Will All Catholics Be Saved?
No! It is not enough to be a Catholic to get to Heaven. One has to be a good Catholic. "Many Catholics will be lost, because they are only nominal, not practical, Catholics, and because they reject some doctrines of the Catholic Church, especially such as oppose their inclinations and passions. Remember, he who rejects even one doctrine proposed to our Faith by the Church will certainly be lost (James 2:10), even though he should lead a good life." (From The Pulpit Orator, Volume VI.)
Our Lord said, "He who believes shall be saved." (Mark 16:16). But God said many other things as well:
"If you love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15); and "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." (Matt. 19:17).
"He that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, dying let him die." (Lev. 24:16).
"Keep you my Sabbath: for it is holy unto you. He that shall profane it, shall be put to death." (Exodus 31:14).
"Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither idolaters, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God." (1 Cor. 6:9-10).
"A thief is better than a man that is always lying: but both of them shall inherit destruction." (Ecclus. 20:27).
"Neither fornicators nor adulterers... shall possess the kingdom of God." (1 Cor. 6:9). "You have heard that it was said to the ancients, 'Thou shalt not commit adultery.' But I say to you that anyone who so much as looks with lust at a woman has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matt. 5:27-28). "Keep thyself chaste." (1 Tim. 5:22). "Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God." (Matt. 5:8).
God's Mercy and Justice
"If the wicked do penance for all his sins which he hath committed and keep all my commandments and do judgment and justice, living he shall live, and shall not die. I will not remember all his iniquities that he hath done: in his justice which he hath wrought, he shall live. Is it my will that a sinner should die, saith the Lord God, and not that he should be converted from his ways and live?
"And you have said: The way of the Lord is not right. Hear ye, therefore... Is it my way that is not right, and are not rather your ways perverse?
"Therefore will I judge very man according to his ways... saith the Lord God. Be converted, and do penance for all your iniquities: and iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, by which you have transgressed, and make to yourselves a new heart and a new spirit." (Ezechiel, Chapter 18), for "Wisdom will not dwell in a body subject to sins." (Wisdom 1:4).
To Obtain Salvation Is the Purpose of Life!
The whole world was made by God from the very beginning to be a world in which salvation is the greatest challenge. Our Lord told his Apostles: "Go forth and teach all nations." Tell them what they should be looking for! The one effort which a man ought to be making every moment of his life is toward the saving of his immortal soul. Everything else would take care of itself -- sanity, certitude, vocation, employment, marriage, children -- all would be beautifully taken care of, if the saving of his immortal soul were the first aim of every man. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His justice, and all these things shall be added unto you." (Luke 12:31).
We Have Here No Abiding City
(From Lenten Conferences given by Father Bede Jarrett, O.P., at Our Lady of Victories, Kensington, England, 1932).
"We are pilgrims -- travelers; we have no lasting city here; we have no home. We are urged to live, remembering that we are travelers. This will help you to explain your life to yourself. As you look at your life, perhaps it seems unsatisfactory. It has no apparent continual growth in an orderly progressive fashion. True, for life is not really a growing up, but a journey. You are a traveler rather than a growing child. You are taking a journey to life eternal. People are disappointed, because they do not understand this.
"We are always planning and designing for ourselves what one day we shall do. As children we planned what we were to do when we had grown up. In youth we planned for our middle years. As we grow older it is always in the future that the great event, whatever it is, is to happen. We plan, at last, to settle down in old age. We cannot settle down. We never shall. We are pilgrims!... If you are to go on a long pilgrimage, you must accommodate yourself to others. So life is an endless accommodating of ourselves to others. You say when you begin: 'This is only for a short time; later on I shall be able to organize my life as I want it.' That will happen truly, but not here. No one here ever really has a chance of having exactly what he wants. Only on the other side will you really have a home. We belong to a great city, but the city lies over the far side of the river. So live that you remember whence you came, and whither you journey. Keep your eyes steadily fixed on the height towards which you climb... Forget the things that are behind you... Strive earnestly forward. Nothing here on earth can ever content us. We get past one difficulty only to encounter another. That is right and proper. Indeed, that is life! So do not expect to find here your city-- the thing perfectly worked out, complete, that you desire, dream of, work for. Do not expect to be able to settle down for long to enjoy your life. The danger that assaults us is the danger that we might settle down. We are pilgrims on the march. Always beware of comfort! Beware of being content with what you have! There --ahead -- is your comfort. Pilgrims, travelers, strangers, that is all we be! We seek a city, whose maker and builder is God, a city that is God Himself. We shall enter within it by His mercy. God Himself shall be our home. Cannot you be grateful for the road, though it be rough? It does all a road was ever made to do. It takes you home!"
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