Catholic so going to heaven!

Reading through many post’s I noticed with interest people signing off with the words:Catholic,so going to heaven"

I know much of this maybe youthful bravado,but it is an area of faith which deeply concerns me.
My dear mother not too long ago died with cancer at the age of 72.During her life I have sometimes referred to her as the “Mother Theresa” of Cumbernauld where she lived.During which time she very seldom missed daily mass.She was usually found amongst those cleaning the chapel afterwards.As well as raising 4 children of her own and on her own mostly because her husband was a drinker;she was always helping the elderly and frail of the parish.She many,many times organised annual pilgrimages to Lourdes,accompanying and supporting the old and frail throughout the trip.She even adopted three disabled children(one dying in infancy).
Almost everyone spoke of her as one whose life was devoted to :first her faith and then very close behind;those in need.
There was no one more in admiration of these things than me.That is why I am so troubled in relation to this question of confidence.Because this beautiful sacrificial woman,in her desperate time of need had no confidence but much fear.
If she had not done enough to be sure of heaven what chance did I have with my selfish "life?
I remembered reading a book on this very topic which talked of confidence for believers before God and his judgement ,which said that if God punished his own son in a sinners place,how would he then punish the sinner at the judgement,who believed in the Saviour as well? Did my mother believe this?..Did I?
To my eyes my dear mother could only hope for a place in purgatory and I am not positive she was certain she was good enough to go even there.
That’s why this topic so intrigues me,and I am asking Where is our rest,who have been raised Catholics,at the end of our journey?Especially since the generation of Catholic faithful before us,were by far,much,much more faithful than us. Should there be confidence?If so how is it expressed?

Your mother sounds like a truly lovely person, the kind of person that you’d like to meet and maybe sit with, or work side by side with, and talk. I hope you don’t mind me weighing in with a particular protestant perspective, because I think this topic is obviously an extremely important topic. From my perspective one needs to make sure that any faith and hope that we have is true faith and hope and not empty, or wishful thinking.

I do believe that it is Jesus’ Righteousness that is important, and His sacrifice, the spilling of His blood, and His resurrection. I also believe that our punishment was indeed laid on Him, and He opens the Way to Heaven, and to right relationship with God. I believe that salvation is by grace through faith, and that we have to trust Christ and His work “with great confidence.” There is peace with God through Christ, and He loves us with an ineffable and completely perfect love. Yes, He is also just, and His Justice and Mercy meet on the cross.

I believe that God is truly our Father if we turn to Jesus to save us. Our Father doesn’t mean us to fear, but as often is repeated by Jesus to “fret not.” Yes, we are to “do” something and that is to faithe on Jesus. From this flows the fruit of the Spirit, and the good works, and love for one another that accompanies His Disciples. If we have hope it is in Him, if we have faith it is directed at Him. If I were to state with confidence that I am going to Heaven, it would be because of Him, for if we boast we should boast in Him.

The Catholic Church actually teaches that Catholics can go to hell even if they believe in God if they sin gravely and do not repent before death. Your poll doesn’t seem to include a poll choice for that.

You’ll be fine if you just confess grave sins in confession to a priest and do the small good works that you are given opportunities to do. The size doesn’t matter. What matters is the good will that you do them with.

Your question - - “Where is our rest,who have been raised Catholics,at the end of our journey?” is an excellent one.

You have been given a great gift in recognizing this question. God is calling to you.

For me - my aim can be for nothing else but heaven. I know that I will require purgation before being admitted…but I am prepared for that.

The things you wrote about your mother makes me think that she likely did not need much purgation. I say this for two reasons. First, her heart was obviously with the Lord and she showed this through her life. Second, her suffering with cancer. I’m sure that she offered this up and such suffering does not go without notice by our dear Lord.
In addition, you mention her humility…her feeling of humility - of feeling like she had not done enough.
There are two bible verses that, although they do not appear together, I think fit such cases very well.
You mother’s feeling is reflected here:
So you also, when you have done all that is commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’" - (Luke 17:10)
Yet this very humility - given all that she did - will bring this reply from our Lord:
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.’ - (Matthew 25:23)

For ourselves - who have been given such wonderful examples in our lives, I can only suggest that we, as Jesus says in Luke 10:37, “Go and do likewise”.

There is nothing we can do to change our past, but we can all certainly improve our spiritual future.

Peace
James

Your Mother sounds like a wo

You reminded me of my mom who raised a large family, taught many children, suffered in her later years and said to me, “The only good thing about me is that I loved the Lord.” This shocked me since I thought so many things were incredibly good about her. It later dawned on me that all of those good things sprang out of her from her love of God or from His love of her.

It also dawned on me that I better not take things for granted in my faith.

It also dawned on me that you can think someone has great faith and confidence, only to find out that they have their doubts too.

We do not know if one generation had it easier than another. My mother’s generation knew hard work and long suffering and lived through some terrible wars. There must have been some comfort amongst each other in having similar values and similar trials.

The next generation has had more ease, comfort, with antiseptic wars at a distance. We all have our own individual values and our trials are often described as “self-imposed” (“He brought that on himself.”) If there is suffering, it is from the noise of rabid individualism with self-interest at its center. Finding common values and beliefs are a bit trickier. My mom said that I might suffer from being isolated from others in the Truth. But she had the strength in numbers amongst her peers in the faith. I have to filter through my peers’ support since some have very secular beliefs and they let me off the hook too easily for moral questions.

These are generalities, of course, but I wonder if God will take it all into account on judgment day.

And I wonder how many of my generation truly FEAR the Lord.

I read and hear MANY Catholics say, “Don’t worry; God will forgive you.” But do they know or care if I am truly contrite. Could it be that we are just a bit too confident about knowing the mind of God? And do we give each other free passes without true fear and humility??

People don’t go to Heaven by “doing good or being good.” Only those who’s names are in the Lambs Book of Life are going to Heaven. See Matthew 7:21-22 These are the most painful words Yeshua will ever have to say. He is saying this to people who spent their lives going to church, doing good things and even (in their minds) casting out demons in the Name of Yeshua. They wern’t born again as Yeshua tells us in John 3:3. If you’re not born again you will be in this crowd don’t waste time Yeshua’s return is soon comming!

In Yeshua’s Name

Mike

Trying to do the best I can to follow in the ways of Christ with the grace I’ve been given. Trusting in God to help get me there-and leaving judgment to Him at the end of the day. Praise God for the Church’s teachings and sacraments!

Annie, God will only forgive you if you are born again. Yeshua tells us this in John 3:3 He is your ONLY way to Heaven. You don’t get there by “being good or doing good.” We are saved only by the Grace and Blood of Yeshua. Ephesians 2:8-9 don’t wait Annie, Yeshua’s return is soon comming!

Subhanallah. Your mother sounds so wonderful. I hope I can be one tenth as caring and merciful as she was.

Vapour, I’m curious. I’ve been a very active member here for nearly eight years now. Not once ever have I seen anyone sign off a post ‘Catholic, so going to heaven’ or use any words indicating anything remotely similar. I would guess that I’ve seen way way more of the threads and got to know a lot more of the posters than you. Where exactly have you come across this?

As a Catholic. I believe the Church is, in its teachings and sacraments, the surest and best path to heaven available to us. But it depends on the individual to faithfully follow that path - without doing so the mere label ‘Catholic’ is meaningless and no particular guarantee of heaven.

So I think the phrase ‘Catholic, so going to heaven’ is grossly inaccurate and a misrepresentation of what we actually believe.

Your question is a complicated one. As it is now, I wouldn’t say that any of your poll responses are good answers.

I have not noticed people ever saying here “Catholic, so going to heaven.” If anything it seems that Catholics are more likely to say we can’t know with objective certainty that we are numbered among the elect. And I would agree with this. As your own example from Matthew reveals, believing that we are saved is not sufficient for salvation. This is an error among some Baptists. This does not mean that we cannot have any knowledge of our salvation. Hence, Peter says,

For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:8-11)

Having fear is a normal thing in the face of death. Even Christ, who was in every respect blameless, felt a sense of dread the night before his Passion. If we have done our best, at the end of the day, if we were judged solely according to our own merits, we could not stand before God. Our only hope is that we might be considered just through the application of the merits of Jesus Christ. But this fact is distorted by most Protestants so that our salvation properly consists only in a legal application of Christ’s merits. That is, God will never be able to accept us for who we are because everything about us deserves eternal hellfire, and we are only accepted because God looks at Christ and not us. But this is not St. Paul’s message. For instance look at the Letter to the Philippians.

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith. (Philippians 3:8-9)

This might be interpreted as saying that nothing we do has any bearing on salvation after we come to believe. If we believe in Christ, whatever that is taken to mean, we know objectively we are saved, end of story. This could not be further from the truth. Paul continues,

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:10-14)

This is a running theme in Paul’s letters, of being conformed to Christ. He says here that he has not laid ahold of the prize of salvation, but that he presses forward to win it. This is why your first two poll options are wrong. We are not saved by Jesus being good and us being bad, but through being elevated by the life of grave despite of our demerits. Neither is it right to say that we our saved by working hard to please God, because nothing we do by our own nature can in any sense merit salvation. St. Paul writes in Romans (9:16), it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

The last two poll options are wrong as well, primarily because they are not answers to the poll question.

I’m trying to understand how this post is helpful to the OP.

The OP is seeking understanding on his/her mother’s life and death - and also his/her circumstances and relationship with God.

What you have provided here is perhaps true…but academic. It provides no real help to the OP.
It immediately invites the question - can one know if their name is in the book? Can one know for sure if they are born again?
These are the questions that the OP has…These are the things that we are seeking to help with.

I can tall you that, based upon what the OP wrote about his/her mother, she certainly appears to have been born again. That she had a great love for God and for her fellow man. That she embraced and embodies the things that Paul wrote about Agape in 1 Corinthians 13.

Thus we are able to offer real hope to the OP about his/her mother AND offer the same hope to him/her.

Sorry if the above sounds harsh - but in these types of discussions it is important to try to offer real help. I do not think that your statement above really does that.

Peace
James

Hmm … don’t think I’ve seen that.

This. :yup:

=vapour;11565462]Reading through many post’s I noticed with interest people signing off with the words:Catholic,so going to heaven"

I know much of this maybe youthful bravado,but it is an area of faith which deeply concerns me.
My dear mother not too long ago died with cancer at the age of 72.During her life I have sometimes referred to her as the “Mother Theresa” of Cumbernauld where she lived.During which time she very seldom missed daily mass.She was usually found amongst those cleaning the chapel afterwards.As well as raising 4 children of her own and on her own mostly because her husband was a drinker;she was always helping the elderly and frail of the parish.She many,many times organised annual pilgrimages to Lourdes,accompanying and supporting the old and frail throughout the trip.She even adopted three disabled children(one dying in infancy).
Almost everyone spoke of her as one whose life was devoted to :first her faith and then very close behind;those in need.
There was no one more in admiration of these things than me.That is why I am so troubled in relation to this question of confidence.Because this beautiful sacrificial woman,in her desperate time of need had no confidence but much fear.
If she had not done enough to be sure of heaven what chance did I have with my selfish "life?
I remembered reading a book on this very topic which talked of confidence for believers before God and his judgement ,which said that if God punished his own son in a sinners place,how would he then punish the sinner at the judgement,who believed in the Saviour as well? Did my mother believe this?..Did I?
To my eyes my dear mother could only hope for a place in purgatory and I am not positive she was certain she was good enough to go even there.
That’s why this topic so intrigues me,and I am asking Where is our rest,who have been raised Catholics,at the end of our journey?Especially since the generation of Catholic faithful before us,were by far,much,much more faithful than us. Should there be confidence?If so how is it expressed?

One MUST and needs to be cautious here of the SIN of presumption.:blush:

Jesus Himself points out:

Matthew 7:13
Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat.

Luke 13:24
Strive to enter by the narrow gate; for many, I say to you, shall seek to enter, and shall not be able.

Matthew 7:14
How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it!

WHY?

BECAUSE GOD WILL, BECAUSE GOD MUST MAKE JUDGMENT BASED ON WHAT HE; GOD, HAS MADE POSSIBLE FOR US TO KNOW, ACCEPT, LIVE AND BELIEVE; NOT WHAT WE OURSELVES CHOOSE.:thumbsup:

Catholics do have both an “inside track on heaven through Sacramental grace”; but also will be judged all the more severely because of this gift from God.

NOT everyone who calls LORD, LORD will enter into heaven. Amen!:slight_smile:

forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=11497001&postcount=252

Protestor didn’t say “Catholic so going to heaven” however.

Thank you everyone who has replied to this post.I know how nerve racking and difficult it can be;trying to put your thoughts and feelings down accurately is far from easy.
By homing in on one particular point it is not my desire to devalue any other comment made.
However since the focus of my interest was my mother facing the imminent prospect of coming before the righteous holy creator in eternity and being full of fear despite this good God rich in mercy.
This terror before her seemed to contradict the meaning behind one of her favourite catholic hymn(and mine) taking from Isaiah43:

                    "   Do not be afraid for I have redeemed you;I have called you by your name,
                   You are mine.When you pass through the waters I shall be with you..."

I do think this is what she discovered right at the very end.When she entered into the joy of The Lord.(Before this ,I agree that the terrible sufferings she endured throughout her life and with the cancer,at her death was ordained of God for her leading her in this inescapable situation to offer it up in quiet submission.
But before this point my mother Jean,at the prospect of her departure,had much fear even terror.
My mother was full of good works,no one can deny this.But did they spring from the knowledge of the saviours love for her?If so,where was that perfect love that casts out all fear?I can’t help but wonder if she was looking to these works possibly trusting in a sandy base ,knowing in herself(as I see the same thing in myself) she was a “Brocken cistern”:unable to hold water or that which her conscience told her only God could provide.Is this why she was so fearful?

Knowing my own best efforts to be as filthy rags,except as the hymn above puts it:
"he has called "me by my name.
Is it wrong to believe that he has his own whom he died for and paid the price due(redeemed)for their sins ,for me personally.?
I have often wondered about Judas:why was he refused mercy?he returned to the scene of his crime and sought to right the terrible deed;but doubting Thomas who refused to believe(and would have been damned unless the saviour pampered to his unbelief.,and allowed Thomas’s fingers to enter the blessed holes.
Is this then the rest that remains for the people of God where ever they be? A Saviour determined to save his sheep and able by his own blood to do it.?

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