I have been told that my post recently on the hard path to salvation was possibly sad, or not showing the gladness of faith.
Faith is wonderful, but the danger facing those alive is not spoken of enough. And I have often seen persons betrayed with lesser doctrine. It is hard to enter heaven, and I stand by that. It requires striving and going the extra mile. It is not easy to enter heaven- especially when a lesser gospel is taught by those who should be telling both sides of the story. I mostly tell the good side of the Gospel, but the painful side is equally important.
Yes, salvation is impossible for man alone- but the impossible for man is possible to God. We each are given the strength needed to enter salvation and stay in it if only we could use it to its use.
What is required of us is watchfullness, and the need of carefully working out our salvation, which is worth our very self. The bare minimum- is not being done by most Catholics, and by many Religious. This is statistical fact, and the reason why it is deadly not to use both parts of the gospel- why it is deadly to cause mortal sin by telling non-catholics to take the eucharist and promise them grace by it.
Based on the general norm- a minimum of 90 percent of Catholics are apparently in material mortal sin in the archdiocese of Johannesburg. Those who attend church- one mortal sin less, often believe in abortion, contraception, or think confession is not needed- or consider praying to saints idolitry. Others think that only kindness is needed to enter heaven.
All of these are deadly. Statistically, in my area- the only hope is Lumen Gentium XVI for most, including our priests and normal Catholics, and many do not display the symptoms one would expect of it, if they had fulfilled it.
I do not withdraw the realist article, but I also acknowledge the subdued hope- our taste even at present of the eternal life we are offered. The reason for my warning as an apologist (one who explains and answers on the Gospel), is how great our hope is.
A catholic who continues to examine themselves, who hears conscience and seeks and uses it- that intuitive sense, the Catholic who attends church when obligated, and confesses their sins- and submits to dogma, rejecting that which contradicts it- even if spoken by their bishop or priest, or friend- is on the right path.
The fact is that we are all in a fight for life against decay and death. It would be evil, lacking of me if I did not preach the full gospel. We have great hope, almost sure hope if we always try to do right, to seek the real truth, and obey God. We have very little, if not false hope if we refuse to do our part. We are at risk of persecution if we stop preaching the gospel. It helps no one to take half a course of medicine- the illness only adapts to it. It helps no one if half the gospel is preached. Jesus never once denied to fate of those who choose death.
We who seek truth are saved in truth- confession is the conquering of truth over the actions of falsehood, where Jesus acts spiritually in response to our obeying in his manner. There is hope, but let us not call a hill a mountain and fall when we realise the challenge to our very breath.
The gospel acts as a race, and our lives are utterly at stake. We indeed should seek first the kingdom of heaven, by saturating our lives with conscience. When we are where God desires, he nourishes us, his servants. He aids his children, even the birds he cares for.
If we should choose to accept the journey, the adventure- God will clear the path enough to save us, wherever we are this present moment. Every moment we must saturate and the whole gospel must taint, colour our lives, because the soul can turn to another train track in a second, or be saved in a moment less.
Salvation must be the central focus, we cannot have two central focuses or two masters, least we hate one and love the other.
We are assigned to our careers, and our superiors, yet we are assigned subject to God. He is our master, who commands our service to man- but his grace to serve is gone when we serve man wrongly.
He who assigned you, gives you the grace to succeed, but the Christian must become creative- God tries to teach men and women to think and think powerfully. It takes more creativity to always be honest than to always lie.
I stand by my article, gladly so- but I will also write the hope inspiring ones. I did indeed plan to kill a dream, with the article- the false hope that God is unjustly lenient. He judges us as we are this very moment- if we are seeking good, or lacking.
God will not take past performance into account, should he see we are evil now, and would not turn, given the chance. There may be exceptions for those not given the material to build, or the plans for the building- salvation. We however have all the resources. We need to act as adults in faith- knowing that the spiritual adventure is more powerful than any physical war, and that God, will let us ride him, should our own strength end, and our will continue.
There is no joy in the gospel without first the hopelessness apart from hope.
The soul is the live by which we live even now- the eternal design life which guides the natural lives of our cells. It is this at risk. When our temporary life is at risk- we fight, even kill to save it. How much more should we value the thread that holds our temporary life together?
So yes, there is little hope for many, but there is great hope for those who seek the truth consistently in life. Any person can get to heaven- but the basics of confession and mass attendance are so important to giving us the spiritual strength and energy to fight.
Those who adhere to the requirements of the catechism, who go to confession once a year or additionally when in mortal sin, who sincerely confess all their sins, which they remember- who are simply honest in the confessional in their confessing what they remember- these have such great, powerful hope. Confession is something which makes a dead person alive, and a dead hope near sure.
The sacraments, and sincere intent, and real effort at obeying God, and a determination to learn, and submit mentally and physically to the Gospel truth- are the basic tools which with God can get you through. You can make it... If you so choose!