"Of course we Catholics don't believe that our salvation is automatically assured just because we make a single act of faith in 'Jesus my personal Lord and Savior.' But that doesn't mean we are left in complete and utter anxiety about our future. Right now I am not conscious that I have committed any mortal sins since I went to Confession last week. That means I'm in a state of grace, which means I can be morally certain that if I died right now I'd go to heaven. Of course, I may have a few venial sins or some other imperfections that need to be purified. I can't rule out some time in Purgatory! But even that could be eliminated if God gives me the extra grace of receiving the Sacrament of Anointing before I die, or of receiving a Plenary Indulgence. So yes, I don't think my assurance of salvation is any less real than any Protestant's."If a large number of Catholics previously believed that the state of one's soul can be mapped out on an accountant's ledger, then Vatican II indeed was necessary and a true work of the Spirit. Read the rest of HM's careful critique.
I hope I have been fair in reproducing this monologue. At any rate it contains nothing that is not strictly in accord with what I understand to be Roman Catholic teaching.
Yet it's horrifying.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
The Anastasis Dialogue has some great reflections on the vibrant discussion over at the Reformed Catholicism blog on Purgatory. Usually I steer clear of Purgatorial theology, mainly cuz it's a mystery that polemcists don't fear treading upon enough. But Hieromonk Maximos noted that Fr. Al Kimel, who I miss, has posted some good stuff in the comboxes so I had to check it out. HM sets up a common Catholic attitude for a good paddling: