what would non-salvific ‘Faith Alone’ look like?
Fortunately St. Paul and the CCC tell us.
1st CORINTHIANS 13:2b-3, 13 2 and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. . . . 13 So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
And here is what St. Paul DOESN’T say . . . .
NOT 1st CORINTHIANS (Phantom Verse) 2 and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am still justified anyway. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain heaven because I am justified by faith alone. . . . 13 So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is faith so it fits into a man-made doctrine of sola fide.
The point is, they may LOOK quite alike on the outside.
But obedience to God’s commandments factors into the situation.
That’s WHY the very first and the very last time St. Paul uses the word “faith” in Romans, he talks about “the OBEDIENCE of faith” (Romans 1:5 & Romans 16:26).
Jesus says the same thing: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15 and John 15:10)
Some will object saying: “I do good works because of my faith!”
And that is great. But you better be doing them because of charity too. If you aren’t, . . . if supernatural charity does NOT reside within you . . . you are “nothing” and you GAIN “nothing” either.
CCC 1853c . . . in the heart also resides charity, the source of the good and pure works, which sin wounds.
“Charity is the form, mover, mother, and root of all the virtues.” - St. Thomas Aquinas
Faith, hope, and charity are supernatural (above the senses) graces. Grace escapes our experience. The CCC discusses this concept too . . .
**CCC 2005 ** Since it belongs to the supernatural order, grace escapes our experience and cannot be known except by faith. We cannot therefore rely on our feelings or our works to conclude that we are justified and saved.56 However, according to the Lord’s words "Thus you will know them by their fruits"57 - reflection on God’s blessings in our life and in the lives of the saints offers us a guarantee that grace is at work in us and spurs us on to an ever greater faith and an attitude of trustful poverty.
[INDENT]A pleasing illustration of this attitude is found in the reply of St. Joan of Arc to a question posed as a trap by her ecclesiastical judges: "Asked if she knew that she was in God’s grace, she replied: ‘If I am not, may it please God to put me in it; if I am, may it please God to keep me there.’"58 [/INDENT]
I hope this helps.