West Wyalong Mission: West Wyalong, Tallimba, Rankins Springs, Lake Cargelligo, Tullibigeal, Ungarie, Burcher, and the Bolo Farm Chapel.
Please add a photo.
Please add a photo for your webpage.
Are you sure you want to delete this?
Residential Address: 47 Church Street, West Wyalong NSW, 2671.
Postal Address: PO Box 64, West Wyalong, NSW 2671.
Fr Dominic Byrne
0269723655 Twitter: @DoHmmmmm
The Office is formally open on Wednesday (9am - 5pm) and on Thursday (8:30am - 12pm) and is also attended by Fr Dominic most days other than Friday and Saturday when he is in Lake Cargelligo.

Catholic Theology and Salvation

God give us just enough grace, to persist in our efforts, as we work toward our salvation. We are predestined only as much as we work toward salvation knowing that he is the one who has begun all of this. Predestination, as determined by Calvin, does not accept that this applies to everyone, but Catholic Doctrine does accept this. The staggering, unique amount of grace that St Paul and all the other disciples received did not guarantee their salvation. We see this plainly with Judas who used his free will to reject Jesus despite the life of grace that he had lived out in the presence of Jesus who was the very author of grace and life. If you can reject the author of grace, you can reject grace itself. Throughout life, I act, grace does not act for me. Grace alone does not save you. Declaring that ‘Jesus is my Lord and Saviour’ is merely a good beginning to what must be a life of acting in accord with that belief: “…for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Mt. 12:37; RSV).

Quite apart from St Paul’s miraculous encounter on the road to Damascus, the Council of Trent (1545) proposed that there are four stages on the usual path to Sanctifying Grace: “(1) from faith to fear of God’s judgements; (2) from fear to trust in the divine mercy and hope of forgiveness; (3) from hope to initial love (i.e., they begin to turn to God and to desire Him as the source of every good, and to turn away from sin as the cause of ruin and misery); (4) from initial love to contrition and a firm purpose to being a new life” (Michael Sheehan, Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine, p. 453). The path to Sanctifying Grace is the path to being holy and perfect and not just to being saved.

St Matthew points out that Salvation is about enduring to the end: “he who endures to the end will be saved” (Mat. 24: 13). And we hear in Revelation that, “all are judged by what they had done” (Rev. 20: 12). St Peter also spells out that over time your faith should shape your life, glorifying God and merit salvation: “…though now for a little while you may have to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious that gold which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ…. As the outcome of your faith you obtain the salvation of your souls” (1 Pet. 1: 6-9). Our lives are to be lived in such a way that they become a sacrifice, “acceptable to God” (cf., Ps. 51:16–19). In Matthew’s Gospel we also hear Jesus say, “Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the word” (Mt. 25: 34) to address those who, “…did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (v. 40) because of the way they had acted toward their neighbour. Through obeying Jesus’ teaching (“…who hear the word of God and do it” Lk. 8: 19), these people are considered righteous. They participated in their own Salvation and prove themselves worthy (i.e., they do not merit salvation, instead cooperate with Jesus salvific life). If grace saves you none of this is true.

St Paul also makes clear how our moral actions lead to Salvation:

“For he will render to every man according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, he will give enteral life; but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honour and peace for every one who does good….it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified” (Rom. 2: 6-13).

The Protestant suggestion that God has imputed his righteousness to us lacks an understanding of how we use free will. We image the Holy Trinity through having a will, intellect, and memory. Therefore, our free will is not irrelevant to our life, nor to our Salvation. We cannot be saved despite our behaviour, as this would ignore our free will that is inherent to our humanity. Some people believe that grace is supposed to do all the work. Grace is a free gift for our salvation but not salvation itself. The gift assists us in our life but does not take the place of our free will (i.e., grace influences my free will but does not supplant it).

We are saved because of our response to grace, because of our moral life, and because of Jesus’ gift of himself to humanity (through Baptism): “…in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is eight persons, were saved through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you….” 1 Peter 3: 20-21.”

We have been redeemed through the Pascal Mystery (i.e., Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension). This is our Objective Redemption. Our response to what Jesus has done is our Subjective Redemption, requiring us to use our free will to cooperate, or respond, to the grace we are given.

Discussions about salvation often aim at determining how God saves us from our sin, whilst completely missing the point of our Redemption. Jesus did not merely come to save us from sin but to restore us to our pre-fallen state. Sadly, it seems that some believe, consciously or unconsciously, that their power to sin is greater that God’s power to help them become perfect. We know that God calls us to be Holy and Perfect (“…You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy” Lev.19: 2; “You therefore, must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” Mat. 5: 48). Though, we do not become Holy and Perfect through our own power.  

Our actions really do matter:

“…cooperation in Christ’s Passion does not compromise Jesus’ sole mediatory action in the work of Redemption (1 Tim 2: 5). Indeed, through the cooperation of the two natures in his one divine Person, Jesus, the sole mediator between God and man, accomplishes the work of Redemption, while his human nature in the ‘form of a slave’ (Phil. 2: 7), experiences the full gamut of mankind’s sins and elicits from the redeemed ‘reparation,’ ‘compassion,’ ‘help,’ etc. By virtue of his two natures, Jesus absorbs, sublimates and divinizes within himself all that which the redeemed offer to him, which he, in turn, offers to the Father. And it is in this sense that the redeemed may be said to cooperate with Christ in his work of Redemption” (Joseph Iannuzzi, Divine Will Prayer Book, p. 340).

A poor Theological proposition is that Jesus’ Passion was a ‘Substitutionary Punishment’ for sin, meaning that Jesus was punished in our place. Catholic teaching is opposed to this, as we believe he gave himself to the Father on our behalf (as a substitute gift). Therefore, Catholic teaching is that Jesus self-offering on our behalf was accepted by God as a ‘Substitutionary Atonement,’ not a punishment! Jesus salvific act of dying on the cross was an OFFERING that satisfied the Father. God does not want to punish us because he thinks that will fix us. He wants to act so we are predisposed to not sin and to reciprocate his love. True justice is about giving back to God all that he has given to us. So, how is it just for God to punish an innocent Jesus and to then forgive a guilty people? Jesus’ death was less about Jesus taking the sin of the world on himself and more about his loving willingness to lay down his life: “I lay it down…and take it up again” (Jn 10: 18). Jesus self-offering, and not the taking of sin on himself, makes up for the debt that sin caused and for the lack of offering that humanity was supposed to make to our heavenly Father. Jesus’ death was more of an offering made to God rather than a punishment by God. It was a sacrifice like the sacrifices we find in the Old Testament and a ransom.

Grace helps us in our fallen state. Our cooperation with grace shapes our redemption. We do good deeds assisted by grace and faith. Grace most importantly is the life of God within us and our relationship with God. To be graced by God is to be involved in a passionate, transformative relationship with Him. Grace should be thought of as being in a relationship with God that changes you and demands something of you. Salvation is not just preservation in existence from all the effects of evil, it is a recreation because, as evil is not of God, His Grace acts to repel evil and allow the good to come back into full life so that we might become holy and perfect.


© Copyright 2024 CG.ORG.AU