|Podcast: Are you saved?|
|Penny Catechism: Q71-76, Q110-140|
|Catechism of the Council of Trent (The Roman Catechism): The Creed Art.7, Art.11, Art. 12|
|Bible: Acts 4:12, Mt 24:13, 1 Pet 2|
|Catholic Encyclopedia: Justification, Heaven, Hell, Sin|
|Aquinas 101: Grace: Essence, Grace: Kinds & Refusal, Grace: Justification & Merit, Predestination,|
|Frank Sheed: Map of Life - Supernatural Life, Hell, Theology & Sanity - Purgatory & Heaven|
|Summa Theologica: Prima Secundae Q1-5, Q110-114|
|Companion to the Summa: Vol II|
Are you saved?
What is it "to be saved"?
"To be saved" is to be in heaven. Heaven is a place and condition of perfect supernatural bliss, consisting in the immediate vision of God and the perfect love of God associated with it.
Heaven is the terminus ad quem of man. For this was he made - it is his causa finalis. In heaven he attains his ultimate perfection from which he can never depart.
- He sees what he had believed by supernatural faith while on earth;
- he possesses that which he had hoped for with supernatural hope while he was in via;
- he loves with a plenitude of supernatural charity.
There is no faith or hope in heaven, only supernatural charity.
A soul is saved if it dies in a state of grace. If it dies in mortal sin, then it has damned itself.
How is a particular soul saved?
(i) Justification: the passage of soul from a state of sin (privation of grace) to a state of grace.
- All souls (except those of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Our Lord Jesus Christ) were conceived in Original Sin, that is, without supernatural grace (also called sanctifying grace or habitual grace). We say that in such souls there is a privation of grace.
- Souls can pass from a state of privation of grace to a state of grace by
(a) the sacrament of baptism (or the baptism of desire, or the baptism of blood)
(b) by the sacrament of penance (for those baptised souls who have fallen into mortal sin), or
(c) by a perfect act of contrition (in which, for the baptised, an intention of receiving the sacramant of penance at the earliest opportunity is implicit).
- If a soul dies after being justified, it will attain heaven either immediately or after a period in purgatory.
(ii) Sanctification: the process of growing in sanctifying grace.
- Souls are sanctified (made holier) by receiving the sacraments (the main channels of grace) and by every good action performed with supernatural charity.
- A soul either grows in grace or loses all grace (by mortal sin), it does not diminish in grace.
- After justification following a mortal sin, a soul may quickly recover and exceed the state of grace it had anterior to the sin, if it acknowledges its weakness and grows in humility.
(iii) Glorification: the passage of a soul to heaven.
- If a soul dies in a state of grace and is free from sin the temporal punishment due to sin, then it will enter into glory (into heaven) following its particular judgement by Our Lord Jesus Christ.
- If the a soul dies in venial sin or with remaining temporal punishment due to sin, then it must be purified in purgatory before it can be glorified.
Errors concerning salvation:
(a) Christ came to save all men. Christ is omnipotent and so never fails. Christ suceeded in saving all men.
Response: Christ made it possible for all men to be saved (by the Objective Redemption), but not all men will accept His justifying grace (their Subjective Redemption).
(b) By taking to Himself a human nature, all mankind was justified and sanctified.
Response: Jesus as a man (ie. in his human nature) was supremely holy, but the holiness of other men depends upon their individual correspondence to grace.
(c) By Jesus' death on the Cross, victory over sin and death was won. Therefore, all men are saved.
Response: All men a re potentially saved, but not actually saved.