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. We can’t just have some belief but 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 we are “deceiving your[our]selves” (James 1:22). Truly, words are meaningless if our faith doesn’t match our words. 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 will say, all we need to do is “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 keeps us from seeking God’s mercy during our lives so to grow from just some faith into a mature saving faith. But 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 [united with Jesus…not sin] and knowledge of the Son of God [The Way], to mature manhood [a mature saving faith]” (Ephesians 4:13), so we can accept–and not reject–Jesus’ sanctifying grace He died to give us from still having a liking for sin.
For by “grace you have been saved through [true] faith” (Ephesians 2:8).
Lacking True Faith – Humble or In Denial?
God shows us, in His Word, how we proclaim we “believe” with our words, but our belief isn’t enough to be true. Our Lord gives us two different kinds of people lacking in true faith: those with humility and those without. He 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 seeking His helping grace to increase their faith so they can grow into a true saving faith. But God also shows us others, who, from their lack of humility, deceive themselves and declare they believe–thinking it is true–when God who reads their hearts knows it isn’t.
In the Word, we see the humble man, who realizes his His belief isn’t yet true, when he admits, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). Then we see the deceived women–Martha and Mary–who, even though they spent much time with Jesus, and perhaps, outside of his apostles, were even considered his closest friends, but they still didn’t have a true/saving faith.
God shows us Martha and Mary, how they believed in Christ but not yet with a true faith during the raising of Lazarus from the dead. After Martha made her declaration of faith to Jesus, Jesus didn’t tell her your brother will live because of your great faith, no….Jesus became “perturbed” at her proclamation of faith, because even though she stated she believed, she still cried, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
What kind of all powerful Son of God has to be present to save someone from death, if it is His will? What kind of faith is in despair over the loss of a loved one? That isn’t trust in God’s will. Plus, they cried bountiful tears of mourning, when the only tears of mourning God talks about is mourning over our sins. Death for the (truly) faithful brings about the resurrection of Life and if we are unattached to the ones we love–if we don’t long for them/if they aren’t our idols–we will be glad for their departure if they are faithful and pray ardently for them either way (faithful or not). What kind of faith did Martha and Mary really have?
“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
Even when Jesus asked for the stone to be removed in front of Lazarus’ tomb, Martha still didn’t believe Jesus could raise him from the dead and declared “Lord, by now there will be a stench; he has been dead for four days.” Oh, what little faith she had! It was so little it caused Our Lord to weep in sadness. Yet, God from his mercy, to increase their faith, still rose Lazarus from the dead. Yes, Martha, from her pride, lied to herself, said she “believed,” when Jesus knew very well she still didn’t TRULY believe.
Oh, how many times have we called on Jesus for help, and from His mercy, time and time again, He helped us? We experienced His loving presence and His bountiful grace assisting assist us. Yet, like Martha, we still don’t have a saving faith.
“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 [because the death of the righteous is a cause to rejoice]. 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–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 have a true saving faith upon their death and are lost forever.
“Many are called [to Heaven] but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14)
To know how to interpret the Bible correctly please see our, “Bible Study by the Saints.”
Weak or Great Faith
We all have different amounts of faith. Some of us are “weak in faith” (Romans 14:1) and for some “great is your faith” (Matthew 15:28). But whatever faith we have, we are supposed to spend our lives seeking Our Savior to grow from some faith into a mature saving/true faith in Christ so to be saved by Him. But sadly most live our lives praying, and doing good works, but not seeking a saving faith, mostly because we don’t even know we need to.
“[Only] those who have grown to maturity [into a saving faith] in the grace of God will find the joy of adopted children in the kingdom of heaven.”
–St. Andrew Kim Taegon
The goal of our life is supposed to be that we have a happy eternity, 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? 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.
Tragically, the devil has deceived most, and we feel–even though God gave us His entire Word to show us The Way–most believe all we need to be saved is to just believe, or should I say…to agree, that Jesus suffered, died and rose again for the forgiveness of our sins or to “say” in our words we are sorry for sinning, and we are saved. But that simply isn’t the truth. That isn’t the fullness of the faith.
Believing Jesus suffered, died and rose again to open the gates of Heaven and forgive us of our sins is only the very beginning of faith. We must “increase our faith” (Luke 17:5).
Truly, we can’t accept God’s most merciful gift of Eternal Life if we are still weak in faith and lack true faith in Jesus.
To be saved “we must no longer be [weak] children [in the faith]…we must grow up in every way into Him” (Ephesians 4:14-15). If we only grow so far, even if we spend our lives hearing God calling us, loving us, and we go and serve God, but we still only have enough faith to cry out “Lord, Lord” like Martha and Mary and expect that to be enough, we will be lost. For God says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” (Mathew 7:21).
Therefore, if we want Eternal Life–to grow correctly in the faith to maturity–we need to learn what the Father wills. God the Father tells us what His will is during the transfiguration as He says, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” (Mark 9:7).
God the Father wants us to obey His Son. “He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9). His Son knows what we must do to obtain “maturity” (Ephesians 4:13)–to gain a saving faith. But, do we really obey God and follow Jesus? Do we really, “trust in the Lord” (Proverbs 3:5)? No; we are constantly choosing sin and upset when things go wrong. Where is our faith? So the next question is, “How can I be saved?”
How Can I Be Saved?
Horribly, we don’t do what the Father wills, since we don’t obey His Son nor trust in Him. Christ gave us the perfect example of how we are to live…all we have to do is follow Him, since “Christ…suffered for sins…that he might lead you to God” (1 Peter 3:18).
But tragically hardly any of us even try to allow God to lead us to The Father. Truly, without letting go of our will (letting go of what we want) and following Christ, doing what He did and what He wants us to do, how do we expect to be saved by Him? To learn more please read the article “How to be a True Follower of Christ.”
“Whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:38).
Now, if we do accept enough of God’s grace, by seeking to truly following Him and grow wonderfully in faith to obtain perfect faith–to perfectly love God–we would perfectly obey and trust in God, but we don’t. We don’t have that much grace. Therefore, since our love for God is lacking, we are far from perfectly loving/obeying God. Sadly, we chose to offend God (sin) so often and not love Him in countless ways, which is tragic, but this is reality.
However, wonderfully, from God’s mercy we don’t need to grow into perfect faith for salvation, even though we could and should as God’s transforming grace is waiting for us. But for Eternal Life, we must, at least, “advance to maturity” (Hebrews 6:1)–into a true faith in Christ.
We simply can’t allow the seed God planted to not grow from all of the “worries and riches and pleasures of this life..bring no fruit to maturity” (Luke 8:14). We must grow into a mature saving/true faith in Jesus.
What is True Faith?
True faith in Jesus is: when we grow in love and faith/trust to believe so greatly that Jesus is Lord, that He is The Way to Heaven, that we let go of our will and are willing to do or suffer anything to follow (obey/love) Him and have true sorrow for every sin if we fail.
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. Please don’t be deceived, remember, “the road is HARD that leads to Life” (Matthew 7:14 ) and most of us deceive ourselves.
The requirements of salvation require much grace from God to obtain…not as much grace as we would need to advance into perfect love for God, but we still must grow and grow and come to truly hate each and every sin we have ever committed–even venial sins–so greatly that we would be willing to do or suffer anything to avoid sinning, even to the point of death, than to offend Our Beloved Creator in any way.
But “in your struggle against [removing your liking for] sin you have not yet resisted [temptation enough] to the point of shedding blood [to avoid sin].” (Hebrews 12:4). Most don’t yet have true contrition. Some might want to stop sinning, but mostly it is in our thoughts alone. Honestly, we just don’t hate sin enough to rather die than sin.
This kind of true contrition–to where we would honestly be willing to suffer anything than sin–is very hard to obtain since we reject God’s helping grace that He sends us so we can advance into such faith. We simply don’t allow Him to bring us into a saving faith. But we must love God above sin and ourselves to be saved. To learn more please read, “What is True Sorrow.”
“It is not enough, my soul, to have a firm resolve to suffer death [have true sorrow] rather than consent to any grave sin. It is necessary to have a like [same] resolution to venial sin.”
–St. Anthony Mary Claret
Therefore, growing in faith to become truly sorry is much more than most understand or strive for, and as a result tragically few accomplish it. God is forlorn.
To learn more please read the article “The Lack of True Sorrow for ONE Sin Rejects God’s Gift of Eternal Life” (which is on the homepage of this site). People have lost sight that it is by TRUE contrition (sorrow) that we are forgiven of all of our sins and saved. We have been deceived!
“Thy death will not save me, if I do not on my part detest every evil and have true sorrow for the sins I have committed against Thee.”
–St. Alphonsus, Doctor of the Church
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:
- Trust in Jesus – believing all that God allows, if we stop loving our will/let it go and follow Him correctly, will lead us to Eternal Life;
- Desire God Alone– Willingness to surrender everything we desire (long for) or run to for happiness that isn’t God and His will (no idolatry/attachments);
- Only Want God’s Will–desire to let go of all we want to do or become and only want what God’s wills. We have lost our pride and don’t believe we know The Way to Heaven, but rather trust God does;
- Want to Perfectly Obey God–strive to become a perfect saint;
- Want to Suffer and Carry Our Crosses–want to atone for our sins (do penance) and do what Jesus did: suffer for the salvation of souls to send grace and to love and console God for all of our sins, which is loving how Jesus loved us;
- Have Finial 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 should be loving with our whole heart (gain true hatred for all sin).
- Sorry For Sinning Because We Have Offend God–have a great sorrow beyond word alone for offending God…not sorrow because we are ashamed of how weak we are, or because our sin hurt our life, or someone else’s, or if we were caught sinning, but sorrow because we have hurt Our Beloved Lord’s Sacred Heart of Love and increased Him suffering at His crucifixion;
- Willing to Suffer or Do Anything to See We Don’t Repeat Our Sin–make resolutions and 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 to change. We will find and make the time to do what is necessary to CHANGE;
- Want for Penance–desire to mortify our bodies–to punish ourselves with self-denial or something else to attempt to make right our wrongs;
- Humble–have great self-knowledge of our sinfulness; know clearly we are a great wretched sinners;
- Desire 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 instead of trying to look less guilty, never leaving out mortal sins or any sin we feel ashamed over or make any excuse as to 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.
“In your struggle against [removing your liking for] sin you have not yet resisted [temptation enough] to the point of shedding blood [to avoid sin].” (Hebrews 12:4)
That is why “very few Christians are saved” as St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, tells us in St. Leonard of Port Maurice sermon on The Little Number of the saved. We are not honestly striving with our whole heart to truly love God–to stop sinning–to become true saints.
Tragically, we have little, if any, efforts to amend our ways and avoid sin or do any of the above, never mind all of them with all of our heart. We are busy loving our works…not amending sin. Truly, when we woke up today, what was our resolution we were going to implement to see we amend another sin, removed another attachment, grow in prayer? Did we have any? Have we ever had any? Or do we just sin, confess that sin and then do nothing to see we don’t commit it again, out side of maybe having a thought or a prayer. How little effort we put into amending our ways! How little love we have for God! To help us amend our ways see our “How to Become a Saint Daily Progress Chart.”
“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 truly love God enough to make amending our ways and trusting in Him our first priority. Sadly, the devil will keep us acting religious and being over joyed with our works so we can live deceived and belong to him.
But reality is, we aren’t focused on truly on loving God–removing our offences against Him and trusting in Him. And we see this clearly in all of our complaining when people don’t do as we wish, when things don’t go as we desire. We see this as we still love/long for our relationships, things, sports, food, relaxation, hobbies, entertainment…bounds of pleasures of the world. We don’t honestly want to intentionally deny ourselves of them to truly love God. We still want to fill up our void with them and not God alone.
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23)
Yet, we think since we do so much with the Church, it is OK to cling to some of those worldly desires/people, believing…that God wants us happy with them. Yes, God wants us happy loving HIM, not the world. “The whole world is under the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19).
When we truly grow in faith, we want God’s will and don’t despair when bad happens, what we used to think brought us happiness, we won’t even desire…all we will want is God and His perfect will for us. And when we fail–sin–we are truly sorry and would rather suffer anything then commit that sin again, while we seek penance for our crimes against God.
This is true faith. Longing/desiring anything sinful or even non-sinful things as our source of pleasure–anything which isn’t God and His will–is an abomination of love (idolatry) and rejects God’s saving mercy for sin. Oh, how far are we from a saving faith.
“What is my will, except that you should want to love me above all things and not desire anything but me? –Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden
Sadly, we love our will well above God’s as we clearly see with our many habitual sins (sins we have never went to God correctly to amend) and attachments (anything we desire/long for that isn’t God and His will). As St. Alphonosus, Doctor of the Church tells us, the “habit of sin has deprived him [us] of Light [to know The Way].”
Tragically, we can’t see because of our habitual sins; as a result, we desire so much which isn’t to know, serve or love God and live so confused to the real faith. Yet, the evil one has convinced us, we are with a saving faith to keep us lukewarm. Tragic!
But the truth is, we are not saved; we are dying! Truly, we are not working with our whole heart to stop sinning and trust in God, since we have the proof…we are not becoming like real saints…becoming like Jesus. Therefore, we simply can’t accept God’s saving mercy since we still have a liking for sin and our will.
“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 them 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
But there is hope. God Wants You In Heaven! His 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 Cathechism 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.”
–Jesus to St. Faustina
If anyone has “ears to hear” (Mark 4:23), we can run to God and repent and CHANGE. God is waiting for us…longing for us. He has been waiting for us our entire life. Wake up oh sleeping children of God! “It is the hour now for you to awake from sleep” (Romans 13:11).
If we seek Him 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 or trust in our own will, we will finally truly hate each and every one of our sinful ways. Now, 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.
- The third thing is that after they have thus performed these things with devotion and perfect charity [as perfect as we can make], they are to go to communion and receive and consume my Body with the [true] intention of never falling back into former sins but of persevering in good even to the end.
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
God is a God of Justice Too
There are some who have ears ought to hear. But horribly, we live in a time of great darkness as most, even the faithful, have been deceived and no longer believe in the all powerful judgement of God that will come upon all of us?
“For the wrongdoer will receive recompense [what is due] for the wrong he committed, and there is no partiality” (Colossians 3:250).
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? It is true that “mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13), but that is for those with a truly contrite heart of love and sorrow for their wrongs, but it certainly doesn’t remove justice.
Can we really live life as we wish, worshiping God when we wish, obeying the commands we wish…abusing God’s love–not really striving to serve and obey Him and love like He has loved us–as He has commanded, and have no punishment? Is that what mercy really is?
“Let the fear of the Lord [fear of sin and its consequences] be upon you. Act carefully, for with the Lord, our God, there is no injustice, no partiality, no bribe-taking” (2 Chronicles 19:7).
Is mercy really the removal of punishment? Is that why Jesus came…to remove our punishment for our sin? Not at all. Sure Christ removed our punishment of all of our sins that we committed at our baptism. But after we are baptized, we are accountable for all of our sins. Over and over again in the Word God speaks of the punishment due to man for our sins.
When we sin and lack true sorrow, “…these will go away into eternal punishment” (Matthew 25:46). Punishment is real…and for those who never obtain a saving faith, it is eternal! Do we really understand this?
Mercy is for those who have run to God for grace to remove our sins and continue to do it until the end because they seek to never offend God. From accepting God’s grace, they developed a great hatred for sin, which caused them to seek to become a perfect saint. Mercy isn’t for those who prefer to not even bother working to obey God, who suffer from presumption of salvation. They desire to abuse mercy, not receive it.
God won’t force us to love and want Him. He won’t force us to leave the world and its pleasures to follow Him…He will allow us to pray, to do good works and to come to know Him, hoping that before we die we finally see His great love for us and desire to obtain a true saving faith, so to accept and not reject His saving (sanctifying) mercy, because God wants us in Heaven.
But most only grow so far in their faith and then reach their stumbling block and never obtain a faith that can save. Tragic!
Sadly, most have lost a fear of the punishment that is due to us if we don’t truly repent from our crimes against God? But “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).
ruly, God is most certainly a God of mercy and justice. And if we still don’t seek to obey any command or still desire even ONE sin upon our death, we most certainly will be liable (guilty) to judgement (eternal doom).
We must hate ALL sin…we can’t love both God and sin if we wish to be saved.
“For I, the Lord, love justice” (Isaiah 61:8).
Almost Nobody Preaches Justice
Jesus tells us, “Now, however, this foundation [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 so that they could oppress the righteous even more! But I am a righteous and merciful judge; for I do not let even the least sin go unpunished, nor the least good go unrewarded (Revelation 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 Christ Christ Himself founded, the Catholic Church. How horribly humbling are those words for those who can hear! The devil has tricked almost all of us. Yet, a lack of justice is a lack of Love. We must preach this truth!
But is anyone, in this time of great darkness, truly loving God’s children and preaching the real truth to give God’s children the blessing of “fear of the Lord”–real motivation to change–so to save their souls?
“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
Where is Our Faith?
Honestly, do we put stopping our sins first on our priority list? We might be busy doing our works for God and even praying…but we love our works and prayers, since they make us feel good, but they are in vain for most. The devil has stolen us from our pride.
What do we think about most…how we can follow God’s will? Or have we been deceived and have made everything else in life more important? Are we really willing to “tear it out [whatever is causing us to sin]and throw it away” (Matthew 18:9) so to avoid sinning?
Really? Where is our proof? What have we done today, last week, last month? Anything…anything at all? A lot of the time what we think we are willing to do, we don’t actually do. We tend to lie to ourselves. And it is the lie that kills oh so many.
To obtain a saving faith, we must gain humility. We must come to be honest with ourselves and be constantly changing–willing to change our entire life–one sin at a time and do whatever it takes to obey God–to “stop sinning” (1 Corinthians 15:34)–seeking to become “perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48) because we can’t bear offending God whom we should be loving.
That is when we finally have a truly contrite (sorrowful) heart and true love for God. To learn how to stop our sins, please read “How to Stop Sinning.”
Now, of course, to have a saving faith, we don’t necessarily need to get to the point in our faith where we accept so much of God’s grace that we can’t sin any more like St. Stephen in the Bible, who became “filled with grace” (Acts 6:8). But we do have to grow in enough grace to have a heart that sincerely wants to stop sinning and is wholeheartedly working daily to get there or we still don’t hate our sins enough and prefer them to loving God.
The sadly reality is, most hold on to many many sins from having little if any desire to amend. We think we love God, but we prove we have little love for God from our obvious liking for sin. Horribly, we have bounds of habitual sins we aren’t even thinking of amending. We are far from imitating Jesus or even trying to do so.
We might attend Church, pray often and have many works and have even done great and mighty deeds for God…that is good but still none of that saves. We must HUMBLE OURSELVES.
Horribly, the devil has deceived us. Those good works which should lead us to a saving faith…aren’t since we aren’t humbly (knowing our great sinfulness) seeking one. Our pride has deceived us. Most suffer from presumption of salvation, either from thinking our great prayers and works proves a saving faith or from thinking all we need to be saved is just some belief in Jesus. But those are the devil’s lies to keep us complacent with our sins (lukewarm) and not seeking Mercy to take away our liking for sin.
How can we accept God’s saving forgiveness of all of our sins if we aren’t TRULY sorry for each and every sin? We can’t. There is no doubt about it, we are saved by Jesus’ sanctifying grace alone, and we reject that grace if we lack contrition for just one…even the slightest sin.
How many sins are we not REALLY working to amend? Each one, even a venial one, is deadly.
“[A] venial [sin]…becomes mortal,” when someone “fix[es] one’s end in that venial sin [isn’t truly resolved to amend]”
–St. Aquinas, Doctor of the Church
Just ask ourselves, are we changing our life, daily modifying what we are doing to grow and grow into the image of Christ…the One we say we are following?
Well, some of us might have changed some of our lives once, but if we sincerely look into our lives, we will see now we are pretty much the same person today as we were yesterday–from our great lack of desire to change. Or maybe we are seeking to amend one sin, but we are not working to amend all of them? Which sins are we OK with committing? Those are the ones that have us blind and are leading us to our doom. What excuse have we come up with why we can’t even seek God’s grace to amend it? If we can’t change all is lost.
Frankly, we hardly put any attention to amending our ways–never mind our greatest.
“We should be content to do nothing else save [but] weep for our own sins and work as hard as we could to correct them”
–St. John Vianney
Tragically, most of us are still with only a little faith since we aren’t even willing to suffer at all to avoid sin, we certainly won’t suffer great pains to love God. Plus we aren’t weaning ourselves off of the pleasures of the world (idols), so we can desire God alone and save souls. No. Instead, we are seeking our next dinner out, our next vacation, our next outing with friends or our next thing to buy, etc.. Oh, what ever it is we aren’t seeking is isn’t to do what Jesus really did–sacrifice and suffer–for the salvation of souls. We simply prefer to stay lukewarm. Our faith just isn’t true.
But the devil has deceived us so to keep us from seeking Our Savior for help. We are lost.
Few Obtain Heaven
God’s transforming grace could take away those sins, but we don’t correctly go to Him. So we just repeat our same sins over and over again and still continue to indulge in the world as our source of joy. Please read, “How to Stop Sinning” to learn more.
What good are our great works…if we care so little that we are offending God? How much are we really pleasing God? Our works will merit us nothing if we don’t change.
Sadly, most think practically nothing of our venial sins or partaking in indulgneces…because the devil has stolen our horror for sin. We simply don’t understand the unfathomable injury just one sin causes to Perfect Goodness Himself. We lack a horror for offending Our Lord!
That is why, “those who find it [Heaven] are few” (Matthew 7:14). Horribly, few, even among God’s faithful, truly want to leave their sins and the world to love God.
Yes, the devil has taken away our “fear of the Lord” (fear of sin and its consequences), and now we believe we are saved by just acknowledging Jesus as Lord or from our prayers and works even though we lack contrition for our sins. It is tragic!
We need to learn how to embrace God’s mercy, not reject it. Jesus’ mercy is waiting to save us but we don’t go to Him correctly for His mercy to move us into a saving faith and die an eternal death.
Is Our Faith Less than the Devils?
Horribly, we have unknowingly traded the truth for a lie. We might love the faith and do fantastic works for God and seem to have great faith, but is any of that truly good if we don’t even hate all of our sins? Shockingly, as horrible as this might sound, our belief in God, much of the time, is so little–it is tragically even less than the devils.
“You believe that God is one. [And] You do well [will be saved]. Even the demons believe that and tremble” (James 2:19).
Yes, the devils, believe Jesus is the Son of God; they know the truth, as the devils declare, “I know who you are—the Holy One of God” (Mark 1:24) but the devils are one step above many of us in our belief. At least the devil’s “tremble” at the thought of the Christ.
They know of God’s authority and power. They know about both God’s mercy and justice. They have fear of the Lord. OK, they don’t fear God because they love Him and don’t want to offend Him, but they do fear His punishments…which is the beginning fear we must have to grow in faith to have finial fear (the fear we need to be saved).
We need to fear sin and God’s wrath that will come upon us if we don’t come to truly hate our sins, because “those who are self-seeking (seeking what they want) and who obey not the truth but wickedness, there will be wrath and fury” (Romans 2:6). Believe! God is a God of mercy and justice, whom should be loved and feared.
Obey or Receive the Consequences
God expects us to obey Him. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
Obedience is how we love God. And if we don’t obey, we must at least be truly sorry–sorry enough that we would rather die than commit that sin again–if we want to accept His merciful forgiveness. God wants to forgive us, but He can’t if we aren’t even sorry we are offending Him.
Sadly, we prefer to stay in our sins as our actions prove. How many of us are truly striving to become perfect saints as His Word commands? Anyone?
Tragically, most of us have been deceived so greatly, we tremble at nothing–not even the consequences of sin–many have been deceived into thinking since Christ came there are no longer consequences, but that can’t be further from the truth.
“Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators [sexual intercourse before marriage] nor idolaters [longing for anything except God] nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor sodomites nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
Our Faith Must Grow
Gaining belief in the truths of the faith is harder for us than the devils, because we don’t “see” God. However, our belief must surpass the devils to be saved. They are dammed.
For our belief to become above the devils, we must first take our belief in the truths of the faith–especially that of mercy and justice–and have those truths drive us into seeking God’s mercy (help) to gain true “fear of the Lord” –servile fear: fear of suffering in Hell if we don’t gain a saving faith, so we can be spurred towards hating the sins we love.
“By the fear of the Lord [fear of sin and its consequences] evil [sin] is avoided” (Proverbs 16:6).
We need to have that fear grow us into a saving faith of LOVE. That fear–servile fear of the Lord–needs to move us into a true love for God. It need to help us accept God’s grace so to move into finial fear of the Lord: fear of losing our relationship with God and offending Him from our sins. This is the fear that saves.
We must gain a faith, way above the devils, and even above the scribe and pharisees, who had great obedience to the Word, because if we obey, without true love, what do we really have, as the Word says:
“Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20).
What did the Pharisees do so Wrong?
We know loving God is obeying God’s commands as He says, “Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me” (John 14:21). But weren’t the Pharisees known for following the Law perfectly?
Therefore, keeping the commands must be much more than simply doing what we are told. Listen to the Word as it says, “no human being will be justified in his sight by observing the law” (Romans 3:20). Truly there is more to salvation than simply obedience to the commands of God.
Back in the time of the Jesus, the Jews, for the most part, lived their lives for God. They prayed in the temple three times a day, did sacrifices and revolved their life around obeying the commands of God. However, today we hardly pray, make few or no sacrifices and revolve our life around countless things that aren’t to know, serve or love God.
Since the Son of God came into the world, as God the Father says to St. Catherine of Sienna, “men are not grateful, but, going from bad to worse.” Sadly, the Jews, weren’t great in God’s eyes, but they were a million times better than we are today.
The Pharisees were at least obeying (unlike we do today), but they still weren’t doing enough; they lacked a heart of love. They were greatly knowledgeable and obedient but not for the love of God, they were doing it simply to feel or appear to be intelligent and good…for reasons of pride since they lacked much humility (knowledge of their sinfulness). They thought they were truly obedient, but their blinding pride kept them from the truth.
The Pharisees lacked compassion and love for others because they had much self-love (pride) for themselves. If we want Eternal Life we need to obey, but not just for the sake of obedience, but to love God through loving our neighbor, since all sin offends God who we are called to love with all of our hearts, through our neighbor, since every sin we commit rejects God’s grace that He intended to use for us to serve Him for the salvation of souls.
“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40).
Our God of Love is Mercy and Justice Combined
Love is mercy and justice combined. We must believe in all of God not part of Him. For our belief to be above the devils, who also knows of God’s mercy and judgement and that Jesus is the Son of God who came to take away our sins…for us to have greater belief, we must also be wholeheartedly resolved to truly love and follow God, cross and all for the salvation of souls. This is what the devils don’t have–they don’t have a true love for God nor do they honestly want to obey Him. They believe in all of His mercy and justice and all of the truths of the faith…they might not like them but they certainly believe them to be true since they see and know God. But they don’t have any love for God…they love themselves and have no contrition for their offences against Him.
Loving God isn’t hoping to abuse His mercy, hoping to take mercy when we don’t really love God and still desire the world or any sin to satisfy our sinful desires. That lack of sorrow rejects His saving mercy. God gives mercy to those who truly want it, who truly love Him, because we are truly sorry for our trespasses against Him and are wholeheartedly seeking to live the true faith.
We love God when we strive with all of our hearts to love/obey Him, when we sincerely make our lifes goal to become perfect, like God has commanded, since all sin offends Perfect Goodness. We love God when we trust in all He allows to occur in our lives because we believe He wants us in Heaven and intends on using every moment to guide us there. By hating sin and trusting in God is when we open up our hearts to accept the mercy He wishes to give us.
But honestly, how much do we trust in God? To we fret and complain when things go wrong? Oh, how many sins do we love and are not working to amend and pay no attention to? Are we horrified to commit a single sin and strive at all moments to live God’s will and not our own? God who reads our hearts knows if we trust, if we are absolutely doing our best to stop sinning. He sees our failure to love Him and lack of burning desire to change. Yet, the devil has still deceived us into claiming we “hope in His mercy.” God knows we love doing what we want as we live the good life of self-indulgence or the best life we can make for ourselves with the worlds pleasures and not seek to live His will–that of self-denial and suffering for our neighbor (choosing the cross), but yet, we will claim to truly love Him. But we aren’t even sincerely seeking to follow Him. Why are we doing this?
Without Humility (Knowledge of our Sinfulness) We Can’t be Saved
Are we rejecting His mercy and still trying to convince ourselves we are accepting it? Why can’t we be honest with ourselves? Will this lie save our souls? Sadly, many have been deceived and hope God’s mercy will save them, when they know full well, they aren’t striving to become a saint…not really working to obey all of the Word…that of self-denial and love of the cross. Where is our life of penance that the saints say we need to LIVE. St. Basil the Great tells us, “Man ought to have abided in the glory [saving grace] he possessed from God…but since he set aside his desire for divine glory [God], looking for something better and striving for what he could not attain [happiness from the world], he lost what he could possess [lost his saving grace]. And so, the greatest salvation for him [the greatest way to save himself], both the remedy for his illness [the grace to regain saving grace] and the road back to his original state [knowing how to obtain it], is humility…”
Oh, how we lack humility; we don’t know our illness (sinfulness). Sadly, we don’t see how we only obey the parts of the Word…the parts we like, but forfeit the burdens of really imitating Christ to regain our saving faith. We say we hardly sin, but we are far from the image of Christ. Horribly, we are still rejecting His mercy by desiring many sins instead of God’s love which is found through the cross. But the devil wants us to pretend like we are righteous and choosing God, when we aren’t, so we will die blind and choose death. But now is the time to ask God to help us see–gain humility–so we can come to truly know, serve and love Him in All that we do. That way we can be pleasing to God at our judgment.
“Let us stand fast in what is right and prepare our soul for trial [judgement]…Let us preach the whole of God’s plan to the powerful and to the humble, to rich and to poor, to men of every rank and age, as far as God gives us the strength, in season and out of season” (St. Boniface).
A Truly Contrite Heart Accepts Forgiveness
God’s unfathomable mercy is found in the forgiveness of our great trespasses against Him, that is if we are truly sorry for them. Throughout our life, His mercy is also found in the countless whys He has been calling us to Him so we can learn the truth, repent and change and grow into perfection. God desire us to have so much grace within us that we can’t even choose to sin any longer, and if we want it, He will provide us the grace to get there.
Despite our constant refusal to love, 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. And if we, after our entire life of God loving us, healing us, comforting us, trying to show us the Way, we still refuse to let go of any sin, we still don’t choose Him…not wholy. We still desire some sin. We can’t love both God and sin. That is a lack of contrition–a lack of sorrow for all of our offences committed against Him.
Then we appear before God at Judgement without our sins forgiven, without true love for Him, we most tragically choose Hell for eternity instead of His eternal love. “Each of us shall give an account of himself [to God]” (Romans 14:12) and when we do most won’t have one act of love for God. All our acts of love we though we had will have been acts from a deceived heart of self-love which merit us nothing. Without gaining true love–a saving faith–nothing we do, no one good deed, is deserving of any reward because all of our acts weren’t being driven from God’s will, but our own.
We know, “not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). Are we living to serve God, by following His will, as God has commanded of us to do with all of our moments in life? Our do we pretty much just seek to do what we want? “You must fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart” (1 Samuel 12:24). Are we serving Him or seeking to do what we like to do, forfitting the cross looking for happiness with the worlds pleasures?
Whatever moment we don’t give to God, we give to the devil…there is no third way. If we still cling to sin and don’t seek to stop serving the evil one, we lack true sorrow for our trespasses and reject God’s mercy. The punishment that we deserve for rejecting Him is what we choose and that is eternal suffering. The faith we thought we had in God, for most, simply isn’t true, and only true faith saves. God only gives us one life to learn how to choose Him and our eternity depends upon receiving His mercy to let go of sin and embrace His love. Understanding exactly what God requires of us to obtain salvation is imperative! What else could be of greater importance?
“O Jesus, how frightening are Thy judgments! How strict is Thy Justice!” (St. Anthony Mary Claret)
We Must Have “Fear of the Lord”
Sadly our belief in God, for most of us, is far from true and most of us have absolutely no idea we are walking around without a saving faith. Sadly, most have absolutely no fear of any kind not even “fear of the Lord” (fear of sin and its consequences). But, without fear of the Lord we are dead. It is impossible to have a saving faith without having “fear of the Lord.” This is very true as the saints declare, ” .” This deadly deception we profess, “I fear nothing…I trust in God’s mercy” thinking that is true faith, has sadly spread its cancer to even the most devout of people. It is so incredibly tragic. That isn’t what trusting in God is at all. Read the article “What is God’s Mercy and How Can I Really Trust in Him?” to learn more (link at bottom of article).
Have we been tricked into thinking true faith is when we banish all fear so we can “say” we trust in God’s mercy and then somehow avoid the consequence to sin? But even the trust we say we have we prove over and over again we don’t possess as we become angry, despair or become irritated when things don’t go as we like. Oh, there are billions of way we prove we have a lack of trust as we complain throughout our day over what God allows (which is meant to guide us to Heaven), that we simply don’t want.
If we have been deceived into believing no fear of any kind is what true faith is then according to the saints, we are on the path to death. ” ” ( ). We have been greatly misled and deceived. That is not the true teaching of the Church, any of the saints, or the Word. That is simply the devil convincing us that we can live life how we wish or only change what we want, and mercy will save us. That isn’t real faith or trust in God…that is hope to abuse God’s mercy since we aren’t even sorry for our sin for our sins unless we are working to stop them we greatly lack sorrow. How can we expect forgiveness (mercy) if we don’t even sincerely want to stop sinning. Truly, “Make no mistake: God is not mocked, for a person will reap only what he sows” (Galatians 6:7). If we aren’t seeking to become a real saint, working with all of heart to stop our sins every single day, seeking to live God’s will perfectly, because we can’t bear offending God whom we should be loving with all of our heart, then all is lost. We can say we trust in God, but our actions and lack of contrition (lack of sorrow) are proving we are not trusting in Him to guide us to the Light, but are rejecting His mercy (help) by still desiring to sin.
Without Fear We Can’t Have Forgiveness of Our Sins
For many of us since we feel we are really faithful, have been to confession and thought we had real sorrow for our sins, accepting the fact that perhaps we have never had any forgiveness of any of our sins, since we have never had fear of the Lord, is hard to accept. But if we have never had fear, especially during the sacrament of reconciliation, this is absolutely true. To learn “How Bad Confessions Damn Us” see the link at bottom of this article. It is impossible to have forgiveness without fear.
“The beginning of wisdom [faith] is fear of the Lord” (Proverbs 9:10). Without the beginning…of faith, it is impossible to advance to the end of faith (perfect faith) or even to a saving faith (true faith). We absolutely must have the beginning of wisdom to get to the end or to advance in anyway at all in our spiritual life towards Life. Sure we can still grow in faith, without fear, be we will never be able to grow towards Life until we have a good and strong “fear of the Lord” as I will explain. Horribly, most of us have been deceived so greatly, we have no fear of the suffering we or others will have to bear from our sins (servile fear) nor fear of loosing our relationship with God or harming Him by our sins (finial fear).
The reason “fear of the Lord” (fear of sin and its consequences) is needed to have any faith that can lead to Life is because without it, it is impossible to have any real contrition. It is true, Fear of the Lord = Real Contrition. If we have never had fear of the Lord, we have never had the possibility to have real contrition (imperfect or perfect contrition), because imperfect or perfect contrition is solely derived from understanding the consequences of sin (fear of the Lord).
- Imperfect Contrition: sorrow derived from fear of the punishment that is due to us from our sins.
- Perfect Contrition: sorrow derived from fear that we are harming our relationship with God and hurting Him by our sins.
If we have sorrow for any other reason, that is worldly sorrow and rejects forgiveness.
If we don’t have real sorrow (fear of sin and its consequences)–imperfect or perfect contrition–for at least some of our sins, we can never have a single sin forgiven and never obtain the grace needed to advance towards having true sorrow (perfect contrition) for ALL of our sins. Without real contrition, which is sorrow derived from wisdom, there is no ability to accept God’s forgiveness for even a single sin…never mind all of our sins and have our saving grace restored. Even if we think we are sorry for our sins, without fear, our sorrow is derived from worldly grief…not godly grief which is only derived from faith.
“[God] who will repay everyone according to his works: eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality through perseverance in good works, but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness.” (Romans 2:6).
Tragically, the devil has convinced most of us to fear nothing. We say, “do not fear, trust in God.” Thinking that is true faith. It is true we need to trust in God to be saved, but if we claim to trust, but don’t want to stop sinning our trust is in vain. How can we trust in mercy, if we are rejecting it? We must have Fear driving our change and Trust giving us hope. The only time we loose our fear, is if we grow so much in faith to obtain perfect love for God (not able to choose sin anymore–perfection). If we say we are without fear, we have been deceived. As long as we sin, we should have much fear; there is much to loose from sin. Once we loose fear, we loose our real hope in God, since we can’t accept God’s forgiveness without fear of the Lord.
Those with true faith–have true sorrow for each sin from a horror for sin and its consequences. Sin is greatly feared and causes us to tremble. With out fear, we have been caught deep into the devil’s trap and are lacking the most important quality needed to find true belief–true love–in God, “fear of the Lord.” If we never fear, we will never loose our complacency with our sins and continue to live presuming God’s mercy is going to save us when we are still rejecting God’s saving grace from a lack of true love for God–because of a great lack of sorrow for our sins.
The love we feel, for most of us is God’s love for us, not our love for Him. We ourselves return so little of His love from our very little faith (little love for God).
Having a true belief in God means we believe so greatly that Jesus is Lord that we are willing to do what is necessary to really follow Him.We will change our entire life and continue to change our entire life until we reach perfection as God has commanded of us. Of course we don’t have to become perfect to have true belief in God but we do have to strive to perfectly obey by wholeheartedly seeking to never offend God again from a real “fear of the Lord.” We must really be seeking to become like Him, “our example” which is of course working to become a real saint. True belief means there is no complacency with any sin which comes from a true hatred for each and every transgression, because sin doesn’t lead to Heaven and most importantly because sin offends God whom we should be loving with all of our heart. To have this true belief, we will be willing to be rejected by our family, be willing to be mocked by others, and be most willing to leave the world and its pleasures (deny ourselves), while picking up our crosses (don’t worry or complain about our suffering–but rejoice in it) and happily following Him (wholeheartedly live His real Word). When we do this correctly, we will grow in wonderful grace and finally truly hate the sins we once loved and made part of our lives. We will have true sorrow for every sin ever committed and finally accept God’s saving mercy and not reject it by still choosing sin over His love.
When we grow in faith to obtain a true faith in Christ, we will most certainly have true sorrow for our sins.
True sorrow for our sins: is a sorrow so great that we would rather suffer any pain than offend our Lord by the slightest sin which produces a hate for our sins so strong that we choose to work diligently daily to remove all sin, working to become a true sacrificial saint and are continuously changing into the image of Christ (working towards perfection) at a good strong rate from our good strong faith.
True Faith = True Sorrow = True Love
It is possible that we can obtain a saving faith at the moment of our death, like the criminal next to Christ on the cross did. When by God’s grace, this criminal obtained such a true belief in Jesus as Lord that it produced baptism by desire and gave him such a true sorrow for his sins that he sincerely despised that he chose a life of sin, and if he could live a moment longer, he would surrender his entire life to follow Christ in every thought, word and deed, to live only to know, serve and love God…seeking perfect obedience to His Word. He was consumed with true faith, true hope and true love. This mans beautiful sorrow was so great, and his love for God was so powerful that not only did it accept God’s forgiveness for his sins but it grew amazing so that every sin he committed after he received his baptism by desire, it also atoned (paid the price) for all of his sins and as a result, he went directly into Heavenly bliss upon his death. Even though this man most likely offered up his suffering on the cross to God in atonement for his sins out of his great love for the Lord and that love (willingness to suffer greatly out of love) atoned for his sins, “guilt is not punished in this finite time by any pain…[truly there isn’t any pain that could make up for the wrongs we have done to Infinite Goodness] guilt is punished by the pain which is endured through the desire, love and contrition of the heart; not by virtue of the pain, but by virtue of the desire of the soul [even though true love desires to suffer and give all to the one we love]” (God the Father to St. Catherine of Siena).
Tragically however, our faith in God pales in comparison to this man’s on the cross. Sadly, our faith is so little and our love for God so weak, we don’t even come close to having that kind of saving faith. We don’t honestly want to work ourselves like athletes seeking the crown of Life. We don’t even want to get off of the couch/bed if we are tired to pray or serve another. We aren’t literally striving that every thought, word and deed is strictly done to know, serve and love God for the salvation of our and our neighbors souls. We don’t surrender all of the pleasures of this world…look for the cross to suffer and sacrifice for Christ in order to send grace for the salvation of souls either. The saints loved God enough, but we apparently don’t. No, we don’t really work diligently to live the real faith we say we believe in. We have such little faith…not a true saving faith and therefore, can’t accept God’s merciful forgiveness nor atone for our sins so to enter directly into Heaven upon our death.
However, God in His infant mercy has provided us with so much help to obtain a saving faith. We have blessing above and beyond what that faithful dying man on the cross next to Christ had, so with constantly pursuit of God’s grace and our persistent efforts to change, we to can hope to obtain the faith the criminal had and become saint in Heaven and spend Eternity with Christ in Paradise too.
To obtain 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)
- 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 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. From the temptation of the devil being so strong and us being so weak, we truly need everything God’s mercy desires to give us so we can hope to be saved by His mercy and not reject it from a still love for sin upon our death.
We Need God’s Church to Find the Way
more coming soon.the whole world is under the power of the evil one