[quote=michaelp]I was just listening to James Akin and he said something that I wonder if it represents the Catholic concensus.
He said that if a person deliberately misses mass, this person would go to Hell since he committed a mortal sin.
Having committed a mortal sin does not necessarily mean a person is going to hell. One goes to hell by not having repented of mortal sins before one dies.
[quote=michaelp]This confuses me. Does this mean that a person could love and follow Christ his or her entire life with devotion and sencerity, but for some “invalid” reason deliberatly miss mass and end up in hell.
A Catholic (one who accepts that this is the one Church Christ founded) who follows Christ with devotion and sincerity his/her whole life would not, ex hypothesi, ever have deliberately missed Mass for an appropriate reason. Following Christ for a Catholic entails participating in the weekly communal worship, so to fail in one is to fail in the other. There are good reasons not to go to Mass on Sunday. But, simply because one doesn’t feel like it, is not one, and a Catholic cannot excuse him/herself lightly from it one’s Sunday obligation and still be considered faithful to Christ who instituted the Church.
[quote=michaelp]Please help me here. I thought that Catholics believed in salvation by grace. I don’t know if this is true–but a poll about “surprised by hell” on this web also seems to suggest that this is what Catholics believe forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=23173.
If this is true, how can this be grace (“a gift” or “unmerited favor”)? How is this not legalism?
The initial salvation does come through grace, but salvation can be lost, e.g. by making a deliberate choice against Christ and hus commandments (this is what mortal sins are). Catholics do not believe in “once saved, always saved.” We are to work out our salvation in this life, and this entails going to Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.
[quote=michaelp]Please help me.
Hope this helps.