Heaven is our choice


#1

We are all sinners, but God’s grace is there for all of us. We have free will, so we can choose God or not. We can choose to go to heaven or hell.

This to me is bleak. God seems to play no role, or grace as it is always there on offer. All we have to do is freely make the choice to go to heaven. It is like going into a shop and picking what we want, and there is no need to pay.

Many Catholics who look at pornography and believe in contraception are, as has been indicated in CA, in a state of mortal sin, provided other criteria are met. Forgiveness needs confession, ignored, apparently, by many Catholics. So hell awaits them, unless they make, using free will the decision to enter heaven. Sts Thomas Aquinas and Augustine believed most people end up in hell. All we need to do is choose to go to heaven. If so why does this depress me?


#2

Nothing could be further from the Truth. His will is that all shall be saved. He is in your face 24-7-365-100 years! Some are docile to His presence, others opaque. Rejoice and be glad.

Peace


#3

It is natural to be disappointed that some will choose not to be holy and eternally be in hell, because we have attachments.


#4

You will figure this out as you grow older that as we grow older this our understanding of the grace and goodness of Christ grows also, And our need to enter into eternity with him also does, This comes from much Grace from him, and much prayer on our part.

The reason this depresses you is because you as I and all of us know as much as we want God it is so easy to choose sin over him. St Thomas also saw that most choose themselves and their own happiness over others and what God wants.

But remember that God loves you and will take you and forgive you whatever.


#5

I recall reading something on that with another Saint who had heard the “Like snowflakes falling in winter” phrase. (I think St. Faustina but I’m not sure.) To that the response was the He wouldn’t have created the world if that was so.
So while you have some saints with that view, you also have others like St. Faustina who devoted their life to showing just how merciful God is.


#6

mVitus #5,

throughout history most Catholics believed that without baptism one could not gain heaven, hence the bulk of mankind was excluded from heaven.


#7

Rinnie,
I have now been a Catholic for over 75 years. How long more do I have to wait for understanding?
You claim we can choose sin. So God does not count what counts is our free will. This is bleak.


#8

Vico,
again your reply is bleak. You claim we choose sin, hence hell.
Did the death of Jesus not achieve much? Are we alone buffeted by media, spirits, and our evil inclinations? No wonder many are called and few are chosen and the way to perdition is broad.
I had hoped for replies with positive encouragement, so far these have not appeared.


#9

Brothers, I want to send all of you away comforted today. So if you ask me my sentiment on the number of those who are saved, here it is: Whether there are many or few that are saved, I say that whoever wants to be saved, will be saved; and that no one can be damned if he does not want to be. And if it is true that few are saved, it is because there are few who live well. As for the rest, compare these two opinions: the first one states that the greater number of Catholics are condemned; the second one, on the contrary, pretends that the greater number of Catholics are saved. Imagine an Angel sent by God to confirm the first opinion, coming to tell you that not only are most Catholics damned, but that of all this assembly present here, one alone will be saved. If you obey the Commandments of God, if you detest the corruption of this world, if you embrace the Cross of Jesus Christ in a spirit of penance, you will be that one alone who is saved.
Now imagine the same Angel returning to you and confirming the second opinion. He tells you that not only are the greater portion of Catholics saved, but that out of all this gathering, one alone will be damned and all the others saved. If after that, you continue your usuries, your vengeances, your criminal deeds, your impurities, then you will be that one alone who is damned.
What is the use of knowing whether few or many are saved? Saint Peter says to us, “Strive by good works to make your election sure.” When Saint Thomas Aquinas’s sister asked him what she must do to go to heaven, he said, “You will be saved if you want to be.” I say the same thing to you, and here is proof of my declaration. No one is damned unless he commits mortal sin: that is of faith. And no one commits mortal sin unless he wants to: that is an undeniable theological proposition. Therefore, no one goes to hell unless he wants to; the consequence is obvious. Does that not suffice to comfort you? Weep over past sins, make a good confession, sin no more in the future, and you will all be saved. Why torment yourself so? For it is certain that you have to commit mortal sin to go to hell, and that to commit mortal sin you must want to, and that consequently no one goes to hell unless he wants to. That is not just an opinion, it is an undeniable and very comforting truth; may God give you to understand it, and may He bless you. Amen.

(St Leonard of Port Maurice)


#10

Hazcompat,

your is the last reply I read, since I read the most recent first.

Yours is the type of reply I need.

God wills all to be saved, God is almighty, hence all will be saved.

I agree with you we should rejoice and be glad, even though in the back of our minds, we fear most people we meet will end up roasting in hell. This negative fear should be overcome, but how can this be done within Catholicism?

  • Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.
    (Rom. 12:12 NAB)


#11

Don’t be discouraged. You may be tempted to despair in a time where temptations against Faith, Hope, and Love are relentless. The Church teaches that God gives all humans sufficient grace to be saved, and the people who are damned are there through their rejection of the grace of God, not God’s rejection of them. You should read the Story of a Soul by St Therese. We are all flowers in the garden of God, not ants that he uses a magnifying glass to burn


#12

God’s will is that we all spend eternity with him. We however can decide differently.

To that I say God’s will be done. So I ceaselessly pray for all us.

We must not give up hope. Catholics do not believe that some or most people are predestined for hell.


#13

I’m saddened by so many responses and I don’t think one mentioned Jesus Christ. We gain eternity through faith in Jesus. He is the one God sent to redeem us. We can not achieve eternal salvation without going through Christ.


#14

A modern Protestant scholar (it seems to me) sees grace as God’s gift to us, which is not dependent on our worth, hence it is unconditioned, but it creates obligations for us to respond, hence it is NOT unconditional. Would this be in conformity with Catholic teaching?


#15

PraiseChrist

again you are bleak.

You claim people damn themselves by rejecting the grace of God. If I reject God’s grace is it because that is the way I am, the way I was made, a sinner with tendencies to evil. I did not choose to be made so flawed, God made me that way ,so does he not share in my damnation due to faulty work?

Is it fair that I can choose to do evil, but not good, which needs grace?


#16

Sarcelle

Again you stress our destiny depends on our choice/decision. Do you ignore the role of grace/providence, God’s mercy and love?


#17

Noel - I can suggest the Gospels to remedy any bleakness. :thumbsup:

Hell is real, people go there. It’s their fault. They deserve it because of their own action, and their own action alone.

Heaven is real, people go there. They cooperated with grace. They deserve it because of that grace which was cooperated with, insofar as it was cooperated with.

Anyone who goes to Hell is loved by God much more than by you or me. We ought not to worry about the damned, only about those still on the way, whether on Earth or in purgatory. To do so is to call God to account for injustice, which is unwise…


#18

**
SJacob7,**

Thank you for raising a fundamental point.

If our future happiness depends on our choice of the good, then the life, passion and death of Jesus are worthless. It is vital to hold fast to our believe that we have been saved by Jesus Christ, our Saviour.


#19

Yes, there are some Protestants who believe that. They believe (essentially) that God forces Himself upon a person, forcing them to believe, forcing them to do good, forcing them to accept Him. According to such a belief system, a person canNOT accept God, but God must choose to force Himself upon a person.

Such a belief system is appealing because it relieves an individual of any responsibility. Eat, plunder, drink, and be marry-- God will either force you to Heaven or not-- nothing you do matters. God will force person X to Heaven and then forces person Y to Hell (because in such a belief system every person doomed to Hell was created to be sent doomed). Which ever happens has nothing to do with you.

I do not believe such a system, and neither do Catholics. Us having a choice to accept Christ-- that is wonderful. That is God respecting us: letting us choose to embrace His gift. He does not force us to do anything. A loving Father does not force His children’s love, nor actions, but rather gives them a choice. That is wonderful.


#20

Fortunately, even if deep thinkers like Aquinas and Augustine believe most people end up in a Christian “hell”-- we have no solid proof that anyone has ever gone to this place after their body has died here on earth.

So that’s one piece of good news to cheer you up!

I often find it hard to understand that so many people who call themselves Christian and say they believe in and have faith in all that their religion teaches…would freely of their own will choose the hell that is described instead of the heaven.

Can it be that they really don’t believe they will actually go to this hell?

If I thought that there was an actual, real hell of eternal fire, damnation and gnashing of the teeth that I would go to if I did certain things on the “go to hell” list…and I had “free will” to choose either…I’d choose the door and actions called Heaven.

.


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