I have been hearing that the Mass can not save because the Mass does not perfect those who come to the Mass. The Gospel can not perfect the believer.
Well, this amounts to saying that the bloody sacrifice of Jesus on the cross did not effect the salvation of the world which is contrary to the Holy Scriptures and the catholic faith. For Christ died for our sins and Jesus himself said that he came to give his life as a ransom for many. Now the sacrifice of the Mass is one and the same as the sacrifice of the cross offered in an unbloody manner. So, if a sinner, for example, attends Mass with at least some partially good intentions, God can effect in the sinner through his grace and the power of the sacrifice of the Mass, graces of repentence in the sinner, though the sinner needs to cooperate with these graces of God. The Mass is a sacrament and the sacraments give grace. Here, I;m referring to the Mass as a sacrifice. We also receive graces from holy communion. But, a sinner in the state of mortal sin or a non-catholic should not receive holy communion. By attending Mass though, through the power of the sacrifice of the Mass, they can receive graces from God. The Council of Trent decreed:
“By the offering of this sacrifice the Lord is pleased and forgives crimes and even great sins, granting grace and the gift of penitence.”
The Mass won’t save us if we are in a state of mortal sin (or if we have not been Baptized). In fact, we are not even allowed to receive if we suspect this. The Church has Confession (or Baptism) for this situation.
The Mass alone cannot perfect us. The Mass is not some magical rite where all we have to do is show up. But the Grace of the Mass can cooperate with our disposition to make us MORE perfect (and less imperfect).
I should have said the Gospel of the Catholic Church save because it can not perfect the person who goes to Mass.
Point of interest regarding the bold/red David.
Some suffer from scrupulosity, or in my case a melacholic temperament which tends toward idealism and perfectionism. Perfectionists often abstain when they shouldn’t. These are often counseled to receive unless they are absolutely sure that they have sinned mortally. This is very personal advice given in the context of a regular confessor and/or spiritual director. In the case of my long time confessor, one who was with the Redemptorists and is an expert in moral theology, his words were, “This is a command from your priest!”
Just wanted to point that out.
To the point of the thread, you are absolutely correct. Scripture speaks of becoming partakers in the divine nature. This is done through the grace of the sacraments, a life of prayer and as Brother JR used to say, our cooperation with grace.
Scripture speaks of salvation in the past, present and future tense. We have been saved, are being saved and will be saved. It is a process that will only be completed at the end of our lives. Mass is part of that process.
When you become aware of our Lord Jesus and the need for Him than yes it is this that needs to be awaken in you. Going to Mass helps because hopefully in time when you become older you will need to explore your relationship with the Lord. That is why the Mass never changes. It there for you so that in time it will awaken you into this great mystery of our salvation. The Mass can save you because it is there when this opportunity for you to come to know what is actually going on. The problem with so many of us is we do not know what is actually going on when we are at the Mass. Here the topic of salvation does not say since you do not yet know of Christ’s great Sacrifice that is occurring at the Mass will mean nothing to you because this revelation as yet needs your ascent. You will need time before it hits on you. That is why we go to the Mass again and again and again. It will hopefully change you into this wonderful revelation of God’s supreme act to you which is this Mercy offered to you at the Mass. Perfection consists of this humility before the Lord realizing that you are giving Him permission to serve you. The Lord is great because we allow Him to seve us. In this context the Mass is His greatest act of service towards us because it is there where He perfects us. Once we come to realize that hopefully we will be turned on to do what He does for us.
What you’re hearing is worded awkwardly
Take a look at this #22
IOW deliberately missing the Eucharist on Sunday, is a mortal sin and it even shows in those passages, the dire consequences it has to one’s soul.