It is a teaching of the Catholic Church that Christ died for ALL and that God gives all people ‘sufficient grace’ to turn to Him and be saved.
Does it also follow that God gives all people AT ALL TIMES sufficient grace, or can we lose even this through our choices?
In other words, can we put ourselves, through our choices, in a position were everything we do will be a mortal sin?
The medieval theologians seem to have thought so, but it’s not so clear in modern times. Dante, for example (not a theologian, I know, but a man of good understanding of Church teaching at the time) places living traitors in his Inferno, because their treachery has condemned them in a way that makes it impossible for them to repent without committing further sin, thus they are in Hell even while their earthly lives continue.
For example, the men who joined Hitler’s SS, by obeying orders, they were participating in murder and genocide, by disobeying orders, they were breaking their oaths and dishonouring their (legitimate?) superiors. This isn’t a ‘normal’ case of obeying conscience rather than superiors, because the SS swore blood-oaths of unquestioning loyalty, deliberately alienating their own right to freedom of conscience.
Or, alternatively, the Masonic oath, which says that ‘any repentance from the oath will be a sin’. If someone takes that oath and repents, are they sinning by repenting, and thus have they irrevocably thrown away their salvation?
Is it possible to find yourself in a situation where everything you do is a sin?
If that is the case in these extremes, might it also be the case for the whole of our society. Might a culture become so sick that it drags the vast majority of people into such a situation from an early age. For example, if someone has to choose between a job with a bank that invests in the arms trade and makes money from unfair loans that exploit the developing world or not having enough money to feed his own family, is he put in a situation where all his choices are sinful? Does this mean that few people who are not in Religious Life will be saved?