At Theresa Avila


“Saint Teresa, as the Roman Rota attests, never fell into any mortal sin; but still Our Lord showed her the place prepared for her in Hell; not because she deserved Hell, but because, had she not risen from the state of lukewarmness in which she lived, she would in the end have lost the grace of God and been damned.” -Saint Alphonsus Maria Liguori, Doctor of the Church

“The number of the saved is as few as the number of grapes left after the vineyard-pickers have passed.” Saint John Mary Vianney - Mystic, also inc-corrupt

Anyone else in slight despair when they read of this?


No, because these are personal opinions, not the official teaching of the Church.


but they are saints approved by the church


Firstly, Despair is not of God.

Secondly, Even saints were allowed to have opinions.


I know they were “opinions” but God did show St Vianney visions of hell and he said so many were falling in they were like leaves off trees in autumn.


The Church has never said canonization means that every word said was accurate.


No! Not at all. Never.

We have a “sure hope” of salvation, relying on God’s inexhaustable supply of mercy and grace. Remember that those words were first spoken by our Lord as recorded in the Gospels - the wide and narrow paths. He was simply echoed by Saints Teresa and John Vianney as well as numerous others.

What are the three theological virtues?

  1. Faith
  2. HOPE
  3. Love

The Lord left us neither orphans, nor did He leave us hopeless! Yet, as difficult as it is t believe here on earth, we will ultimately be satisfied that some souls are in hell. How can this be?

When we enjoy the Beatific Vision, we will be utterly pleased with every aspect of God, including His perfect justice. There will be no sadness or lamenting in heaven - thus we will understand, accept and be pleased with His justice.

That is worth pondering.


So what would you like us to do? You don’t seem to like people’s answers.
I hope in the mercy of God and I try to avoid sin. How about you? How are you working out your salvation?
Despair is a temptation we avoid.


None of the “fewness of the saved” quotes have anything to do with how hard it is to be saved or the odds of one being saved. Salvation is not hard; neither is it a lottery.

The sadness comes in knowing the ease and readily available means of salvation, yet the fewness who take advantage of these things. The Saints warn that you can’t just live a life surrendered to the world, like many people do, and be saved.


Just wait till you read St. John Bosco…


Just to add, the most famous sermon on this topic is probably that of St. Leonard of Port Maurice. First he says: “Pious souls, you may leave; this sermon is not for you. Its sole purpose is to contain the pride of libertines who cast the holy fear of God out of their heart and join forces with the devil who, according to the sentiment of Eusebius, damns souls by reassuring them.” All such sentiments from other saints have the same purpose.

At the end, he shows the principle I stated in my prior post:

Brothers, I want to send all of you away comforted today. So if you ask me my sentiment on the number of those who are saved, here it is: Whether there are many or few that are saved, I say that whoever wants to be saved, will be saved; and that no one can be damned if he does not want to be. And if it is true that few are saved, it is because there are few who live well. As for the rest, compare these two opinions: the first one states that the greater number of Catholics are condemned; the second one, on the contrary, pretends that the greater number of Catholics are saved. Imagine an Angel sent by God to confirm the first opinion, coming to tell you that not only are most Catholics damned, but that of all this assembly present here, one alone will be saved. If you obey the Commandments of God, if you detest the corruption of this world, if you embrace the Cross of Jesus Christ in a spirit of penance, you will be that one alone who is saved.

Now imagine the same Angel returning to you and confirming the second opinion. He tells you that not only are the greater portion of Catholics saved, but that out of all this gathering, one alone will be damned and all the others saved. If after that, you continue your usuries, your vengeances, your criminal deeds, your impurities, then you will be that one alone who is damned.

What is the use of knowing whether few or many are saved? Saint Peter says to us, “Strive by good works to make your election sure.” When Saint Thomas Aquinas’s sister asked him what she must do to go to heaven, he said, “You will be saved if you want to be.” I say the same thing to you, and here is proof of my declaration. No one is damned unless he commits mortal sin: that is of faith. And no one commits mortal sin unless he wants to: that is an undeniable theological proposition. Therefore, no one goes to hell unless he wants to; the consequence is obvious. Does that not suffice to comfort you? Weep over past sins, make a good confession, sin no more in the future, and you will all be saved. Why torment yourself so? For it is certain that you have to commit mortal sin to go to hell, and that to commit mortal sin you must want to, and that consequently no one goes to hell unless he wants to. That is not just an opinion, it is an undeniable and very comforting truth; may God give you to understand it, and may He bless you. Amen.


The gate is narrow. *cough *cough
So its not like this should be a surprise.


Not to cast any rash judgments, but just looking at the world also makes this sadly not surprising.


Thank you so much for the lengthy quotation from St Leonard. This is a great comfort to me and helps to drive away the despair that, to be quite honest, often assails me.


A couple things for those who feel despair:

  1. The Rosary. Our Lady has repeated many times that, well said every day, offers strong assurances of final salvation.
  2. The 9 First Fridays and 5 First Saturdays. Both devotions come with promises of strong assistance to attain heaven.
  3. Our Lady of Mount Carmel scapular. This too comes with an assurance of ultimate salvation, if worn properly and devoutly.
  4. Works of charity, done for the love of God.
  5. Read the autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux, and that of St. Faustina. Both are full of assurances of God’s great love and mercy for us.
    It seems to me impossible that one who sincerely works to avoid sin, prays daily, frequents the sacraments, and strives to do God’s will will be damned. That’s certainly not the kind of God St. Therese or St. Faustina believed in. St. Therese was fighting the heresy of Jansenism so prevalent in her time, and I think a lot of Catholics absorb it still.


Salvation isn’t hard? I wonder about that statement. Living in a world of sin, violence, and apathy really isn’t difficult and God’ people have to make hard choices daily. Salvation may be a walk in the park but most of us struggle in trying to swim upstream against the currents. I think I’ll call it a spiritual rip-tide. Be careful of the undertow or it will pull you under.


Our Lord says:

Matt. 11:[30] For my yoke is sweet and my burden light.

Here’s how this is interpreted in the Church, from the Haydock commentary:

Ver. 30. For my yoke is sweet, &c. For though, in regard of our weak nature, it be a very heavy yoke, yet the grace of God renders it easy and light, because our Lord himself helps us to bear it, according to that of the prophet Osee, (C. xi, v. 4) I will be unto them as he that takes the yoke from off their heads. St. Bernard says, that our Saviour sweetens by the spiritual unction of his grace, all the crosses, penances, and mortifications of religious souls. St. Augustine owns, that before he knew the power of grace, he could never comprehend what chastity was, nor believe that any one was able to practice it; but the grace of God renders all things easy. Rodriguez. On Mortification. C. xix.

Those things you mention have no real power over us–they can only drag us down if we willfully consent to them. As St. Paul says:

Romans 8:[38] For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might, [39] Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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