Am I Saved?

I didn’t want to hijack another thread but it got me thinking…

I was christened in Church of England
I am not confirmed
I believe in Jesus Christ, trinity, the divine and human nature etc
I believe in quite a few of the Catholic Churches teachings, but as many of you know, struggle with others.

As it stands at the moment (not being in full communion with the Catholic Church) would the church consider me saved?

Well…what do you mean by “Saved”?

For a catholic, this means being in heaven…but you are not in heaven yet.

For the catholic belief in salvation, please read this…

I was meaning in the sense that the Catholic Church teaches there is no salvation outside of the church. I guess it’s a hypothetical question, :slight_smile:

Your question is not an easy one to answer. First of all, if you read the Catechism, non-Catholic Christians are not outside the Church, but rather in imperfect communion with her.

That said, the Church never proclaims who is or isn’t saved, except those whom, on careful study, she has determined are saints. Note that these saints aren’t the only saints. The saints declared by the Church are only the saints for whom the Church has sufficient public evidence to declare them such. The caregiver at the old folk’s home may be a saint known to God, but not known to the Church.

As for your particular circumstances: through our baptism, God gives us the Holy Spirit. He also gives us tools to use towards sanctity, namely his graces that He distributes through His sacraments. By not being fully in the Church, you are missing a good deal of those graces. Think of it as trying to repair a car with a half-empty toolbox. It will be much more difficult. That’s what reaching sanctity is like without the fullness of His graces. Not impossible, just far more difficult.

Now on your point about having difficulties with Church teachings: many Catholics do as well.

Going back to my toolbox analogy: let’s say you’re an apprentice mechanic. You’ve been given the task to repair a car. Would you rather start with a half-empty toolbox, or a toolbox that is full, but for which you don’t yet fully understand the functions of all the tools?

Well, we are all “apprentice mechanics” when it comes to our faith. By being Catholic, you have a full toolbox, even though some tools puzzle you, and others you may even disagree is the best tool for the job. But by being an apprentice, hopefully some master will show you not only how the tool works, but will explain the principle behind it and you’ll then realize why it is the best tool for the job. When you learn the Church’s precepts on sexual morality for instance, they may not make much sense at first. But when you learn about them in the context of the Natural Law, they make far more sense, even though it’s always tempting to fall away. But when one does fall away, we have access to another wonderful “tool”, the graces from the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It’s perhaps one of the most important tools in your faith toolbox: it allows you to restore your relationship with God when you, as you invariably will as a sinner, break that relationship. Together with the Eucharist, the Sacrament of Reconciliation allows you to remain in communion with Christ. The two go together and are inseparable. One requires the other; but the Eucharist is the height of our communion with God and confession prepares us for it.

Hope that explains it for you. I encourage you to continue exploring and asking questions. We’d all love to teach you how His tools can work to hasten your salvation! I will pray for you!

If you are baptized in Christ, you are a member of His Body, which is the Church. However, that remains an imperfect communion. Yet, you are seeking, and the Lord pours His grace out upon a seeking heart.

In addition to the responses above, we need to also point out that your earthly jouney is not at an end, so your actions between now and your death will have an impact on your salvation. You could right now be in a state of grace, and yet in the future you could decide to turn your back on God and reject Him. If you remain obstinately rejecting Him until your death, you would not be saved.

So keep turning towards God, keep asking questions, keep learning what the Church teaches. Hopefully soon you can become comfortable with the Church. So even if you don’t fully understand all Her teachings, you can place your trust in Christ and His Bride that they will not teach you error. If you can get to that place, you can be received into perfect union with His Bride the Church and with Jesus Christ through confirmation adn the Eucharist.

God bless.

For a Catholic salvation is a process that starts at baptism, we believe we are only saved once we enter into heaven. At baptism we receive God’s grace, but when we loose it by mortal sin we must go to confession so God can give us grace again. If we die without confession and are in a state of mortal sin we go to hell, if we die with confession and are still in a state of grace we go to heaven. If we die in a state of grace but still have venial sin on us we must go to purgatory first before we enter into heaven. Through the sacraments of the Eucharist, Confirmation, etc. we can become more holy and fall into a state of mortal sin less often, thus staying in a state of grace more often. So we were saved, are saved, and are being saved.

Only God knows if any of us are saved. Only God knows if any of us are not saved.

The Catholic Church has publically accepted that some have been saved and we call them Saints. But we do not know who has not been saved.

Consider this: Am I as close to Christ as I can be? Or do I maintain certain limits between me and Christ? Do I call certain of His Teachings wrong and thus excuse myself? Or do I acknowledge His Teachings are indeed correct and that I sin when I do not follow them?

Consider these passages and how strongly I believe them. Do I believe Christ’s own words strong enough to live them?

Matthew 16: 15-19
John 6: 51-56
Luke 22: 19-20
John 20: 19-23
John 14: 23-26

That’s not quite true. The Church does not teach that there is no salvation outside the Church, and leaves such things in God’s hands.
None of us really know if we will be “saved”, and we don’t consider ourselves already “saved”.
Some protestant fundamental sects believe they already are, and it’s a done deal for them.
We think they’re probably not correct about that.

I am wondering why you asked. :confused:

There was a thread about there being no salvation outside of the Catholic Church (apparently it’s in the catechism) and I wasn’t sure if that meant just catholics or the “church” as in any baptism recognised by the church even though they may not be in full communion with the Catholic Church,

If you are validly baptized in the Trinitarian formula, you are part of the Church (although in imperfect communion, as others have noted). The teaching Extra ecclesiam nulla salus, “no one outside the Church is saved” causes quite a stir. But when you read what the Church has to say about who is in the Church, the Body of Christ, it is not quite exclusive as some (many who are Catholic) might imagine.

Some of the applicable teachings from the Catechism:

Who belongs to the Catholic Church?

836 "All men are called to this catholic unity of the People of God. . . . And to it, in different ways, belong or are ordered: the Catholic faithful, others who believe in Christ, and finally all mankind, called by God’s grace to salvation."320

837 “Fully incorporated into the society of the Church are those who, possessing the Spirit of Christ, accept all the means of salvation given to the Church together with her entire organization, and who - by the bonds constituted by the profession of faith, the sacraments, ecclesiastical government, and communion - are joined in the visible structure of the Church of Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops. Even though incorporated into the Church, one who does not however persevere in charity is not saved. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but ‘in body’ not ‘in heart.’”

838 "The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter."322 Those "who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church."323 With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound “that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord’s Eucharist.”

I would add that most Catholics I know view being “saved” as an ongoing process and that final salvation doesn’t occur until we are judged. We do acknowledge that we are “saved” at the moment we are born again in water and Spirit (BAPTISM), but that we are also being saved through sanctification of the Spirit (other Sacraments,faith, repentance, etc), we hope to be saved and we are working out salvation in fear and trembling. We know that we can lose the gift of salvation through our own decision to sin and not repent. So, when you ask “Am I saved”, you will get a broad spectrum of answers. My answer is that you were saved when you were validly baptized, but I have no idea whether or not you have since severed your relationship with God through mortal sin (1 John 5:17). I have no idea whether you are repentant of your sins. I have know idea if you believe in Jesus (although of course, I will accept your statement that you do-- I’m just saying that these are things that only you and God really know)

I will also tell you that some Catholics believe that only “formal” Catholics-- baptized into the Catholic Church-- are saved because they take “Extra ecclesiam nulla salus” out of context. This is called Feeneyism- it is heresy that has been condemned by the Church. This is based on the errant teaching of Fr. Feeney who was excommunicated in the early 50s for persistent disobedience to the Church. I STILL see echoes of his interpretation of Extra ecclesiam nulal salus on these boards. Very unfortunate …

I think it is just that those outside the Church are not guaranteed to be saved. We know 100% that people in the Church in a state of grace will be saved. We don’t know one way or another for those outside the Church. Because God is a just god, we believe in invincible ignorance. A person who knows nothing of God through no fault of their own cannot be sent to Hell. Everyone is given that choice. For some it is at the moment of death. Only God knows if someone qualifies for being invincibly ignorant. There is no certainty there. The only certainty is member of the Church and in a state of grace.

You’re not exactly outside the Church. You have received valid Christian Baptism. If you have managed to avoid mortal sin since then (and continue to do so) then you will attain heaven. What is uncertain for you is if you are in a State of Grace (we cannot ever know this for sure). If you are not, you don’t have immediate recourse to Sacramental Confession.

What you have stated about being in the state of grace is also what I have believed. One day I was viewing a Mass on EWTN with Fr. Mitch Pacwa who said that you CAN determine somewhat if you are in the state of grace if you do not know of any mortal sin that you have not confessed. I thought about this in terms of confession in confessing all mortal sins that are known. I can see his point but I also know that salvation is a process that normally starts with Baptism and we put on holiness during our lives to discard the things holding us back from Christ. Any unfinished detachments of worldly things hindering our total relationship are purged before entering heaven.

I guess the answer is yes, but !!!

What Fr. Pacwa was referring to is the doctrine that we cannot commit mortal sin without full knowledge (and consent) of the mortal nature of the sin. In other words, we cannot mortally sin by accident. HOWEVER, we are masters at justification - we can construct all sorts of (false) justification for sinful acts to “fool ourselves” into thinking it’s not “really” sinful. For example, a person steals from his employer, but justifies this by saying he is underpaid, and it is just and right for him to compensate himself further. Only God knows for sure if this person was sincerely misled (which would negate the mortal nature of the sin) or was simply fooling himself to do as he pleased.

We can fool ourselves far better than anyone else can fool us. This is why we can never know, with certainty, if we are in a State of Grace.

I understand what you are saying. But it begs the question of full knowledge of our actions. Can we wound our consciences so much that we loose full knowledge of what we do? An example of this would be the things terrorists do. Can we spin our actions so much that we believe they are not grave matter even though it is ? I can see this in people having abortions.

St. Paul though says that he is not yet saved because he could always turn to sin using his free will. Just say’n.

I would like to hear more on this from you.

I think you’re leaving out the “full consent” part. For instance, in your abortion example, imagine the case of an immature pregnant teen under enormous pressure from her parents to have an abortion to avoid a family scandal; or is threatened with violence by her boyfriend if she doesn’t abort. She may know it’s wrong, and may be doing it against her wishes, but feels overwhelmed by the pressure on her, or especially, the threat of violence.

Similarly we need to consider the case of addition, or simply habitual sin that due to our own weaknesses we keep falling into. Or again something we do in the heat of the moment when we lose our temper.

So it’s not just knowing something is sinful. But fully consenting to the act. Some would argue that it has to be premeditated. I don’t think it goes that far myself, but allowances do have to be made for things like being pressured, threatened, addicted, etc.

Thanks for providing some good info that I didn’t include. Now I know I am saved :slight_smile: At least from missing that again.:wink:

For someone to be saved they must be in the state of grace.

This is initially accomplished thru Baptism of water and the spirit. Then after that, they are in the state of grace unless they commit a mortal sin. Then the sacrament of confession is administered to re-establish that state of grace in the soul. If a person has not committed a mortal sin since their last Baptism/Confession, then they can be morally certain that they are saved, althought this is not absolute certitude. This is the way a catholic can know if they are saved.

The church has never said just how a non-catholic person is saved. A lot may be said theoritcally, but nothing for sure since no rules have been established for this, except the state of grace and the way others may have obtained this state of grace.

The only thing that may be said is “it depends”, from which comes a lot of theorical discussion. We also know that it is possible for a non-catholic to be saved but that won’t be known for sure until death.

The normal way that Jesus has set up salvation is thru his church.

May God bless and keep you. May God’s face shine on you. May God be kind to you and give you peace.

Non-Catholics can have baptism and the spirit and I believe Vat II said a lot about ecclesial communities.

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