Pagans need not convert: Can someone help me understand?

I teach 6th grade CCD using a very well-known publishing company’s CCD book.
My father teaches 8th grade CCD using the same company’s 8th grade version.
Both have the papal imprimatur in the front cover.
I came across some striking text which seems to contradict my understanding of the Roman Catholic faith and of what I have previously read.

From the 6th grade book:
“Jesus Christ, through his grace, can still save people who are not members of the Church. Jews respond to God’s revelation in the Old Testament. Muslims - followers of Islam - believe in one God of Abraham and his descendants. As Catholics, we recognize and respect the value of other religions. As Catholics we recognize and respect the value of other religions.”

From the 6th grade teacher’s manual:
“These two religious groups - Jews and Muslims - are especially important to us. Jews follow the same faith practiced in Israel in Old Testament times. Abraham is their father in faith. Muslims practice Islam. Abraham is their father in faith too. Christians, Jews, and Muslims all worship the God of Abraham…We’ve read about some people who have different views of Christ, but they may still seek God with a good heart. The Church tells us that those good people will be saved too. All people who seek the truth with good hearts can be united to God.”

From the 8th grade book:
The Church is catholic or open to everyone, because it has been sent by Christ to the whole human race. So even those who don’t believe in Jesus are related to the Church.
The Jewish people have already given a positive response to God’s call in the Old Testament. Muslims are included in God’s plan of salvation because with us they adore the one, merciful God. Because it is catholic, the Church has a bond with all people through God, who created the world and everyone in it.

“We know that Jesus died for our sins, and we know that he died for everyone. But what if you don’t know about Jesus? Or what if you know about Jesus but you believe something different? What if you are a Muslim and you believe that Jesus was a prophet but not God? Maybe you are a Hindu, and you worship the divine in the form of gods and goddesses that resemble humans, animals or natural forces such as wind, water, fire, sun and believe in the goddess Takanaluk who is part human and fish. Can you receive salvation if you don’t believe in Jesus like we do? The Church says yes. In the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, #22, the Church teaches that the grace of salvation through Jesus Christ is offered to every person in ways known only to God.

Quote (from book):
“There is only one God and He is God to all; therefore it is important that everyone is seen as equal before God. I’ve always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic become a better Catholic.” - Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, foundress of the Missionaries of Charity

Can you please help me to reconcile what this text wants me to teach with the following:

Pius VIII, Traditi Humilitati, 1829, #4
Among these heresies belongs that foul contrivance of the sophists of this age who do not admit any difference among the different professions of faith and who think that the portal of eternal salvation opens for all from any religion…
Indeed this deadly idea concerning the lack of difference among religions is refuted even by the light of natural reason. We are assured of this because the various religions do not often agree among themselves. If one is true, the other must be false; there can be no society of darkness with light. Against these experienced sophists the people must be taught that the profession of the Catholic faith is uniquely true, as the apostle proclaims: one Lord, one faith, one baptism

Pope Pius IX, Qui Pluribus, 1846, #15
Also perverse is that shocking theory that it makes no difference to which religion one belongs, a theory greatly at variance even with reason. By means of this theory, those crafty men remove all distinction between virtue and vice, truth and error, honoral and vile action. They pretend that men can gain eternal salvation by the practice of any religion, as if there could ever be any sharing between justice and iniquity, any collaboration between light and darkness, or any agreement between Christ and Belial.

Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis, 1950, #32
They allege…the contemporary mind must look to the existence of things and to life, which is ever in flux. While scorning our philosophy, they extol other philosophies of all kinds, ancient and modern, oriental and occidental, by which they seem to imply that any kind of philosophy or theory, with a few additions and corrections if need be, can be reconciled with Catholic dogma. No Catholic can doubt how false this is.

Pope Gregory XVI, Summo Iugiter Studio, 1832, #3,5
Some…misguided people attempt to persuade themselves and others that men are not saved only in the Catholic religion, but that even heretics may attain eternal life.
(Further Quoting Pope St. Gregory the Great)
“The holy universal Church teaches that it is not possible to worship God truly except in her and asserts that all who are outside of her will not be saved.”
Thus, in the decree on faith which Innocent III published with the synod of Lateran IV, these things are written: “There is one universal Church of all the faithful outside of which no one is saved.”

Pope Pius IX, The Syllabus of Errors, 1864, #16,17
Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation, and arrive at eternal salvation …Good hope at least is to be entertained of the eternal salvation of all those who are not at all in the true Church of Christ- CONDEMNED

Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctum, 1302
Urged by faith, we are obliged to believe and to maintain that the Church is one, holy, catholic, and also apostolic. We believe in her firmly and we confess with simplicity that outside of her there is neither salvation nor the remission of sins…In her then is one Lord, one faith, one baptism [Eph 4:5]. There had been at the time of the deluge only one ark of Noah, prefiguring the one Church, which ark, having been finished to a single cubit, had only one pilot and guide, i.e., Noah, and we read that, outside of this ark, all that subsisted on the earth was destroyed.

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Session 11, 1442 (Infallible)
It firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the catholic church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the catholic church before the end of their lives; that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only for those who abide in it do the church’s sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia produce eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed his blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and the unity of the catholic church.
(Also)
It firmly believes, professes and teaches that the legal prescriptions of the old Testament or the Mosaic law…once our lord Jesus Christ who was signified by them had come, came to an end and the sacraments of the new Testament had their beginning…it asserts that after the promulgation of the gospel they [Mosaic Laws] cannot be observed without loss of eternal salvation. Therefore it denounces all who after that time observe circumcision, the sabbath and other legal prescriptions as strangers to the faith of Christ and unable to share in eternal salvation, unless they recoil at some time from these errors…the difference in the Mosaic law between clean and unclean foods belongs to ceremonial practices, which have passed away and lost their efficacy with the coming of the gospel.

Pius VIII, Traditi Humilitati, 1829, #4
No other name than the name of Jesus is given to men, by which they may be saved. He who believes shall be saved; he who does not believe shall be condemned.

Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Session 6, Chapter III (Infallible)
But although Christ died for all, yet not all receive the benefit of His death, but those only to whom the merit of His Passion is communicated.

Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis, 1950, #27
Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation

Quicunque Vult (The Athanasian Creed - Infallible)
He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity…it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Benedict XIV, A Quo Primum, 1751
“Doesn’t the Church every day triumph more fully over the Jews in convicting or converting them than if once and for all she destroyed them with the edge of the sword: Surely it is not in vain that the Church has established the universal prayer which is offered up for the faithless Jews…that the Lord God may remove the veil from their hearts, that they may be rescued from their darkness into the light of truth.” (Quoting St. Bernard of Clairvaux)

Pius IX, Quanto Conficiamur Moerore, 1863, #9
“God forbid that the children of the Catholic Church should even in any way be unfriendly to those who are not at all united to us by the same bonds of faith and love. On the contrary, let them be eager always to attend to their needs with all the kind services of Christian charity, whether they are poor or sick or suffering any other kind of visitation. First of all, let them rescue them from the darkness of the errors into which they have unhappily fallen and strive to guide them back to Catholic truth…”

Romans 11:20-21
Because of unbelief they [the Jews] were broken off. But thou standest by faith [in Christ]. Be not highminded, but fear. For if God hath NOT SPARED the natural branches [the unbelieving Jews], fear lest perhaps he also spare not thee.

John 3:5
Jesus answered: Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

John 6:54
Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.

Psalm 95:4-5
4 For the Lord is great, and exceedingly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the Gentiles are devils: but the Lord made the heavens.

Acts 2:38
But Peter said to them: Do penance, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins: and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

1 Corinthians 10:20-21
20 But the things which the heathens sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God. And I would not that you should be made partakers with devils.
21 You cannot drink the chalice of the Lord, and the chalice of devils: you cannot be partakers of the table of the Lord, and of the table of devils.

Haydock 1859 (Deuteronomy 18:13)
“Thou shalt be perfect, and without spot before the Lord thy God.”

And without spot. This is by way of explication of the word perfect. Any mixture of superstition in the worship of God is hateful to him; and that man who acknowledges any other spirit capable of foretelling what will come to pass, freely (Haydock) denies the Lord. (Calmet)

Pope Pius IX, The Syllabus of Errors, 1864, #4
All the truths of religion proceed from the innate strength of human reason; hence reason is the ultimate standard by which man can and ought to arrive at the knowledge of all truths of every kind - CONDEMNED

Benedict XIV, Providas Romanorum, 1751
In societies and associations of this type men of any religion and sect whatever are united with each other, from which matter it is evident enough how great a destruction is able to be brought to the purity of the Catholic Religion…

Leo XIII, Custodi di Quella Fede, 1892, #15
Everyone should avoid familiarity or friendship with anyone suspected of belonging to masonry or to affiliated groups. Know them by their fruits and avoid them. Every familiarity should be avoided, not only with those impious libertines who openly promote the character of the sect, but also with those who hide under the mask of universal tolerance, respect for all religions…These men seek to reconcile Christ and Belial.

Thank you! I know this was a lot to read through…I just have read a lot of encyclicals and can’t seem to wrap my head around this.

From my blog:

*"A big issue that sedevacantists have is with certain Vatican II documents, namely the documents on religious liberty/freedom. Namely, the idea that there are elements of Truth in other religions (but not the Fullness of Truth). They cling to the “no salvation outside of the Catholic Church” notion, however their perception and view of what is the Catholic Church is very small. They also lack knowledge of metaphysics and how God is not bound by our perceptions of time, and refuse to acknowledge the teaching of Baptism of Desire.

Typically at this point when talking to sede’s, I mention something that I call “The Lewis Dilemma”. Is CS Lewis in Heaven? His works certainly merit such. He never converted publicly to Catholicism. Yet as several documents state, everyone in Heaven is Catholic, so there is an apparent disconnect there.

Or is there?

Is it not possible that ten milliseconds before his death, he had a “Baptism of Desire”, so to speak? Is it possible he was so close to Catholicism, without knowing, and Christ gave him that chance to say “yes” to Catholicism? To Christ, ten milliseconds is an eternity. Being Catholic is the Absolute Truth, and better equips us to make that final “yes”, that I will not deny. But perhaps, the Divine Mercy of Christ allows for some to say “yes” in those final moments, in a “Baptism of Desire”. In essence; Catholicism gives you a better chance to say “yes” before you die since you’re already Catholic, but that does not exclude the chance that others could say yes in the moments before their death.

The paragraph above shows no conflict with Church teaching; what I described clearly shows that everyone in heaven is Catholic. What it does do is leave room for the Mercy of God, while also still showcasing the need to spread the Faith and why people should consider converting to Catholicism; we want people in Heaven. We want them to know the Truth. Why should we deny them this?

This is how you can reconcile Vatican II with other Councils in this regard. Yes, everyone in Heaven is Catholic. It’s a question of when they convert, and in some cases they may convert before death."*

The teachings from the Popes from long ago seem very clear to me. The teachings from your book sound like they come from a completely different religion from the one spoken about by the quotes from the Popes in the past. I wonder what those Popes would have said about the teachings in your teaching manuals.

I’m interested to read what folks say: I struggle with this issue too. My heart tells me you can’t go to heaven without knowing Jesus and being a member of the True Faith. How would a person be able to die in a state of grace with out the Sacraments? But there’s all this information saying that “if someone trys to live a ‘good life’ according to his conscience” he’ll go to heaven too. If that’s the case, we might as well leave pagans, Jews, and Muslims alone since it’s encouraging them to become Catholic will just make it harder for them. Did all those Pope’s misunderstood the nature of what it takes to get to Heaven? Did they understand but the layity misunderstood what they said? I can see how some people say the Church has changed it’s teaching. Certainly the Church has the right to do so since it has the “keys to Heaven” but why does it say no teaching has changed?

Is the Church’s statement that non Catholics may go to Heaven infallible?

It’s a bit of a balance game. If we go too far stressing one point, it makes it seem like only Catholics (who live as Catholics on earth) will go to heaven. If we go too far stretching in the other direction, we make it seem like everyone is in Heaven and this whole Catholic Church + Peter + Jesus thing is kind of phony and doesn’t really mean anything substantive. Neither is true.

The truth is that God gave people an ordinary means to salvation, the Catholic Church, and everyone is destined to be Catholic, and a properly formed conscience compels one to become Catholic and/or more perfectly Catholic. At the same time, our evangelization efforts are done by humans, not everyone responds to the call who receives such a momentous gift, and still others never hear of the Gospel or hear it only in a very perverted or limited sense. Furthermore, anyone who does not live on earth as a Catholic but who goes to Heaven does so by the grace of God and through the Church.

Make no mistake, it is every Catholic’s duty to be a presence in the world to gain souls for Christ through His visible, established Church on earth.

Lumen Gentium:

Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life. Whatever good or truth is found amongst them is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the Gospel. She knows that it is given by Him who enlightens all men so that they may finally have life. But often men, deceived by the Evil One, have become vain in their reasonings and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, serving the creature rather than the Creator. Or some there are who, living and dying in this world without God, are exposed to final despair.

Please note that an Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat do not guarantee prudence, quality of a text or effectiveness. Imprimaturs do not guarantee pedagogical quality, effectiveness, understandability or anything else. They just mean that you won’t be ruined by reading the text in question.

My personal opinion, based solely on what you have provided, is that for students at those grade levels, the text can be and probably will be interpreted in an “Everyone’s going to Heaven” sort of way. Young people are being formed in a largely militant secularist atmosphere where everything’s okay and if it feels good, do it. I’m sure you are fully aware of that. So my suggestion is to make the Church’s teaching as regards this and other complex issues as simple and clear as possible.

The major reason I think Vatican II documents are rather difficult to understand is that they have not yet been converted into a simple “ABC123 bam bam bam” format. They are treatise-y and literary in style. But catechetically, many people are not ready to handle that.

Yes, Jesus can still save non-Catholics. Note the word “can.”

From the 6th grade teacher’s manual:
“These two religious groups - Jews and Muslims - are especially important to us. Jews follow the same faith practiced in Israel in Old Testament times. Abraham is their father in faith. Muslims practice Islam. Abraham is their father in faith too. Christians, Jews, and Muslims all worship the God of Abraham…We’ve read about some people who have different views of Christ, but they may still seek God with a good heart. The Church tells us that those good people will be saved too. All people who seek the truth with good hearts can be united to God.”

The Church does not teach that they will be saved, only that they can be.

From the 8th grade book:
The Church is catholic or open to everyone, because it has been sent by Christ to the whole human race. So even those who don’t believe in Jesus are related to the Church.
The Jewish people have already given a positive response to God’s call in the Old Testament. Muslims are included in God’s plan of salvation because with us they adore the one, merciful God. Because it is catholic, the Church has a bond with all people through God, who created the world and everyone in it.

“We know that Jesus died for our sins, and we know that he died for everyone. But what if you don’t know about Jesus? Or what if you know about Jesus but you believe something different? What if you are a Muslim and you believe that Jesus was a prophet but not God? Maybe you are a Hindu, and you worship the divine in the form of gods and goddesses that resemble humans, animals or natural forces such as wind, water, fire, sun and believe in the goddess Takanaluk who is part human and fish. Can you receive salvation if you don’t believe in Jesus like we do? The Church says yes. In the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, #22, the Church teaches that the grace of salvation through Jesus Christ is offered to every person in ways known only to God.

Correct, if we emphatically note the word “can.”

(from book):
“There is only one God and He is God to all; therefore it is important that everyone is seen as equal before God. I’ve always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic become a better Catholic.” - Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, foundress of the Missionaries of Charity

Undoubtedly taken out of context. We must remember that Mother Teresa worked in an area very hostile to Christianity.

I would say that you are correct to be very concerned about this textbook. Have you discussed it with your pastor?

‎"Also, the souls of those who have incurred no stain of sin whatsoever after baptism, as well as souls who after incurring the stain of sin have been cleansed whether in their bodies or outside their bodies, as was stated above, are straightaway received into heaven and clearly behold the triune God as he is, yet one person more perfectly than another according to the difference of their merits. But the souls of those who depart this life in actual mortal sin, or in original sin alone, go down straightaway to hell to be punished, but with unequal pains." - The Holy Ecumenical Council of Florence, Session 6 (July 6, 1439)

:thumbsup: I like your explanation

Popes hardly ever cared about being “politically correct” back in the day. Textbooks are more “politically correct” these days. I often struggled with the same issue as you are doing now. My wonderful Spiritual Director told me that God can save anyone he so chooses. It is not up to us or the Church to decide the heart of an individual. Only God knows their true desire. I would suggest taking the book to your parish priest and try working it out with him. The forum is great for Monday morning coaching but your local priest is the best place to start if you are having issues. Just because it is a “Catholic book” does not mean it is very Catholic in teaching.

It is a lot of reading. You are extremely well read in ancient Church documents.
Have you ever read the documents from Vatican 2 or either of our two most recent Popes who reigned while you were alive?
Vatican 2 explains this issue profoundly and clearly. :confused:

Yes, I emailed it to him, essentially all of what I have written on this web forum. Unfortunately he only replied to my email:
“I am not sure there is anything I could say right now that would help you.”

It’s very disheartening when your pastor will not teach, especially when Pope Benedict had a General Audience in 2011 (year of the priest) emphasizing the teaching role of priests. And especially when it’s to one of his CCD teachers who is expected to teach what doesn’t seem so clear.

:frowning:

Two things:

First: The document is speaking of Jews and Muslims, not pagans. Jews and Muslims are not pagans.

Second: It does not say that they need not convert. It’s speaking about the redemptive power of Christ. It’s not speaking about the person’s duties and obligations. Christ’s redemptive power extends beyond the physical Catholic Church. We can’t handcuff Christ. That does not mean that people outside of the Catholic Church do not have to seek truth. That’s another subject that is addressed in another section.

The quote by Mother Teresa is out of context. She was accused of proselytizing. It was a political move to shut her down. She responded that she was not proselytizing. “A Christian should be a good Christian, a Muslim a good Muslim and so forth”

That’s the context of that quote. It’s unfortunate that it has been taken out of context and the worse part is that it’s Catholics who have taken it out of context. We should be ashamed of ourselves.

YoungTradCatholic has given an excellent explanation. There are also many recent docments from the Popes and Vatican on this point.

Bottom line is that of course God can do whatever He wants and only God can read souls and know a person’s true interior self.

That said, we as Catholics have a duty to educate ourselves and to educate those around us to the best of our ability (blessings on you and your Father for teaching CCD!)

Non-Catholics, especially those born and raised in a non-Christian faith, cannot be held to the same standard that Catholics, educated in their faith, should be. They will be measured by God in His Justice and Mercy.

Someone striving to follow the truth as best they know it, and who conforms to Natural Law as much as they possibly can, will surely be judged mercifully by our all-merciful God.

In the same way someone who flauts the Truth and Natural Law, no matter what their stated faith background may be, will surely be judged by God in Justice, according to their actions.

I am sure that 6th and 8th grade children can understand this if explained clearly. Please read Lumen Gentium, especially the section that YoungTrad Catholic quoted from.

As I responded to Paul from Iowa, that is why I actually came onto this forum.
I submitted the same question to the Ask the Apologist section too.
I have actually gone to three priests in my diocese regarding this and to two deacons and the only responses I get are some variety of “you need to just accept there are some things we can’t understand” or “I’m not a scholar I can’t tell you” or “just focus on loving Jesus more.”
So I figured I better open it up to a bigger forum.

I’ve always liked the ferry or boat analogy.

The church is the ferry which takes us to the promised land. Jesus is the captain.
The only way to heaven is by the ferry. Salvation **subsists in ** the ferry, under the direction of Jesus.
Many people will have an official ticket purchased for the trip (membership in the Church, baptism etc). But, many people will lose the ticket or get sidetracked at the dockside bar and miss the boat.
So clearly, making the trip of salvation does not consist of having a ticket.

But just because some who have a ticket don’t make it, doesn’t mean the ferry is not the only way. There is no other way, but the ticket is not a guarantee you will get there.

Thankfully, the captain is a generous and good hearted fellow, and he takes pity on the desperate masses who through no fault of their own did not get a ticket, but they still desire passage. He takes who(m) He will, who are willing, who are asking, who are desiring to go. The fact that unticketed are also coming aboard should not cause any problem for the ticketed, because on His boat, there is room for everyone, by His grace. And the saving of the unticketed does not in any way whatsoever diminish the boat or the voyage. In fact, unlike what we do here on earth, the more people that cram onto that boat, the more rejoicing there will be across the shore. And all the more we should rejoice here.

Salvation subsists in, the Church. This is a much more challenging view for me personally than the consists of view, it makes me realize that going through the motions of grabbing a ticket might not get me there. There is no concrete guarantee that I make it across, I depend fully on the mercy of the captain.

Clem, excellent analogy! And a reminder to us ticket holders not to get side-tracked on our way to the dock!!!

I have a simple question. Why is it so difficult to understand that

a. Muslims and Jews are not pagans.

b. On this point the document is not speaking about the duties of the individual, but on the mercy of God

c. That salvation is always through the Church; therefore, EENS

d. That the Church can and does extend her embrace beyond her physical boundaries.

and

e. That the duties of the non-Catholic are addressed in another part of the document; therefore, one has to read the entire document?

I have never understood why people get caught up on this one paragraph. It’s like getting caught up on “Romeo Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo.” To do so, one would then misunderstand and believe that Juliet was

a. blind

b. lost

c. both a and b

When one sees or read the entire play, the sentence is a part of a bigger statement that Shakespeare is making. It’s a social commentary that is missed, if we limit ourselves to one line.

The same thing happens with this statement by the Church. It’s a comment on the nature of the Church, not on the duties of man.

What the text book is saying is not technically untrue, it’s just lacking in a lot of important detail and it’s phrased in an irenic way that might lead some to religious indifferentism, in my opinion.

A good summary of the relationship between the dogma that there is no salvation outside the Church with the idea that those not explicitly Catholic might be saved is this allocution by Pope John Paul II:

vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/audiences/alpha/data/aud19950531en.html

Summed up even more, conversion is necessary for salvation–from the Catechism:

161 Believing in Jesus Christ and in the One who sent him for our salvation is necessary for obtaining that salvation.42 "Since “without faith it is impossible to please [God]” and to attain to the fellowship of his sons, therefore without faith no one has ever attained justification, nor will anyone obtain eternal life ‘But he who endures to the end.’"43

However, we also acknowledge the following:
…“God in ways known to Himself can lead those inculpably ignorant of the Gospel to find that faith without which it is impossible to please Him…” (Vatican II, Ad Gentes 7).

This may happen in ways not outwardly apparent, such as immediately prior to death, etc.

That being said, to neglect efforts at conversion goes against the Gospel and the teaching of the Church, including that of Vatican II (See, for example, Ad Gentes) and subsequent Magisterial interventions (see for example Evangelii Nuntiandi and Redemptoris Missio, as well as this note from the CDF).

Finally, the Mother Theresa “quote” is a poor paraphrase. Here’s the text of the original interview in Time:

Time: Friends of yours say that you are disappointed that your work has not brought more conversions in this great Hindu nation.

Mother Teresa: Missionaries don’t think of that. They only want to proclaim the Word of God. Numbers have nothing to do with it. But the people are putting prayer into action by coming and serving the people. Continually people are coming to feed and serve, so many, you go and see. Everywhere people are helping. We don’t know the future. But the door is already open to Christ. There may not be a big conversion like that, but we don’t know what is happening in the soul.

Time: What do you think of Hinduism?

Mother Teresa: I love all religions, but I am in love with my own. No discussion. That’s what we have to prove to them. Seeing what I do, they realize that I am in love with Jesus.

Time: And they should love Jesus too?

Mother Teresa: Naturally, if they want peace, if they want joy, let them find Jesus. If people become better Hindus, better Moslems, better Buddhists by our acts of love, then there is something else growing there. They come closer and closer to God. When they come closer, they have to choose.

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