For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted?

I was listening to Called To Communion with Dr. David Anders today and he answered a question from a caller that said a Catholic dogma asserts that one can’t be certain if they have received grace. He references 1 Corinthians 4 to back this up.

This section can be found at the time frame of 39:25 - 44:00 on the following link here on EWTN’s youtube channel

This has kind of scared me to death, because it sounds like that he is saying that even if one is fully confident they have not committed a mortal sin, they can still go to hell. As most of you already know, I am very scrupulous and this seems to completely contradict what I’ve been taught that “unless you know for certain that you deliberately committed a grave act with full knowledge and consent, then it’s not a mortal sin. If there is any doubt, it is not a mortal sin.”

I understand that scruples are kind of in a different boat, but it still seems to imply that a Catholic can never be assured that they are saved because they don’t know if they actually have mortal sins on their soul or not. Their salvation is a guessing game and even if they do a serious examination of conscious and can’t think of any unrepentant sin of grave matter they committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent…it won’t matter, because they can still be in a state of mortal sin anyway due to some obscure and not fully manifest evil inclination.

Am I reading into this wrong?

The answer is regular Confession even if you have not or think you have not committed a mortal sin.

The position stated by this speaker is simply a corrective to Protestant polemic about “Once Saved, Always Saved”, and so on. It is not meant to frighten the scrupulous. As a wise Bishop once wrote in the notes to a Bible, we are not to peer too closely into the mysteries of Divine Election, but rather trust in His grace and have recourse to the Sacraments. :slight_smile:

I think it means one must not become complacent or self-satisfied.

There is always room for improvement.

If you are on the path to holiness, that’s great, but don’t just stand there. Keep moving.

And that is why you should not be listening to random radio shows. Because as a scrupulous person you grab on to one word, one phrase in that whole hour long program and “scare yourself to death”.

You don’t even hear what he says in the discussion when he says we **have **hope and faith in God, we **can **be confident in the signs of grace in our lives, but we should not judge ourselves “acquitted” (meaning “once saved, always saved”) because we could grow complacent and presumptuous and believe we can sin with impunity. The “acquitted” comment is **future **oriented, meaning you might be in grace right now, but that has no claim on the future, where you can indeed sin again. It does NOT say or mean that you can never know if you have received grace or are in a state of grace. Yes you can know you are in a state of grace.

Yes, you can be in a state of grace. Yes, you can sin again and fall from grace. BUT, you an also go to confession if you do sin and be forgiven and restored with grace.

Ben, you need to be under continued spiritual direction and take anything you hear that troubles you to your spiritual director. It is a tendency of the scrupulous to latch on and amplify one thing to the complete disregarding of other things. That’s not how God works, that’s not what Scripture says. Scripture is not one sentence, one phrase. It is the totality of all of it, taken together, that gives us God’s message.

LISTEN to your spiritual director, not a 3 minute segment on a radio program you are taking out of context.

NO, it does not imply that. Your scrupulous mind implies that.

What is actually being said is that while you can be confident in God’s grace, you cannot presume upon it and assume you will remain in God’s grace if you sin in the future. You are not assured of God’s grace your whole life just because you have it at one point in your life. We have free will, we can reject it. The good news is, we can always restore ourselves to grace through the sacraments.

YES, you are reading it wrong. That is NOT NOT NOT what it is saying. You’ve just made that entire thing up out of your scrupulous, skewed view of things. You need spiritual direction.

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