St. Jerome and the scary "1 out of 100,000" quote


There is a quote from St. Jerome that says the following:

"Out of one hundred thousand people whose lives have always been bad, you will find barely one who is worthy of indulgence."

I have a few questions about this.

  1. Does this mean that we have a 1 out of 100,000 chance that we are actually in a state of grace, even though we are not conscious of any mortal sin currently on our soul?

  2. What is St. Jerome classifying as “people who’s lives have always been bad”?

  3. What is meant by “worthy of indulgence”?


Indulgence is a remission of temporal punishment. Jerome could also be talking about indulgence as being pleasure.


Do you have a source for the quote? I’d like to see any surrounding context.

Also, Saint Jerome appears to have been expressing a personal opinion, not a hard and fast doctrine of the Church. Saint Jerome also has a reputation for being very polemical and opinionated, which was common for debates of that period.


Probably a warning to the presemptious sinners who wanted to get out of purgatory last minute through a plenary indulgence.


I would prefer not to speculate too much without additional context, but I was thinking it sounded more like “worth the time/likely to repent” (from a practical standpoint, not theological). I would need to see more, though.


Ecclesiastes 7:28
Which yet my soul seeketh,
but I find not:
one man among a thousand have I found;
but a woman among all those have I not found.

I trust in what the bible says !


Read the catechism. This quote is his rendering of opinion.


It’s from St. Leonard of Port Maurice’s sermon “The Fewness of those Saved”


Probably a way of saying that most of humanity is stuck in a horrible state of sinfulness. I don’t see it as literal.


I’m not terribly familiar with him, but I think he was using hyperbole. That being said, most of humanity isn’t Catholic, and how many of us are in a state of grace on a daily basis?


This should encourage us to improve so we will be worthy of it. At least in certain way.


I found more context of quote here, under the ‘Deathbed Repetance’ section’s+lives+have+always+been+bad&source=bl&ots=sfUoSK2QeJ&sig=npm8DBWmIilUYb68Sz1k3rYpyKM&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjG0PCs5KvcAhVj6IMKHTp4DcAQ6AEIWjAI#v=onepage&q=St.%20Jerome%2Bwho’s%20lives%20have%20always%20been%20bad&f=false


It’s a warning against presumption. Don’t decide to be bad all your life thinking God will just give you the grace of repentance before you die.


In the case of a plenery I think the absolutely no attachment to sin condition would be very hard to meet.


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