[quote=RyanL’s Wife]Okay, that makes sense, but what if we change the premise a bit. Someone only does a few good works…then what. Obviously there isn’t going to be an exact number, but how many works need to be accomplish. Can someone strive to do the minimum.
Or we can get rid of the premise all together… I am just unsure how the two work/go together. Good Work vs. no mortal sins with the end result being Heaven.
(Where I am coming from… as a Baptist, we want and strive to do good works because it is a testimony of God’s love, but if we don’t seek out these works, or make a conscious effort, it doesn’t affect our salvation. Normally, they are just the natural result of what we view as our salvation)
I guess I am asking how good works affect or don’t affect your salvation as a Catholic
Good works in and of themselves will not “earn” you salvation as salvation cannot be earned. It is a gift of grace.
Where “works” enter the equation is as the “RESULT” of faith and love of God. When one truly has faith, it is the result of grace from God and the only response to that is gratitude toward God. Our gratitude and love for God, as our love for a spouse, will necessarily *manifest * itself in works that demonstrate that faith and love.
In the “sheep and goats” parable (Matthew 25) Jesus tells us that it is those who fed the hungry, clothed the naked, etc who will inherit the Kingdom, while those who didn’t will not. When they ask when they did (or didn’t) do these things–obviously not even realizing they were acting out of love for him!–they are told that it is in doing these things for the “least of our brothers”.
Mosher is totally right IMO, that not inheriting the Kingdom will be by sins of omission, and that omission is the ommision of acting in love. As John says, “you can’t say you love the God you cannot see if you don’t love the neighbor you can see.”
The works don’t get you into heaven except as the fruits of faith and love. If you truly love God, you will love His children and that love will show itself in your works, even if those works only were to consist of sincere prayer.