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Phillip Shifflet wrote:


My spiritual life has been rather rocky for the past six months due to the death of my grandmother so I am taking the time this Lent to get back on track. I am fifteen years old and I will be confirmed in less than a month, however, before I am confirmed I would like some questions answered:

  • How are Catholics saved?

I tend to find that the Catholic answer to this question is much longer and more broader than
if you ask a non-Catholic Christian How are Christians saved?

I don't mind a long answer; I just want an answer.

Phillip Shifflet
California, USA

  { Can you tell me how Catholics are saved no matter how long the answer is? }

Mary Ann replied:

Hi Phillip,

We are saved by Christ or, better, we are redeemed by the grace of Christ who enables us to cooperate with Him so that we can attain salvation. We possess the grace of salvation now,
but we can lose it if we choose. We must run the race to the end to attain the prize.
(1 Corinthians 9:24-27)

In the whole process, the normal way the grace of Christ comes to us, all along the way, is through the sacraments of the Church, which is His extension in time, and in space, and in His Body.

Mary Ann

John replied:

Hi Phillip,

Just to add to Mary Ann's answer:

Even the ability to run the race to the end to attain the prize comes from grace.

I like to put it this way. Salvation is complete act of Christ (from beginning to end) which requires our free will response to grace. Even our ability to respond to grace in a positive way is a gift of Christ. Now how the paradox between the sovereignty of God and our free will works is a mystery beyond our comprehension.

The bottom line is trust in Jesus.


Mary Ann followed-up:

Hi John,

I thought of a different way that the question could have been intended:

  • How are we saved?

The answer is, by the obedience of Christ. As God with a human nature, He is the only one who could have repaired the breach with God caused by Adam and Eve's disobedience.

He accepted every sort of human evil done to Him with loving submission to the Father. He was obedient unto death and since, in death, His Divinity and Person continued to possess his human nature, (separated though it was into body and soul by death), He has even healed death — making Himself The Bridge to eternal Life.

His Resurrection took is Humanity into glory, and His Ascension united it with the Trinity so that He could send the Spirit to join us to the process.

We pass into His life-giving Death-Resurrection-Ascension at Baptism by the power of the Spirit.

We enter the Ascension in two ways:

  1. in hope, and
  2. by our union with the Trinity, who indwell in our souls.

At our deaths, we hope that we will have been faithful to the action of the Spirit and we will enter eternal life.

Mary Ann

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