Monday, November 20, 2017
WHAT ABOUT GOOD WORKS? EVEN MANY PRE-VATICAN II CATHOLICS THOUGHT GOOD PEOPLE WHO DIDN'T GO TO CHURCH HAD A PASSPORT INTO HEAVEN! IS POPE FRANCIS PRE-VATICAN II?
I got many mixed messages from Catholics when I was growing up. "He doesn't practice the Catholic faith, but he is as good as gold!" "I can't believe God would condemn her to hell, she would give the shirt off her back to anyone in need."
These sorts of sentiments were prevalent in many Christians back in the day including Catholics.
Can we say that God's grace is at work in a good person who has faith, but not a Catholic faith, but a do-it-yourself faith?
Many non-practicing Italian Catholics, back in the day, would have all kinds of devotional images in their homes and would call upon the Madonna day and night but never set foot in church except for baptisms, weddings, and funerals. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
Maybe there are many narrow roads to heaven and passports to enter at the gate of heaven where St. Peter, a good Italian, lets people pass or crawl under in the dark of night.
Wouldn't you want your mom who was a good as gold and gave the shirt off her back for the needy person to go to heaven rather than hell for eternity simply because she didn't go to church?
Posted by Fr. Allan J. McDonald at Monday, November 20, 2017
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"Can we say that God's grace is at work in a good person who has faith, but not a Catholic faith, but a do-it-yourself faith?"
Yes. CCC 2011 The charity of Christ is the source in us of all our merits before God.
Aside from the argument about good works, belief is primary. "Lord, what must we do to be saved?" "Believe on Him who was sent." No matter the good works, the nice thoughts, the charity, etc. if one does not believe they are not saved...leaving out the possibility of some mercies on God's part for certain people. Although we cannot place limits upon God's mercy, neither can we take for granted His grace...nor can we ignore the very stern warnings in the New testament about unbelief.
The pre-Vatican II Catholic Church taught that one must be in a state of grace in order for good works to merit. That has to be the line in order to avoid Pelagianism.
Does God condemn "good people" simply because they did not go to Church? According to Catholic teaching, that is not the result. First, people who appear to be "good" but do not go to Church are not actually "good." Second, their failure to go to Church indicates their lack of election since the Church follows Thomas Aquinas in saying that God would send an angel to convert one of the elect, if that is what were required. Finally, the Church teaches that everyone has been given sufficient grace to be saved, and these people, although seemingly "good" have rejected that grace and, as a result, will be condemned.
If these principles sound harsh, you'll have to take that up with Augustine and Aquinas. But this is what the Catholic Church teaches.
It does not seem much of a stretch that someone could reject the Church or even Christ through ignorance and wrongful association of flawed Catholics and our actions. An impurity in that thought process is to use a flawed Catholic as an excuse to reject Christ and His Church. I do not hold myspef up as a good example but I believe I benefited from the many, many years of sad Liturgy and hypocritical politicized clergy by continued dedication to my obligations. I think it made the thirst more acute. The bridegroom refused to recognise the virgins who let their lights go out and, therefore came late to the feast. That is pretty direct and came from Him as a lesson. If you know better you bear a greater responsibility.
CCC 781 " "At all times and in every race, anyone who fears God and does what is right has been acceptable to him. He has, however, willed to make men holy and save them, not as individuals without any bond or link between them, but rather to make them into a people who might acknowledge him and serve him in holiness. He therefore chose the Israelite race to be his own people and established a covenant with it. He gradually instructed this people. . . . All these things, however, happened as a preparation for and figure of that new and perfect covenant which was to be ratified in Christ . . . the New Covenant in his blood; he called together a race made up of Jews and Gentiles which would be one, not according to the flesh, but in the Spirit."
Colin Donovan (EWTN Website) "The doctrine that "Outside the Church there is no salvation" is one that is constantly misinterpreted by those who won't submit to the Magisterium of the Church. Faith does not depend upon our ability to reason to the truth but on our humility before the Truth presented to us by those to whom Christ entrusted that task. This is why the First Vatican Council taught that it is the task of the Magisterium ALONE to determine and expound the meaning of the Tradition - including "outside the Church no salvation."
CCC 846 "How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body: Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it."
That is the teaching of the Church.
This is a bit off the topic, but I wonder how many of the so-called "progressive clergy" over in Alabama (who are opposing Roy Moore in the Senate race) oppose same sex marriage and abortion? Moore of course opposes both---and as I recall, 81 percent of Alabama voters were against same-sex marriage in a referendum some years ago. If as I suspect, these so-called "progressive" clergy have "progressive" views on those two topics, well, then they have ceded any high ground to Moore.
In the words of St Augustine, God is God, and I am not...
I only know what has be revealed to me about what I must do to be saved. I try to do it. Other than that it's been my habit to let God run His universe. It's His rodeo.
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