Is this the Catholic understanding about salvation?

Ok, so I’ve been Catholic for a little less than a year so forgive me if I get this wrong.

So before anything God gives us actual grace in which we can respond too or reject. If we respond to it we get faith. By our faith we receive sanctifying Grace through baptism. It is infused on our souls. We are justified (made righteous) before God and we are sanctified (fit to live in heaven) by God. We are made holy. If we fall into mortal sin we loose sanctifying grace and are not justified in the sight of God and aren’t sanctified. Through the sacrament of reconciliation we receive sanctifying grace by our faith. In the sacraments (especially the Eucharist) and in prayer and even in works of mercy, we can increase the sanctifying grace on our souls which will help us resit temptation and help us become more holy and live more of a holy life. Staying in sanctifying grace, and being able to resist temptation more and more. Now, when we receive grace, we respond to it not only by our faith but also by our works. If we loose faith we loose grace, if we don’t do works we also loose grace. Because by doing works it shows we have a live faith, which gets us grace. If no works we loose grace and can’t receive it back unless we decide we ARE going to live the way Jesus did and show we have an active faith. By works we can also receive rewards in heaven. Works also helps build up our faith. If we build up our faith we are going to want to stay in grace more and therefor resist temptation to sin. Therefor, helping in the process of salvation by becoming more holy by resisting sin more and by staying in grace. Works can also get us more actual grace, which can motivate us to go to confession when needed, or at the last second if we’re just about to sin to convince us not too. Actual Grace is not infused on our soul but is rather… imputed? (That’s the best word I can think of) At our deaths if we are in a state of grace we receive final justification and final sanctification. We are righteous before the Lord and can live in heaven.

I’d ask a knowledgeable priest about this. The word “imputed” raises a caution. We progress toward final salvation by the grace of the sacraments and through faith that is working in love, similar to what you described. Don’t forget the Cross. Read Galatians 5:6.

I think you have got things basically right except for a couple of things. Good works do not gain us any merit for heaven – only good works done for God are supernatural and can gain us merit for heaven. We could donate 10 million dollars to the poor philanthropically, but this would not gain us any merit for heaven. We would have to make the donation for God in order for us to gain any merit for this good act. If you pay for your friend’s meal because you feel bad that he is poor, this is a philanthropic act and will not gain you merit for heaven. But if you were to pay for your poor friend’s meal for God, then this becomes a supernatural act and thus will gain you merit for heaven. Actual graces are “helps,” so I don’t think that the word “imputes” applies to them. Why do you think that it does? God bless you.

Wow, that was a complicated explanation.

It is as easy as: Repent, believe and be baptized. Acts 2:38 and 16:31

Here is the thing, what is it we believe? In John 6 when he taught the we need to eat His flesh and drink His blood…

John 6:64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him.

The Eucharist is the Body, Blood Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. Do you believe?

John 6:54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.

I recommend you read John 6 and meditate on it.

I miswrote my first sentence. To me you seem to have grasped what is involved in salvation. In my post I only wanted to say this and wanted to be sure that you know what good works really involve … you probably already knew. I also wanted to say that actual graces being helps would not involve God “imputing” them. Imputing is not the right choice of word for a good thing like grace. God bless you.

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