Can one achieve salvation by following Christ and His Church out of necessity rather than love? Can one achieve salvation by adhering to doctrine, dogma, avoiding occasions of sin without feeling a degree of love?
What you are asking is can one have a viable and vital relationship with God without receiving consolations, either spiritual or emotional. The answer is yes. God calls us to be faithful–and by being faithful we are demonstrating our love for him. Jesus said whoever obeys his Father and does the works that he did–feed the hungry, care for the sick, believe in God so that you life reflects that in your actions, etc. will be saved. Consolations are nice to have, but sometimes they can be more of a hindrance to spiritual growth than a blessing because we tend to rely on them. Mother Teresa spent years in spiritual dryness and yet look at all she accomplished simply by depending on God’s grace. So yes, it’s quite possible and may even make us into saints.
I would say no, because without love, one has nothing. Actually, the key here would be in not being loved, but loving others.
So therefore I believe you can achieve salvation/redemption whatever you want to call it, if you’re a good kind person who loves others.
Salvation is from Jesus Christ. We are saved by grace through faith and baptism …and then of course we must remain “living” in him (ie confession can restore lost of grace if one falls into mortal sin).
“Feeling” a degree of love is not the same thing as loving.
Love is infused into the soul at baptism and we are to continue to live in love -* but that does not require ANY particular feelings of love. *
Though feelings of love are good to have.
If a person lives as you (the OP) suggests, they will be living a life of “agape”. That is the kind of “love” that is required for salvation. Warm fuzzy feelings not required. Love is a choice, NOT A FREAKING FEELING. We as a society need to GROW UP. Neither life nor eternity is about how we FEEL.
Excellent question. Looking forward to reading the responses to the thread.
Thank you for the compliment. I asked mainly because, from observation but it could be contrary to reality, I see a lack of acknowledgement of the transcendence of God when I see how people refer to Christ. In this regard, I believe we could learn a great degree from our elder brothers the Jews, whose reverence for God is universally known.
Can you be more specific about “how people refer to Christ” that lacks an appreciation for his transcendence?
Whether it’s you yourself, or another that you are talking about, it’s impossible to see deep enough in the heart to truly doubt belief. Certainly one can pray that it may be so.
If we recite the Divine Office or even just fragments of it, we are doing as our fathers the Jews do. Or just keep working our way through the Book of Psalms as it is, the other Scripture readings in the various lectionaries, and other well established spiritual reading especially the comments on the Scriptures.
(I think these things are on the internet.)
If I understand you correctly–you are suggesting removing love out of the relationship with God and man… if that is the argument (train of though/speculation) then the answer is no:
1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. (1 St. John 4:7-12)
While some may strive to hold on to various views (some rooted in stoicism and pantheism, amongst other philosophies) Jesus puts it this way:
34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (St. Matthew 22:34-40)
PS: None will gain Salvation by “faking it” or ‘believing, just in case there’s a God.’
But as was said before, love is a choice of the will, not a feeling. The feeling often accompanies the choice, but it’s not love itself.
God is Love, and God certainly isn’t an emotion.
John 14:21, 23 –
"He who has My commandments and keeps them: it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me shall be loved of My Father: and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him…
“If anyone love Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and will make Our abode with him.”
Your question implies that Love is a feeling. As others have said it is not.
God so loved the world that he gave is only son.
Jesus said that there is no greater love than to sacrifice oneself for his friends.
Love is a choice. An act of the will. An act of creation that God gives a chance to be a part in. Love is sacrifice.
That self giving that can be poured out into the world is in the end the very thing that creation is made from.
Please consider how the concept of love has been transformed into romantic or emotional love which removes the biblical meaning which implies sacrifice.
So the answer is Yes.:sad_yes:
BUT many folks feel love precisely when they are doing God’s work. And this feeling brings them back for more. Perhaps God has given us the feeling of this love to help guide us towards him.
love is not a mere feeling.
salvation is living in eternal love.
so, i would say that a human being who does not love, no matter how they behave, cannot be saved.
the problem with the OP is what does he/she imagine is motivating the person who is trying to live according to the teachings of the Church but, as the OP presents this person, possesses no love?
why would such a person exist? if the person imagined by the OP does not want to go to heaven, what motivates him or her to adhere to the Roman Catholic Church?
why would a person want to go to heaven if they have no love, to live eternally without love?
i think living eternally without love is what we call hell.
Perhaps this means that the OPs question is moot - a theoretical impossibility. Those kind of questions are always tricky because they contain within them a contradiction in their assumptions.