[quote="Oumashta, post:1, topic:278288"]
I hope this is the right place to put this thread :D
I have a question about the Catholic teachings about assurance of salvation and how to defend it. My mother, who is a Protestant minister, just recently finished a course in Protestant evangelization and decided that I would be a good person to start with :p My mother has no problem now with me becoming a Baptized Catholic soon, but she wanted to make sure that I knew the 'full gospel'. Although I know that she had good intentions, many of the things that she tried to convince me of were extremely contrary to Catholic teaching, such as sola fide and assurance of salvation. She repeatedly asked me the question 'If you were to die today, would you know for sure you would go to Heaven?' I told her that I hope to go to Heaven, but that this decision was up to God and not me. She then told me that 'We need to rely on God's promises because He told us that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life.' I tried to explain to her in a kind way that we are not saved by faith alone and explained to her my position on assurance of salvation, but she continued to ask me over again. Finally, she asked me again. It was 11:30 PM, I was tired, somewhat frustrated, and I wanted to go to bed, and so I just smiled and said 'Most certainly :D!' and then she let me off.
Others have provided great resources for you and for your mother. I hope that you and she can have many wonderful and fulfilling conversations in the future.
So my questions are:
- Did I do anything wrong by saying that I had assurance of salvation just to get out of my mother's questioning, even though I didn't mean it?
Short answer...No you did nothing wrong. We DO have assurance of salvation. The important thing to remember is to not confuse "assurance" with "insurance".
I know that this can be a tricky distinction, but basically what it boils down to is whether heaven is guaranteed or whether we can "lose our salvation" - put another way, can on lose their faith after finding it.
As you grow in your faith, you will develop a greater understanding of this and be able to express it more fully to your mom.
- How do I calm my mother fears about me 'being saved' and 'being sure you're going to Heaven' while staying true and explaining to her the Catholic Church's teachings?
You will not be able to calm your mother's fears with any sort of short or quick answers. In fact, the best way to help her come to understanding is through explaining Church teaching to her.
Se believes in Faith Alone....Ask her what that means? What does Faith entail?
Ask her to define Faith...A faith that saves.
Talk with her about passages like James 2:14-26 where it is shown how faith and works are interconnected.
Talk about My 25:31-46 and how we are judged not on what we believe, but on what we do. How in this passage even some who claim belief and "gifts" are condemned for their lack of Loving works of Charity.
Talk about 1 Cor 13:1-13 where Paul speaks of the superiority of Love and even says plainly that, "...if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.".
She will no doubt have good answers for these various passages - about how works without faith are worthless. About how works must stem from faith to have any value and how works are not separate from faith but are a natural outpouring of faith...
All of these would be good answers on her part....
But what you and she will likely come to is an understanding that you BOTH really believe the same, or similar, things but that there are differences in terminology maybe emphasis.
As you grow in faith - as you patiently explain things to her from the bible and also provide her with good reading material that is likewise bible based, you will not only alleviate her concerns about your soul, but you will help her to come to a new appreciation for how thoroughly "bible based" the Catholic Church is.
Thanks and God bless! :D
You are welcome. I hope that this is of help in some small way.