Roman Catholic understanding of Salvation

In Eastern theology - Byzantine at least - salvation is equated theosis. What exactly is salvation equated with in Roman Catholic (i.e., “Western”) theology? I ask because, even though I am a Roman Catholic, I expressed my view on salvation in such a way to someone recently that they said that what I was explaining is called theosis and is more typical of Byzantine theology, not necessarily Western.

The redemption of the whole being, spirit, soul, and body. We are being built, allowing it of course, into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone. The Apostles then laid the foundation. We are the Bride of Christ, the New Jerusalem.
The mercy of God through our Lord Jesus Christ enabled this to happen, and the power of the Holy Spirit accomplishes it.
A brick doesn’t struggle to become a part of the house, it is placed where it belongs, where it’s needed. It has nothing to do after that except it’s job; support the rest of the building.

A friend of mine said that traditional Roman Catholic priests, in a very general sense, in their homilies just make salvation out to seem like a set of conditions one needs to meet at the moment of death (sort of like being in a state of grace, etc.). Now, before some one says that he was being uncharitable or prejudiced against “trads”, this friend is himself a “traditionalist”.

If you want to learn what the Latin teaching is on salvation, I suggest you read up on the Council of Trent, which is the pinnacle of Latin theology on the matter, IMHO.

In short, according to the dogmatic teaching of the Latin Catholic Church, salvation is a change of the WHOLE person, moving and struggling slowly but surely from sinfulness to holiness. It is not a one-time event, but, as St. Paul himself did, it is a daily effort. You must conform the body to the spirit, and let your spirit be filled with the Spirit of Christ, and the best way to do this is by frequent reception of the Sacraments.

Hope that helps. I’m sure a Latin Catholic will be able to give you a more detailed explanation.


I come from a Catholic/Pentecostal background. My wife is from a Church of Christ/Catholic/Pentecostal background. The Lord has caused us to love Him, literally. So, salvation to us is Him. We have been Christians since '73.
The priest, to us, is just an instrument, and being human is prone to sin, therefore, all the behavior of the Latin Rite of the church is viewed against scripture and tradition. Read and pray, read and pray some more. Grace is a gift, it is something given by the Lord. He also has to open ears to hear. We have to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.
Being new to this Catholic Answer Forum is like culture shock. I can’t believe the things that people are pondering. And, this is not a put-down. It just seems overwhelming when I read some questions. This may read as the ramblings of a crazy man but the answer is Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!

I don’t think we’re any different. The Western tradition was effected by Augustine’s ideas about grace as a gift, this is the ball Luther ran with, but St. Thomas brought it back to *theosis *I think (gratia sanas, gratia elevans), concentrating on our freedom for excellence and the real effect grace has on each one of us, “fitting” us for heaven.

I will try to read up on the teachings of the Council of Trent then. What you explain to be the dogmatic teaching of the Latin Church, that is what I understand to be theosis. Am I wrong? (It is almost embarassing to be asking this kind of question seeing as how I’m a RC :doh2:)

[quote=Ora_et_Labora;6136781What you explain to be the dogmatic teaching of the Latin Church, that is what I understand to be theosis. Am I wrong? (It is almost embarassing to be asking this kind of question seeing as how I’m a RC :doh2:)

That’s how I understand it!

No need to Marduk, That’s it!:thumbsup:;)Carlan

Yes, It is Jesus the Bridegroom through his Church his Bride, the TRuth ,don’t have to make it complicated.;)Carlan

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit