Hi Vico, thanks for responding!
But the theological virtue of Faith that we receive, although Baptism leaves an indelible 'mark' on our soul, is something that can be accepted or rejected out of free will. In the situations mentioned, the first example (Sally) is describing someone who themselves only thinks there is a possibility that confession is effective for the removal of sins, and is acting out of that possibility, not out of certainty or real belief that the sacrament of Penance actually does forgive sins.
There is certainly a difference between understanding and believing. In these cases, both the belief and the understanding are lacking.
[quote="JerryZ, post:3, topic:302049"]
OK, why don't we all go back to the Bible that will go well with our sola scriptura friends.
What did Jesus do to a well know Christian killer and persecuter called Saul?
Do you think he was in not in mortal sin when he was commiting those actions?
Is that proof enough for you that GOD can work even with the most wicked of us so long as we say YES to his calling?
Hi JerryZ, thanks for posting on this thread!
Just in case I was misleading at all, I am Catholic, and not a believer in "Sola Scriptura".
I would think Saul was in a state of mortal sin, but before his conversion and baptism, his sins, particularly his original sin, would not have yet been forgiven. His assent to the Christian Faith, even though he had the assistance of evidence from a supernatural vision, was something he could have accepted or rejected, as his free will was involved.
In the scenarios I gave in my original post, I was speaking about people who have responded, not with a direct "YES" to the Catholic Faith, but with a now dulled "maybe" or "well I wish I could" or a "Yes, but not certainly". Since they do not fully and certainly believe in the effectiveness of the sacrament of Penance (or the Divinity of Christ), but only marginally have an idea that it might benefit them if Catholicism is true, or because they see good evidence for themselves to believe in Catholicism, but do not yet have the absolute certainty that comes with the Theological Virtue of Faith (which no amount of sensory evidence can, by necessity, make one accept), is it immoral or invalid for them to go to confession while still in this state of doubt, or lack of full and certain acceptance of The Faith?
Imagine that Paul (Saul) was around in the 21st Century: he gets knocked out of his car, has a vision of Christ, and comes to believe in the Catholic Faith. Now let's say that 10 years later, he starts to doubt his faith, and withholds his certain assent to the Catholic Faith. In this hypothetical situation, if Paul would like to go to Penance, not because he fully and absolutely believes he ought to, but because he thinks it 'might benefit him' or 'just in case' his prior Faith turns out to be true, would it be immoral or illicit for him to go to Confession? Would it be a valid confession if he then truly did despise his past sins, and had a firm amendment to no longer practice them? What if he despised his sins of voluntary doubt as well, while still mainting at least involuntary doubt of his Faith?