https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ef8w_aUfKj8 I was watching a video on St. Gemma and it talks about how she new of a high ranking Freemason and begged Jesus for him to have mercy on him. And he said no, he is unworthy. There was much more begging but Jesus still said no. St Gemma proceeds to go to Mary because Jesus can not say no to his mother. My question is that I thought Jesus never gives up on souls?
Well, firstly, private revelations to saints are not infallible because the saint, while holy, may still misunderstand/misapprehend the content or meaning of something communicated to them.
Having said that, the way I understand stories like this, or even that of Abraham entreating God for Sodom and Gomorrah, is NOT that the saint (Abraham/St. Gemma/Moses or EVEN the Blessed Virgin) has more love/compassion/desire to save than Christ/The Trinity. That’s literally impossible and heretical. They have no love to give the sinner except the charity the Trinity pours onto them and through them to others. Our Lady is mediatrix of all grace BECAUSE she’s fully under Christ, not because she has graces of her own to give anyone.
I understand such stories as examples of God deliberately setting it up so that WE have a part in each others’ salvation. St. Paul said in scripture “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.” So when that happens, it means Christ intended from the start to save that soul with St. Gemma’s and Our Lady’s co-operation or something like that. It cannot mean that St. Gemma or even Our Lady can possibly want to save anyone more than the redeemer himself or that he’d choose to refuse to save someone who can be saved. In a sense, it’s a privilege he’s granting the praying saint, to participate in the redemption of that soul, instead of him doing it completely alone without “his body” the church. Through that cooperation, the saint praying on earth gains merit and in heaven, glory/Joy etc
Thank you this helps a lot!
Marvelous video btw. Thank you for posting it!
Forgiveness is conditional upon repentance.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
1450 "Penance requires . . . the sinner to endure all things willingly, be contrite of heart, confess with the lips, and practice complete humility and fruitful satisfaction."49.
3 Take heed to yourselves: if thy brother sin, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. 4 And if he sin against thee seven times in the day, and seven times turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.
EVERYONE has until their dying breath to repent and be saved. If they don’t they have chosen to reject God and spend eternity in Hell. There is no chance to repent and be saved after death.
The video implies that Jesus could have saved the man if He (Jesus) wished, but He was not willing to do so until His mother requested it, at which point the man was indeed saved.
If that’s the way it was, that’s not the Jesus I worship. The One I worship did and would do everything possible to save a man, including coming down from heaven and being tortured to death. But “Video Jesus” could’ve saved someone from Hell and didn’t (of his own volition) when it was within His power.
Not exactly so.
Forgiveness is offered to all by God, without condition.
Reconciliation requires cooperation. We cooperate in our salvation.
Stating that forgiveness is conditional gives people the wrong impression of God’s unilateral initiative. Grace is primary. And by the grace of God we are able to respond. The repentant sinner finds that his Father has been watching and waiting all the while.
No, Jesus never gives up on souls.
When I read St. Gemma’s book, written by her spiritual director, I thought that Our Lord Jesus Christ was testing Gemma, to see how much she would earnestly plead for that person’s soul.
This is how the requirements for forgiveness are phrased by the Council of Trent:
Chap 4 (excerpt) This feeling of contrition is, moreover, necessary at all times to obtain the forgiveness of sins, and thus for a person who has fallen after baptism it especially prepares for the remission of sins, if it is united with trust in divine mercy and with the desire of performing the other things required to receive this sacrament correctly.
Can. 4. If anyone denies that for the full and perfect remission of sins there are three acts required on the part of the penitent, as it were, the matter of the sacrament of penance, namely contrition, confession, and satisfaction, which are called the three parts of penance; or says, that there are only two parts of penance, namely the terrors of a troubled conscience because of the consciousness of sin, and the faith received from the Gospel or from absolution, by which one believes that his sins have been forgiven him through Christ: let him be anathema.
Also see this other thread post: Seeking forgiveness of sin from God
I’m pointing out that God’s offer of forgiveness is un-conditional. That offer does not wait for the quality of our repentance or contrition.
The quote from Trent is speaking of
That’s a slightly different thing.
To stay on track for the OP: God never gives up on a soul. Christ does not sit with his arms crossed waiting for our perfection before offering forgiveness. Christ gives himself unconditionally for our salvation. God is an actor in this regard, not a reactor. And God acts completely in love, not partially.
Our cooperation is of course required, and is itself a fruit of grace.
There is an offer, open to the contrite. For those after baptism that have fallen there is the implication that God gives them sufficient grace for conversion because “if, after the reception of baptism, anyone shall have lapsed into sin, through true penance he can always be restored.” (Fourth Lateran Council). However, this is not enough for a free act of will to cooperate is required to be efficacious.
Trent does speak of what is required for “the full and perfect remission of sins” in the sacrament of confession and in Chapter 4 also of the first place of contrition “This feeling of contrition is, moreover, necessary at all times to obtain the forgiveness of sins”, and also that perfect contrition “remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible” Catechism 1452 (from Council of Trent).
God never gives up on anyone, but people can give up on God through free will.
Jesus already accomplished all that is needed for our redemption and now works through the Holy Spirit in the church, justifying and sanctifying souls in preparation for death.
Aquinas wrote that God reprobates some souls on account of their sins. There is only one kind of unforgiveable or unpardonable sin: the “eternal sin” or “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit”; when someone refuses to seek salvation for some gravely sinful reason, such as:
- despair of salvation
- presumption of justification
- resistance against the truth
- envy of the good in others
- impenitence because of pride
- obstinacy in sin and forsaking a greater good
Notice how impenitence is ultimately the result for all the above. When someone refuses to repent for their sins, then they give up on God.
1432 The human heart is heavy and hardened. God must give man a new heart.25 Conversion is first of all a work of the grace of God who makes our hearts return to him: "Restore us to thyself, O LORD, that we may be restored!"26 God gives us the strength to begin anew. It is in discovering the greatness of God’s love that our heart is shaken by the horror and weight of sin and begins to fear offending God by sin and being separated from him. The human heart is converted by looking upon him whom our sins have pierced:27
Let us fix our eyes on Christ’s blood and understand how precious it is to his Father, for, poured out for our salvation it has brought to the whole world the grace of repentance.
The offer is open to all. God’s offer itself engenders contrition. Contrition is key in reconciling one’s self to God and the Church. We must “join hands with” the God who offers us forgiveness.
This must be seen in covenantal or relationship terms rather than transactionally.
The misstatement of God’s disposition towards humanity can lead to despair, because no human being is capable of changing God’s disposition toward himself, or justifying himself, or earning God’s forgiveness, by acts of contrition. No one.
God’s grace is unmerited.
You are making a distinction between God’s forgiveness and OUR freedom from sins. I agree that it is a very important distinction. If God does not move us towards repentance FIRST, having already forgiven us, we are doomed to die in our darkness. We need grace even to be able to be contrite in the first place and exercise “acceptance.” That’s not just my opinion. An anathema from Trent affirms it:
Canon 3. If anyone says that without the predisposing inspiration of the Holy Ghost and without His help, man can believe, hope, love or be repentant as he ought, so that the grace of justification may be bestowed upon him, let him be anathema.
That we cannot “believe, hope, love, or repent” without grace is dogma! Funny how much that has been popping up lately but there are a few people with neo-pelagian ideas about our ability to act freely towards grace without grace having first acted on us BEFORE we could exercise any consent for it or even develop ANY desire for it.
What is “neo-pelagian”?
I think we confuse ourselves by a “chicken and egg” analogy with grace and free will; the church teaches synergism, which makes the most sense to me personally.
The church teaches it is impossible to repent without the Holy Spirit first predisposing us to do so. Read the anathema above. Only then can we co-operate with sanctifying grace (or not). The first is called prevenient grace and utterly does not depend on or wait for our co-operation. We get it while we are yet stubbornly unrepentant and we get it without our free will. If we didn’t, we’d never, ever get to repentance. https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06689x.htm
Neo-pelagian as in believing we are capable of repenting or desiring grace without first having been granted (and affected by) the grace that makes it possible. Our willpower is not as big as we make it out to be. I’ve heard it said that while we denounce the protestant formula “sola fide,” (faith alne) we can agree (with them) if that becomes, instead, “sola gratia” (grace alone) from which BOTH faith and works spring. Sola gratia is another way of saying, “Through God’s power/love alone.”
Yes and God offers everyone sufficient grace, so a failure to repent is in human free will.
That is not in debate.
I would speculate that the “unforgivable sin,” leads to final unrepentance, which is either a using up of sufficient grace, or a final withdrawal of grace.