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  #11  
Old 16th January 2015, 07:51 PM
OregonCatholic OregonCatholic is offline
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At Medjugorje, Mary said: "The majority of people go to Purgatory. Many go to hell. A small number go directly to Heaven."

Your proposal that salvation is rare outside of Christianity is incompatible with the mercy of God, the universal salvific will of God, and the teaching of Vatican II on the good found in other religions. Also, note that prior to Christianity, persons were only able to be saved by a baptism of desire or blood.

I certainly won't place limits on God's mercy, so I hope the above statements prove correct.


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Most Christians are not shining paragons of virtue, leading non-Christians to doubt that Christianity is the Way to Heaven.

Well said!
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  #12  
Old 16th January 2015, 10:33 PM
OregonCatholic OregonCatholic is offline
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In light of the teachings of Catholic salvation theology, in particular that non-Christians and unbelievers can be saved; one of the difficulties Iím faced with is adequately explaining to others what the point is of being Catholic if virtually anyone can be saved? Living as a faithful Catholic is arguably a more disciplined lifestyle than what other faiths require and even much more so than that of non-believers. At first glance, there just doesnít seem to be any incentive to search for truth or really change oneís lifestyle beyond just being ďgoodĒ since all anyone needs is the desire while invisible ignorance seems to take care of the rest. Itís impossible to explain the necessity of the Eucharist or any of the sacraments based on this belief.

Iíll be the first to admit I have difficulty accepting the churchís teaching on salvation theology because I feel itís gone from one extreme to another. Perhaps because of earlier misinterpretation or misunderstanding but it seems that decades ago it was no one outside of the Catholic Church could hardly be saved, let alone non-believers, and now its explained that anyone can be saved regardless of belief. I know Iím not the only one with these thoughts but let me be clear; I have and always will support the Magisterium on this. Iím just trying to understand so I can more fully defend the Churchís teachings. I really value this thread and the lessons.

How should I approach this topic with non-Catholics when trying to explain the value of joining the Church?
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  #13  
Old 16th January 2015, 10:56 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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The fact that a Jew or Muslim or other believer can be saved does not negate the advantages of the Christian Faith. The fact that any non-Catholic can be saved does not make all paths to salvation equal.

The path to eternal salvation in Heaven is easier for believing and practicing Roman Catholics, much more so than for any other group. Catholics have every possible advantage in walking that path. Our path to Heaven is the most level, straight, and well-lit of any religion or belief system on earth. It is very likely that, of all the groups mentioned in this book, believing and practicing Roman Catholics will have the highest percent of saved souls, and the least time and suffering in Purgatory.

The further away a belief system is from Catholicism, the harder it is to attain salvation. As we move through a consideration of each belief system, the further we get from Catholicism on faith and morals, the less likely the person is to be saved, the more likely the person is to fall into grave sin, and the harder it is to repent and be forgiven.

An atheist can be saved, but his path to salvation is much more difficult than for any believer. Far fewer atheists are saved than Catholic Christians.
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  #14  
Old 16th January 2015, 11:32 PM
OregonCatholic OregonCatholic is offline
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Thanks Ron. That makes sense.

It seems that faithful Catholics then would have greater opportunities to gain merit while on Earth, so would it be safe to say that Catholics would have a higher degree of glory in Heaven than others?
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  #15  
Old 17th January 2015, 04:47 AM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Thanks Ron. That makes sense.

It seems that faithful Catholics then would have greater opportunities to gain merit while on Earth, so would it be safe to say that Catholics would have a higher degree of glory in Heaven than others?

It is easier for Catholics to obtain a higher place in Heaven. But it is not necessarily so. Each individual's life is judged by God.
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  #16  
Old 17th January 2015, 11:26 PM
tapinu33 tapinu33 is offline
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Is it only Catholics that believe in the particular judgement? Also what happens after the particular judgement up to the final judgement?
Thanks I will have more questions as we continue I am really grateful for this topic as it is a very fuzzy area for my little brain.
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  #17  
Old 18th January 2015, 01:50 AM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Is it only Catholics that believe in the particular judgement? Also what happens after the particular judgement up to the final judgement?
Thanks I will have more questions as we continue I am really grateful for this topic as it is a very fuzzy area for my little brain.

Protestants believe that they are saved merely by having faith in Jesus, so there is no need for a judgment of one's life. I think Orthodox believe in the particular judgment (but I don't know if they use that term).

the order of events:
Death, Particular Judgment, then Heaven or Purgatory or Hell --
let's suppose Purgatory
Purgatory is needed to repent from venial sins and do penance for any punishment due for mortal or venial sins (that was not expiated in this life)

After that punishment is completed, the soul enters Heaven and has the Beatific Vision of God.

Then, at the end of time, the souls from Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell are resurrected and given bodies -- this event is called the general Resurrection and also the general (or final) Judgment. The bodies are befitting of the lives that each person led. The resurrected just are given glorious bodies, and the resurrected unjust (souls from Hell) are given horrible bodies, befitting of their sins.
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  #18  
Old 23rd January 2015, 06:21 PM
tapinu33 tapinu33 is offline
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Originally Posted by Ron Conte View Post
.

Then, at the end of time, the souls from Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell are resurrected and given bodies -- this event is called the general Resurrection and also the general (or final) Judgment. The bodies are befitting of the lives that each person led. The resurrected just are given glorious bodies, and the resurrected unjust (souls from Hell) are given horrible bodies, befitting of their sins.

Thank you Ron. So the resurrected just are given glorious bodies and are befitting of the lives that each person led. Is that the state of their body and soul at the time of death? I think of Mary Magdalene and St Augustine who led sinful lives but later repented and became Saints.
Thanks
Also I really struggle with judging other religions and Christian denominations. I would be eternally grateful to any advice in helping me overcome this.
Blessings.
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  #19  
Old 23rd January 2015, 11:00 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Thank you Ron. So the resurrected just are given glorious bodies and are befitting of the lives that each person led. Is that the state of their body and soul at the time of death? I think of Mary Magdalene and St Augustine who led sinful lives but later repented and became Saints.
Thanks
Also I really struggle with judging other religions and Christian denominations. I would be eternally grateful to any advice in helping me overcome this.
Blessings.

The glorified body is not the form of the body at death. It is a body with preternatural abilities, which can take whatever bodily human appearance the individual ordinately wishes. The soul is also glorified, since it has the Beatific Vision of God.

Jesus gave the example of the good Samaritan. The Samaritans were to the Jews as Protestants are to Catholics. Samaritans followed an altered form of Judaism. Yet Jesus praises the Samaritan, and criticizes the Jews (who did not help their neighbor in need). So Jesus was saying that Protestants (and by extension other non-Catholic believers) can be saved by love of neighbor, despite incorrect religious beliefs.

Jesus praised the Roman Centurion for his faith, even though he was neither a Jew, nor a disciple of Christ. The Centurion must have had the state of grace, despite being essentially an unbeliever. So Jesus taught us, by this example, that unbelievers can be saved by an implicit faith.

The atheist who loves his neighbor implicitly loves God, and so he can obtain the state of grace and salvation. It is much more difficult to reach Heaven in this way, but the grace of God accomplishes it.

[Matthew]
{19:23} Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Amen, I say to you, that the wealthy shall enter with difficulty into the kingdom of heaven.
{19:24} And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for the wealthy to enter into the kingdom of heaven."
{19:25} And upon hearing this, the disciples wondered greatly, saying: "Then who will be able to be saved?"
{19:26} But Jesus, gazing at them, said to them: "With men, this is impossible. But with God, all things are possible."
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  #20  
Old 24th January 2015, 12:24 AM
tapinu33 tapinu33 is offline
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Thank you so much Ron, this time I actually get it!!
I was wondering though if our glorified bodies that we receive are glorified to the "state" of the soul at death rather than the state of the soul throughout its life on earth? So for example if I lived a less than perfect life in my youth and died in my youth I would probably receive a less than perfect glorified body. If I lived a sinful life in my youth but then changed and became holy in my senior years, repented etc and strived to live InThe Presence of God, might I receive then a greater glorified body. I am really trying to understand the process within God's great plan. My 2 youngest children are coming to the age where they will be asking me these simple questions and I can only answer them if I fully and confidently understand it myself
I was born into a Church of England family and rarely went to Church and had no real understanding of Faith. I always believed in God as a child but nothing more than that until my conversion in adult life.
I am really grateful to you for simplifying this topic.
Blessings
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