly Obey God–desire to become a perfect saint and never offend God again;
- Want to Suffer and Carry Our Crosses–lose our self concern (wanting to protect ourselves, having self-pity, or seeking pleasure) and want the cross to atone for our and other’s sins (do penance/make right our wrongs and cover our sins) and console God for the endless sins of man, so to love God and do what Jesus did: suffer so to send grace for the salvation of souls, which is loving how Jesus loved us;
- Have Filial Fear of the Lord–a desire to suffer death than sin…to do whatever is necessary to see we avoid all things that could lead us into even the smallest offences against Our Beloved Lord because we can’t bear losing or offending God whom we want to love with our whole heart.
TRUE SORROW FOR SIN–to truly detest all sins and be firmly resolved to not sin again, we must be:
- Sorry For Sinning Because We Have Offend God–have a great sorrow beyond word alone for offending God…we must be sorry not because we are ashamed of how weak we are, or if we are caught sinning, or because our sin hurt our life, or even if we hurt someone else, but sorry because we have our Our Beloved Lord’s Sacred Heart of Love and increased His suffering at His crucifixion; that is how we are forgiven by God.
- Willing to Suffer or Do Anything to See We Don’t Repeat Our Sin–make resolutions and suffer denial denial of the sin/world we want so to keep them, while fleeing to God and the angels and saints in Heaven for grace (help/strength) through prayer, works, fasting, sacrificing and the sacraments so we can change–to leave our habitual sins and the world’s pleasures we crave (even if it is only a little at a time) so one day we won’t offend God again and desire Him alone;
- Wanting for Penance–desire to do charity, perform acts of self-denial, or mortify our bodies (do what we don’t like)–to atone/make amends/punish ourselves to attempt to make right our wrongs; To learn more please read, “What is Penance.”
- Greatly Humble–have great self-knowledge of our sinfulness; know clearly we are a great wretched sinners in great need of a Savior;
- Desiring to Know Our Sins–properly examine our conscience daily to see our sins so we can amend them;
- Willing to Admit Our Sins–must confess with clarity and truthfulness, admitting our guilt–accusing our selves of our crimes against God–not trying to look less guilty so the priest won’t see how sinful we are but stating the whole truth, never leaving out mortal sins or any sin we feel ashamed over or making an excuse why we sin;
- Resolved to Sin No More–have a sorrow for sin so great we will shed our blood, if necessary, to see we never sin even the slightest sin again, since wanting to continue in any sin or being complacent or unwilling to suffer–from inconvenience to even death–to abandon even the slightest, is an abomination of love. We must love God more than ourselves and suffer anything so to not offend Him.
As we can see having true love for God makes us truly sorry for our sins and vice a versa. We can’t have one without the other. True Faith = True Sorrow = True Love
Yet, when we aren’t with a saving/true faith, from not truly living the above correctly (or even striving to live the above correctly), we won’t be able to understand The Word, the saints, and the Catechism properly or know The Way. This is true.
Then we won’t be able to follow Christ or allow Him to transform our hearts into natural hearts of true love, nor will we be able to guide others towards a saving faith correctly either.
“Create a pure heart for me, O God” (Psalm 50:12).
Humble or in Denial…like Martha and Mary?
For us, who have been deceived, it is very important we fully realize we don’t have a saving faith–that we aren’t in a state of grace nor living the requirements of salvation correctly–and just how BLIND (don’t know the faith) we really are, so we can HUMBLY seek God for mercy to teach and change us.
“God opposes the proud, but gives grace [saving and helping grace] to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5).
If we don’t become greatly humbled, from our arrogance, we will never learn The Way and have little if any hope for Eternal Life. To learn more please read, “How Does Our Pride Kill Us.”
Therefore, we need to come to understand our blindness (consequence of our lack of faith) which can give us the humility we need. Without great humility, we can’t even begin our journey towards finding the path of Life, since our pride will always stifle our growth. Oh, our pride must be crushed!
To humble us, Jesus shows us, in His Word, how we proclaim we “believe” with our words, but our belief isn’t enough to be true. Through His Word we can learn just how blind we are to The Truth…so we can humbly seek Him so to Live.
In the Bible, Our Lord shows us two different kinds of people lacking true faith:
- The humble–those who know they still need a saving faith
- Those in denial–those who think they have a saving faith but still don’t
In The Word, God shows us how some people are blessed with humility and know their faith isn’t true yet. These people from their humility run to God and seek His helping grace to increase their faith so they can one day sincerely reject all sin and grow into true love with Him.
But God also shows us others, who, from their lack of humility (pride), deceive themselves and declare they believe–thinking it is true–when God, who reads the truth of the heart, knows it isn’t.
In Bible, we see the humble man, who realizes his belief isn’t yet true, when he admits, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). We want to be like him, who have some amount of belief but humbly knows it still isn’t quite true belief or perfect belief and then seek God for help to grow in faith.
But then we see the deceived women–Martha and Mary. Yes, believe it or not, the sisters, Martha and Mary are sadly part of the deceived, who, even though they spent much time with Jesus, and perhaps, outside of His apostles, were even considered one of Jesus’ closest friends, but yet, they still didn’t have a true/saving faith, but thought they did.
We can clearly see this lack of true faith during the raising of Lazarus from the dead. Not only was this miracle great proof that Jesus is the resurrection and the Life (Eternal Life for those who truly believe); it was much more.
We see another great lesson with Martha and Mary in the raising of Lazarus. After Martha made her declaration of faith to Jesus, when she said, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world”, that was not a true profession of faith, since Jesus didn’t tell her your brother will live because of your great faith, as He has said in the past for others.
No….Jesus became “perturbed” at her weeping, since that, along with other words of disbelief, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” proved her lack of trust (wanting her will) and her attachment to her brother, which also proved her proclamation of faith–true trust in God and attachment to Him alone–wasn’t true.
“When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping, he became perturbed and deeply troubled [at their lack of faith]” (John 11:33).
Yes, even though she stated she believed, she still cried in despair, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” She was far from accepting God’s will.
As St. Francis was dying, he said, “Weep not, my children; must not the will of God be done?”
–St. Francis de Sales
When we trust, we don’t weep in despair. We trust. Plus, did she not know, if it was God’s will, that the all powerful Son of God doesn’t have to be present to save someone from death?
When something occurs in our life that we feel isn’t good, God wants to help us (according to His will) and to obtain this help all God calls us to do is ask Him for what we believe is best and then live in peaceful trust in what God allows–knowing whatever is allowed–cross and all–is truly best (what He will make into good). But Martha didn’t do that.
[When questioned about the “Little Way” St. Theresa said, it is] “the way of trust and complete self-surrender [to God’s will, by way of the cross–little crosses].”
–St. Therese of Lisieux
Oh, what kind of faith is there with being in despair over the loss of a loved one? That isn’t trust in God’s will. But proof of our attachment to our will and to the dead. We see Martha’s and Mary’s attachment to Lazarus as they cried bountiful tears of mourning over the loss of him.
The only tears of mourning God talks about that we should be doing is mourning over our or others sins/lack of faith (offences against God)–which is why Jesus, who experiences our human emotions, wept over the whole situation with Lazarus. Only the unbelieving Jews, those who don’t know The Way or those who this truth hasn’t been revealed would think otherwise.
“He bids us mourn, not only for our own [sins], but also for other men’s misdoings.”
–St. John Chrysostom
Yes, unlike popular thinking today, since most don’t know The Way and live deceived, Jesus didn’t weep because He was mourning over the loss of Lazarus whom He loved. Why would He do that? When in a moment He was going to raise him from the dead; that would be silly!
Does Jesus not trust in God’s will? Would He cry over losing someone He loved because He wanted him back? That would be blasphemy? Jesus is only attached to the Father and loves His will and will joyfully carry any cross before Him. He was not self-absorbed (bore no self-pity)…everything Christ did was for the salvation of another.
“Blessed are those who mourn [Matthew 5:4] speaking of those who mourn for their sins…for He [Christ] wept over Lazarus…with the fear of God [fear of the consequences of sinning against God].”
–St. John Chrysostom
Christ didn’t even want us to weep over Him suffering (have pity for Him) when He was on His way to die for our sins, since the cross was the Fathers will. “Do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children” (Luke 23:28). He wanted us to weep [mourn] for ourselves and our children…for our sins that would lead us to our doom if we don’t repent and change.
“I mourn over the sin of mankind, I am sad at seeing God so horribly offended.”
–-Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerchich
Please don’t let the evil one convince us our sinful ways are God’s ways. They are not. This is why we can’t obtain a saving faith; we don’t know The Way. Oh, the devil has deceived most.
But rather, Jesus wept over Martha and Mary and even Lazarus because of their great lack of faith.
“For Heaven will only be given to those who humble themselves and to those who mourn over their sins with penance.”
–Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden
Even after all the sisters have seen and heard; so sadly, Martha and Mary still didn’t truly believe. How crushing to Jesus! He want’s them saved so badly but from Martha and Mary’s pride–perhaps thinking since they were so privileged to be friends with “God” surely they were righteous–and being blind to their attachment to their brother, made them blind to The Way…and robbed them of a true faith in Christ.
Yes, we are never to mourn over God’s will not being what we want or to be in despair over the loss of a loved one. That is from having a lack of faith–a lack of trust in God’s will being perfect and from having an attachment to a person and not God alone. I know this faith–that saves–is hard to obtain. But we must seek Mercy to obtain it. Eternity is forever!
We can even read the lives of the saints and see some of them begin with this selfish faith and then after grace and more grace grow into a saving faith of true trust in God’s will as they let go of all in the world they sought to fill the void in their heart (their attachments) and their will…and we must too. Truly, we can’t trust in God to save us, if we don’t really trust in Him. To learn more please read, “How Can I Trust in God.”
“If I said [to myself], trust in God, I could not obey [trust], because the dear friend that I lost was both truer and better than the imagined deity [God] that I was asking myself to trust. Weeping was the only thing that was sweet to me, and it took my friends’ place in the desire of my heart…I cried and grieved because I was wretched and had lost my only joy…I was wretched, just as every mortal soul is wretched who is bound to the friendships of mortal.
We are torn to pieces when we lose them, and so become aware of how wretched we are…[but now] You [God] who are my hope, who cleanses me from the impurity of such thoughts, directing my eyes [not to friends but] towards You, and plucking my feet out of the snare (ps. 25:14).”
If we are now blessed to understand the true faith we should have, then when we mourn over the loss of someone/something we love because we can’t bear to be without them/it, we can see our great attachments to people/things, and then upon seeing our misery, we can turn to God humbly and repent, like St. Augustine, seeking grace so we can make God who we long for and our only true desire of our hearts.
We should know, when someone dies, if the dead lived a truly faithful life, who stopped seeking the world (people, power or pleasure) to make them happy and strove with all their hearts to make God happy, to become a true self-sacrificing perfect saint, who loved their suffering (for they desired to love God and save souls through the cross), then their death brought them what their heart has longed for–Christ.
Remember the truly faithful, don’t want the world, not even us (even if they love us); their heart is burning and burning to be with God, and they are really only waiting to leave the world so to be with Him. Now after their death, wonderfully, their heart is finally satisfied with its longing, and they have the resurrection of Life. Praise God! “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones” (Psalm 116:15).
Therefore, when the one we love dies, our selfishness (wanting their love) must end, and if they were truly faithful, we must rejoice in the faithful reaching the goal of their faith, the salvation of their soul.
“If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father” (John 14:28).
But Martha and Mary didn’t have this true faith yet, but God was trying to teach them through this miracle. That is the lesson in the raising of Lazarus…well, at least one of the lessons. (It should be mentioned, that even for someone who does know The Way to Eternal Life, God might not enlighten them to all the meanings of each passage in the Bible. Frankly, the dynamic lessons for us in The Word are fantastic, who would have the wisdom to fully understand them all? Only God Himself.)
“This illness is not to end in death [of Lazarus], but is for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it [so they might come to truly believe]” (John 11:4).
However, at the same time, we must also remember, that no matter who dies, WE CAN’T READ ANYONE’S SOUL, even if we think someone was most faithful and only lived for Jesus. For once we think someone is in Heaven, naturally, we stop praying ardently for their soul, and if they really aren’t with the faith they need for Heaven, we will neglect giving them of the heartfelt prayers they so desperately need.
Therefore, never declare someone in Heaven (we can’t read their soul). Declare them needing our prayers so our love for them (demonstrated by praying) can help them get there. That is how we live the true Christian faith. We live for the salvation of souls…not to make ourselves feel better by saying our loved ones are in Heaven. That does nothing for them. To learn more please read, “How to Save The Soul of Someone Dying.”
But of course, if someone dies, who wasn’t living with a saving faith of true love for God/true hatred for sin and the world, as was clearly prevalent in the life they lived, then we shouldn’t be happy for their departure…but sad for their poor sinful soul never finding their Love correctly on earth.
“Our Lord groaned, wept…It is hard for him [Lazarus] to arise, who is bowed down with the weight of evil habits…[but then] Lazarus came forth from the grave, signifies the soul’s deliverance from carnal sins [seeking the pleasures of the world and not God].”
–St. Aquinas (Catena Aurea: Augustine)
When a soul not in the state of grace dies, we can mourn for the dead–OVER THEIR SINFULNESS (losing/offending God because of their sins), seeking mercy for them–as we pray and pray for mercy to come upon them, to bring them into the faith they need to be saved, but still while remaining in peaceful trust in God’s will (no despair), following the example Christ gave us when he wept over Lazarious.
“On the day of his [my father’s] death Jesus told me [to guide my sorrowful heart to The Way] not to give way to useless weeping and wailing, so I spent the day praying in resignation to the will of God.”
–St. Gemma Galgani
But we must know, since we can’t read anyone’s soul, at the moment of death, when the flood of grace goes to the dying soul, with the hopes they accept it, the dying most certainly can finally accept God’s saving forgiving mercy, even if they rejected it their entire life. This is very rare, but possible. So never stop praying…the grace from those prayers will go back in time to when they died to help save their soul.
However, we should know, missing someone isn’t sinful…even if it brings a tear to our eye of sadness. It is a cross. It only becomes sinful, when we long to have them back against God’s will or if it removes our peaceful trust in God’s will. That cross is to be peacefully (and if we have enough grace, joyfully) carried with Christ for the salvation of souls. To learn more please read, “How to Trust in God.” Also, crying with someone (having pity for them) over their loss because they don’t have Christ to fill them (to bring them peace) isn’t sinful either. To learn more please read, “How to Console the Grieving.”
But Martha and Mary’s lack of faith didn’t end there. Even when Jesus asked for the stone to be removed in front of Lazarus’ tomb, Martha still didn’t really believe Jesus could raise him from the dead even though moments earlier she said, “even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you” but she proved she didn’t really believe that by stating “Lord, by now there will be a stench; he has been dead for four days.” Oh, what little faith she had!
“Martha said this from weakness of faith, thinking it impossible that Christ could raise her brother, so long after death.”
–St. Aquanas (Catena Aurea: Theophylact)
Her faith was so little, it caused Our Lord to weep in sadness for their sins seeking mercy for them and even said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?” But she didn’t really believe…therefore, she just didn’t have the faith to understand what God was talking about (the two types of glory God was speaking about). Yet, Jesus from His mercy to increase their faith cried tears of love (for their souls) and through showing His glory, rose Lazarus from the dead.
“The Saviour weeping for the death of Lazarus…Behold how our God loves men…Jesus wept and offered to His Father His tears to obtain us pardon for our sins. ‘These tears,’ says St. Ambrose, ‘washed away my sins;’ by His cries and tears He implored mercy for us who were condemned to eternal death.”
Yes, Martha, from her pride, lied to herself, said she “believed,” when Jesus knew very well she still didn’t TRULY believe. But Christ didn’t leave her to die in her blindness, but provided a wonderful miracle to hopefully move their hearts into truly believing in Jesus so much that they would lose their attachments to one another and seek to become attached to their Savior alone having full trust in Him.
Oh, how many times have we called on Jesus for help and from His mercy, time and time again, He helped us? But like Martha, we still don’t have a saving faith of true trust and total detachment from the world. Oh, but God wants us to obtain one from seeing His glory (His power to heal and help us) so we can Live too.
“When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him…Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. [But] even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” Martha [not believing/being confused] said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” [Being deceived] She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world”…
When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping [with little faith] and the Jews who had come with her weeping, he became perturbed [at their lack of faith] and deeply troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Sir, come and see.” And Jesus [seeing how his beloved friends still had such little faith] wept. So the Jews [misunderstanding Jesus’ tears] said, “See how he loved him.” But [from their lack of faith] some of them said, “Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man have done something so that this man would not have died?”
So Jesus, perturbed again [at their little faith], came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay across it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the dead man’s sister, [still not believing Jesus could raise Lazarus] said to him, “Lord, by now there will be a stench; he has been dead for four days.” Jesus [trying to show her lack of faith] said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?” (John 11:20-40).
Hopefully, after God’s great miracle of love for Martha and Mary–seeing their brother rise from the dead–and learning the lessons God was trying to teach them, they finally saw their lack of true faith, humbled themselves, repented and grew into a continuous saving/true faith in Christ. However, most tragically, as The Word says, “few” truly repent and change and obtain a true saving faith upon their death and are lost forever. We don’t want to be one of them…let’s seek Mercy to save us.
“Many are called [to Heaven] but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14)
If we have been deceived into incorrectly understanding this Bible verse, then we must know it’s most likely because we don’t understand the basic requirements of salvation from not living the faith correctly. But this isn’t the only passage we are deceived with….no, this passage is just proving to us how the most basic principles of the faith that of Trust in God and being attached to God alone (rejection of attachments/the world), we don’t really understand…since we aren’t correctly living faith nor honestly striving to live the faith.
This is the truth. The dynamics of our lack of understand goes well beyond not comprehending this one passage alone; surely it extends out to all of them to some degree. Shocking? Yes. But sadly, true.
“The vast majority of Christians are enveloped in the most shocking ignorance [of their faith].”
–St. John Baptist Vianney
Yes, even if we have spent our life studying scripture, have bounds of degrees in theology and are a leader and teacher of the faith…even if we are seen as greatly holy, if we have been deceived and don’t understand this basic Bible verse, we are vastly blind.
But if we are suffering from much pride, being called vastly blind is going to be a big problem for us…but it doesn’t have to offend us, prevent us from acknowledging the truth and keep us blind living in the dark. Please, please humbly accept reality and run to God, with great humility wanting to repent and learn The Truth, so we don’t die and lead others to their death (Hell) too, with every wrongful word we speak and action we make.
Eternity is forever!
“There are doubtless, few to be found in these lamentable times to lead souls [to Heaven] in the way of perfection.”
–St. Vincent Ferrer
To know how to interpret the Bible correctly please see our, “Bible Study by the Saints.” Today, since we live in a time of such great darkness only the saints, who we know found The Way to Eternal Life, can be trusted to show us The Way to Heaven correctly and even the saints lack perfect understanding (each saint has different amounts of wisdom). But they all know The Way. They are our only hope. Let’s learn from them. To learn more please visit “Books Written By the Saints.”
“You must understand this, that in the last days distressing times will come. For people will be lovers of themselves…lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the outward form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid them!” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
Be careful to not become deceived and follow the lost to Eternal Doom. But we are most likely one of these people, who are lost and leading others away from the true faith. Even though we might have been misled by others, we most likely have mislead others too. Therefore, we must acknowledge our failures to live and teach The Word correctly and seek mercy to teach us His blessed ways. To learn more please read, “What Does Evil Look Like.”
However, nobody should seek to obtain knowledge without seeking contrition first…that would be our pride wanting to have knowledge for the sake of building up ourselves. We wouldn’t seek knowledge to help us amend our ways and lead others to Life, so we can love God, but to feel better about ourselves…to feel like we have correct knowledge like we should.
True contrition must be sought first (a real hatred for sin/resolve to amend our ways)…of course it doesn’t have to be fully obtained, but we must have honestly, humbly sought Christ to help us amend our sinful ways and grow in sorrow for our sins/love for God, or all the knowledge in the world will obtain us nothing, since we won’t have the wisdom to know how to use it.
However, please know even Peter, the great leader of the apostles, was greatly blind to his lack of faith too…“‘I will lay down my life for you [Peter declared].’ Jesus answered, ‘Will you [really] lay down your life for me? Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times.’” (John 13:37-38).
If we can see God’s lessons of love and humbly sincerely repent (know our weakness and need for mercy), we can receive God’s unfathomable grace and grow in wonderful faith that can save bounds of souls, including our own, like the saints before us have done. We just need to see our lack of faith and need for Mercy.
To help save souls pray and sacrifice for them…especially for God’s beloved priests. You can even start a prayer group in your church, please visit “PrayingforPriests.com”
The Foundation of the Church is Undermined
The main reason the foundation of the Catholic Church is undermined–that we don’t understand The Way–is because we don’t preach “Fear of the Lord.” The people don’t really know there are consequences from our sins and from living for the pleasures of the world. Now, we have no real motivation to amend/leave them. To learn more please read, “What is Fear of the Lord.”
“This foundation [of the Catholic Church] is undermined because all believe and preach that I am merciful, but almost no one preaches or believes me to be a righteous judge. They view me as an unjust judge! Unjust and unrighteous, indeed, would the judge be who, out of mercy, allowed the unrighteous to go unpunished.”
–Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden
Tragically, as Jesus said, “almost no one” even has the faith to understand God’s justice–even within the only Church Christ Himself founded, the Catholic Church. That means almost no one knows The Way. How horribly humbling are those words for those who can hear! The devil has tricked almost all of us. A lack of justice is a lack of Love.
“For the wrongdoer will receive recompense [what is due: temporal or eternal punishment] for the wrong he committed, and there is no partiality” (Colossians 3:25).
We must preach this truth!
EVERY SIN we have ever committed after our baptism–forgiven or not–is going to receive its due punishment (temporal or eternal) for disobeying God. Yes, even if we are so blessed to obtain true contrition for a sin or even for all of our sins and we are forgiven, there is temporal punishment for every sin–on earth or in purgatory, if we didn’t atone–cover them or have a punishment for them on earth–before death, that is if we do grow enough in faith to obtain a saving faith…but for everyone else who doesn’t obtain a saving faith upon their death, there will be eternal punishment for each and every sin, forgiven or not, which is just unfathomable!
“O Jesus, how frightening are Thy judgments! How strict is Thy Justice!”
–St. Anthony Mary Claret
Yes, we will be punished! God is all just. But now, while we are alive on earth, since it is the time for mercy, the punishment is less harsh, but after death, since that is the time of justice, Thy punishments will be much harsher. Therefore, seek to live a life of penance and atone for our sins now. Truly, we will not escape judgement.
We must work and work hard to sanctify our souls and atone for our sins. But is anyone in this time of great darkness, truly loving God’s children and preaching that there are real consequences to our sins to give God’s children the blessing of “fear of the Lord”–real motivation to seek their Savior so to change–to save their souls and avoid temporal or eternal punishment?
The goal of our life is supposed to be that we have a happy eternity loving God, but how many of us even know we must grow in faith to obtain a mature saving faith in order to truly reject all sin and accept God’s saving forgiving mercy so to Live?
Outside of the saints, has this been preached? Tragically, no. Oh, how many lives are being lost…as we remain silent, complacent with our sins and love for the world? We should be “WARNING EVERYONE and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ” (Colossians 1:28), but we are not.
“More darkness and division have come into the world amongst seculars and religious and the clergy and pastors of the holy Church, through the lack of the light of justice, and the advent [birth] of the darkness of injustice, than from any other causes.”
–God the Father to St. Catherine of Sienna
Horribly, since we live in a time of great darkness most, even the faithful, have been deceived and no longer really believe in the all powerful judgement of God that will come upon all of us? But The Word is clear.
“We ought to be fearful of disobeying lest any one of you be judged to have lost his chance of entering [Heaven from not truly hating sin/loving God].” (Hebrews 4:1-2)
Oh, most have been convinced our God of Love is not really a God of justice too. Do we really think since our God is all love, mercy removes justice? Did Jesus come to remove our punishment for our sin, so we can offend Him and have no consequences? Not at all. The horror! To learn more please read, “Why Does God Allow Suffering and Punishment.”
“For if we willfully persist in sin after having received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins [like has occurred for all of us], but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire [is our lot, if we don’t repent]…
Anyone who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy “on the testimony of two or three witnesses.” How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by those who have spurned the Son of God, profaned the blood of the covenant by which they were sanctified [rejected the saving purifying grace which we received at baptism], and outraged the Spirit of grace? [What punishment do we deserve?] For we know the one who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God [without contrition or atoning for our sins]” (Hebrews 10:26-30).
Should we not fear the punishment of God? It is real. We fear our earthly father’s punishments if we do wrong, but why don’t we fear our Heavenly Father’s punishments…God is full of perfect justice; we won’t get away with anything.
“Great is his mercy, so also [great] is his chastisement” (Sirach 16:12).
It is true that “mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13), but that is only for those who obtain a truly contrite heart of love for God. And the punishment that forgiving mercy will free us from is Eternal Doom…but not the punishment due for each sin.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Remember, even if we escape eternal doom from obtaining perfect/true contrition for every sin and are completely forgiven, we are still accountable for every sin committed after baptism and must atone (pay the price) for them all. Yes, mercy, most certainly doesn’t remove justice…it unbinds the chains of death for the contrite of heart, but we are still going to receive a punishment for literally every sin.
“If you invoke as Father [God] the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds, live in reverent fear during the time of your exile [so to avoid sinning and the judgement which is to come]” (1 Peter 1:17).
Sure Christ removed our punishment for all of our sins at our baptism, when He purified our souls. But after we were baptized, when we sinned again and re-soiled our garments, we are now accountable all over for all of those new sins. Over and over again in The Word, God speaks of the punishment due to man for our sins. Please don’t be deceived. Seek Mercy to save us and help us remove/atone for the punishments due to us for our sins, so when we die we can go straight to loving God.
“Then I saw the Mother of God, who said to me…I gave the Savior to the world; as for you, you have to speak to the world about His great mercy [help for us, wretched sinners, so we don’t perish and suffer from eternal punishment] and prepare the world for the Second Coming of Him who will come, not as a merciful Savior, but as a just Judge. Oh, how terrible is that day! Determined is the day of justice, the day of divine wrath. The angels tremble before it.
Speak to souls about this great mercy while it is still the time for [granting] mercy. If you keep silent now, you will be answering for a great number of souls on that terrible day. ”
What Good Are All of Our Prayers and Works?
Hopefully, we have ears that can hear and want to seek God for the grace we need to change our life. We simply can’t think we are doing enough. What good are all of our prayers and works, if our hearts aren’t changing? Oh, how much we grieve God by our unrepentant unchanged sins!
“When the Lord saw how great the wickedness of human beings was on earth…his heart was grieved (Genesis 6:5-6).
We grieve Our Lord’s Sacred Heart of Unfathomable Love in so many ways. What good are all of our thoughts, prayers and works if we don’t even love God enough to make amending our ways our first priority. Sadly, the devil keeps us blind…acting religious but really living a lie, so we can belong to him.
Reality is, we aren’t focused on truly on loving God–removing our offences against Him and growing in faith and trust.
We see our lack of faith–lack of trust in God–clearly in all of our complaining we have when God allows something in our life that we don’t desire. We must learn that is meant to lead us to Life.
We see our lack of faith, when instead of longing for God alone, through the cross, to fill the desires of our hearts, we still long for our relationships, things, money, sex, sports, food, relaxation, hobbies, entertainment, fame, success…bounds of pleasures of the world (our idols). We see our lack of faith in our constant habitual sins we commit from not putting forth a true effort to amend, since we still desire to satisfy our longings of the flesh to love ourselves, not God.
Oh, our hearts don’t truly love God and desire Him alone…nor are we even trying to obtain this kind of faith. Horribly, we don’t honestly want to follow Christ and live the faith by leaving sin and intentionally deny ourselves of the world’s pleasures to put our hearts and minds on God alone. We still want to fill up our void in our hearts with the world and not God, who truly satisfies all the longings of the heart. To learn more please read, “How to Become Attached to God and Not the World.”
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).
Yet, most people believe we are saved regardless and are going to be rewarded for all of the good we are doing, when in reality we are rejecting God for the world and bounds of sins. We are praying and doing good works with souls outside of the state of grace and are receiving no reward upon our death for anything…since everything was done from a heart of self-love.
“But, you will say [at judgement], what about all the good works we have done, were they all in vain? All those fastings, penances, almsgivings, the communions and confession, do they not deserve any recompense [reward]?
No; Jesus Christ will say to you. Your prayers were only idle babbling, your fasting hypocrisy, your almsgiving vain seeking for notoriety; I was never [truly] considered in any of your doings [but you deceive yourselves]…your sins still live [you don’t truly hate them therefore I haven’t taken your sins away] and they will live forever before me. Depart, ye accursed, into eternal fire, which is for all those who have thought [so] little of Me in life [to not even seek to amend your ways].”
–St. John Vianney
St. Alphonsus, Doctor of the Church tells us, the “habit of sin has deprived him [us] of Light [to know The Way].” Yes, we can’t see The Way because of our habitual sins. We haven’t been honestly working to amend them, so we can let the light of truth into our hearts or to even learn the truth about our great sinfulness. As a result, we love so much sin…so much that isn’t to know, serve or love God and live so confused as to what a true faith in Christ really is. Tragic!
The truth is, we are not saved; we are dying!
Yet, despite our constant refusal to love God, God still pines for us to choose Him and not sin. But love doesn’t force. Love invites, love inspires, love encourages, love teaches, love punishes (to teach), but love doesn’t make us love Him. We must, from our free will, choose God.
If after our entire life of God loving us, healing us, comforting us and trying to show us The Way, we still refuse to let go of any sin/any worldly attachment, we won’t choose Him.
When we appear before God Almighty at Judgement without our sins forgiven, without true love for Him, we most tragically will choose Hell for eternity instead of His eternal love. Horrible!
Yes, “each of us shall give an account of himself [to God]” (Romans 14:12) and sadly, most won’t even have one act of love to present to God. All our acts of love that we thought we had will have been acts from deceived hearts of self-love, which merits us nothing.
Without gaining true love–a saving faith–nothing we do, not one good deed, is deserving of any reward, upon death, because all of our acts weren’t being driven from God’s will, but our own, because when we have a saving faith, as we learned above, we have relented of our will for God’s.
Mercy is Waiting to Heal Us and Save Us
But we don’t have to die. Please hear God calling for you. He wants you saved. Mercy is waiting to heal us of our love for sin/the world, so we can grow in faith and atone for our sins, but we must humbly go to Him wanting to stop offending Him. This is done especially through prayer and the worthy reception of the sacraments, but sadly we don’t know how to receive the sacraments worthy either. To learn more please read, “How to Receive Holy Communion Worthily” and “How to Make a Good Confession.”
“If sinners knew My mercy [help], they would not perish in such great numbers. Tell sinful souls not to be afraid to approach Me; speak to them of My great mercy [which is waiting to help us save our souls no matter how far from God we are]…The loss of each soul plunges Me into mortal sadness.”
–Jesus to St. Faustina
Plus, there are so many faucets of praying humbly and most don’t do correctly either, so when we approach God we reject His grace. But we don’t need to be one of them, who reject mercy. Nor one who beats God as we ask for mercy….like horribly most do. To learn more please read, “How to Pray Humbly.”
There is hope, if anyone has “ears to hear” (Mark 4:23); we can run to God’s unfathomable mercy and repent and CHANGE. God is waiting for us…longing for us. He has been waiting for us our entire lives. Wake up oh sleeping children of God! “It is the hour now for you to awake from sleep” (Romans 13:11). God Wants You In Heaven! But we must be persistent. We can’t hear today and go deaf tomorrow when something of the world distracts us. We must persist in seeking Mercy if we want to be saved.
God’s grace can give us true hatred for our sins, true love for God, true trust in Him and true sorrow for our sins. Jesus’ grace alone is what saves. With God all things are possible. We need to LEARN THE WAY, as this website, the saints and the Catechism (correctly translated) and of course The Word teaches so we can learn how to obtain His help. His transforming grace (actual grace) is waiting to strengthen us, if we can humble ourselves before Him, to grow in faith–into a saving faith. Go to Him!
“I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My Merciful Heart…Tell sinners that I am always waiting for them…Come to Me, all of you. Be not afraid of your Savior; O sinful soul. I make the first move to come to you, for I know that by yourself you are unable to lift yourself to me.
Child, do not run away from your Father [I want to save you]; be willing to talk openly with your God of mercy [about your sinfulness and desire to change] who wants to speak words of pardon and lavish his graces on you [so you can amend your ways and obtain a saving faith]. How dear your soul is to Me! I have inscribed your name upon My hand; you are engraved as a deep wound in My Heart.”
If we seek Our Lord correctly, we will grow in faith to where we can finally call on “the name of the Lord [with a heart that truly wants God (not sin) and we] will be saved” (Romans 10:13), because we finally don’t want to continue in our sins nor trust in our own will; we finally seek to truly hate each and every one of our sinful ways and desire to truly trust in Him for a life and eternity of great peace. After our transfomation, when we call on God, we will wholeheartedly want Him and not anything else.
God’s mercy is waiting for us, please listen to what Jesus told St. Bridget of Sweden in her revelations as to what we need to do to accept His grace and friendship:
“My mercy, however, is this: namely, that none of my very enemies [those with unrepentant sin] is so thorough or so great a sinner that my mercy would be denied him if he were to ask for it humbly and wholeheartedly. Wherefore [if we are truly humble and wholeheartedly seek to stop sinning], my enemies must do three things if they wish reconcile themselves to my grace and friendship:
- The first is that with all their heart they repent and have contrition because they have offended me, their Creator and Redeemer.
- The second thing is confession – clean, frequent, and humble– which they must make before their confessor. And thus let them amend all their sins by doing penance and making satisfaction in accord with that same confessor’s council and discretion. For then I shall draw close to them, and the devil will be kept far away from them.
If anyone, therefore, amends his life in this manner, at once I will run out to meet him as a loving father runs to meet his wayward son; and I will receive him into my grace more gladly than he himself could have asked or thought. And then I will be in him, and he in me; and he shall live with me and rejoice forever. But upon him who perseveres in his sins and malice my justice shall indubitably come.
–Jesus to St. Bridge of Sweden
Wonderfully, God in His infinite mercy has provided us with so much help so we can amend our sins and obtain a saving faith. Since Christ has come, we have blessing above and beyond any man in history. We just need to seek Him with a humble contrite heart to obtain it.
To obtain the True Belief in Christ that we need to be saved, God provides us with the following ways of obtaining His most merciful grace (help):
- His Mother
- Good works
- Alms giving (giving money)
- Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
- Penance (confession)
- Holy Communion (receiving God’s actual body and blood)
- Holy Orders (a member of the clergy)
- Matrimony (a partnership of the whole of life between a man and woman)
- Extreme Unction (anointing of the sick)
Because it is so hard to obtain the faith we need to truly reject sin and embrace God’s forgiving mercy, it would be devastating to our spiritual growth if we intentionally did not partake in any one of these gifts God has given us. We need all of the help we can get. We are incredibly weak. To learn more please read “What is God’s Mercy and How Can I Receive It.”
Turn to God for help. He is waiting. Eternity is forever!