I am trying to figure out how to explain to Protestant friends how, from a Catholic perspective, we are saved by our faith. I have got a notion that I believe to be Catholic but I would like to get some assurance that it is so, can you help me?
Coming to believe in the trinity and thus coming to faith allows the Holy Spirit to offer the gift actual grace in our lives. This actual grace causes us to seek holiness with God and thus leads us to sanctification through Baptism and the rest of the Sacraments. Of course with this sanctifying grace we are saved.
My notion is that faith is the reason for our salvation, however indirectly. I understand that Protestants think that faith is the direct cause of our salvation (i.e. it is the mere fact that you have faith that causes you to be saved). My goal is to be able to effectively counter Protestant scriptural arguments that say that we are saved through our faith.
As always, faith isn’t faith if it doesn’t manifest itself in our actions; thus we are saved by faith and works.