The mercy of God

Some time ago I submitted a query about pornography and mortal sin, and I was disappointed to see how few replies considered God’s mercy. I am concerned.

If it is accepted that looking at pornography is grave matter/mortal sin I wonder are the following also: ‘bad’ thoughts, masturbation, deep-petting, intercourse outside marriages, contraception and homosexual acts or thoughts, as well as receiving communion when not in the state of grace, or missing mass on Sundays, without good reason. If all of these are grave matter and condemn one to the punishments of hell for all eternity it seems very few, if any, of us will be saved, especially as so few of the earth’s population go to sacramental confession correctly. So are most of us destined for hell?

One thinks that nothing is impossible for God, and in spite of laws and rules we can hope all will be saved and end up in heaven.

Surely we can believe God is all-powerful, loves us and wants us to be happy with him in heaven, and that all will be well.

How can we have hope and confidence in the future?


  • “condemn one to the punishments of hell for all eternity”*

very big ‘if’ isn’t it?

concentrate upon the certainty of hope!

God Bless

Where is the Sacrament of Confession in all of this?
That’s a pretty big tool for mercy, no?
Who says God doesn’t offer us mercy and forgiveness?
Repentance is one thing, continual sin is another. :shrug:

Jesus, the Son of the living God, said this:

Matthew 7:13
"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14"For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Reading God’s Word will help you to understand.

He also said this:

Matthew 5:30
29"If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30"If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.

Of course, none of those things cause us to sin. If they did, we would literally be better cutting off our hand than sinning. But in reality, it is a choice we make, with deliberate consent of the will, that causes us to commit mortal sin.

It is impossible to overcome the world, the flesh, AND the Devil, without grace from God. You can not do it on your own.

We have to be humble and turn to God every single time we are tempted. We should never try to do things on our own.

This is what has really happened here:

1 john 3:8
Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; 8the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 9No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.…

From Matthew 13

The Parable of the Wheat and the Weeds

24He presented another parable to them: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.aa 25But while people were sleeping, his enemy came, sowed weedsab among the wheat, and left. 26When the plants sprouted and produced grain, then the weeds also appeared. 27The landowner’s •slavesac came to him and said, ‘Master, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Then where did the weeds come from? ’

28“ ‘An enemy did this! ’ he told them.

“ ‘So, do you want us to go and gather them up? ’ the slaves asked him.

29“ ‘No,’ he said. ‘When you gather up the weeds, you might also uproot the wheat with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest. At harvest time I’ll tell the reapers: Gather the weeds first and tie them in bundles to burn them, but store the wheat in my barn.’ ”

The Parables of the Mustard Seed and of the Yeast

31Head presented another parable to them: “The kingdom of heavenae is like a mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. 32It’s the smallest of all the seeds, but when grown, it’s taller than the vegetables and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the sky come and nest in its branches.”af

33He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into 50 poundsag of flour until it spread through all of it.”ah,ai

Using Parables Fulfills Prophecy

34Jesus told the crowds all these things in parables, and He would not speak anything to them without a parable,aj 35so that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled:

I will open My mouth in parables;

I will declare things kept secret

from the foundation of the world.ak, al

Jesus Interprets the Wheat and the Weeds

36Then He dismissed the crowds and went into the house. His disciples approached Him and said, “Explain the parable of the weeds in the field to us.”am

37He replied: “The One who sows the good seed is the •Son of Man; 38the field is the world; and the good seed — these are the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one,an 39and the enemy who sowed them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are 40Therefore, just as the weeds are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age.ap 41The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather from His kingdom everything that causes sinaq and those •guilty of,as 42They will throw them into the blazing furnaceat where there will be weeping and gnashing of 43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. Anyone who has earsav should listen!aw

God will give you sufficient grace to get to Heaven. He really does Love you. Don’t run from His Merciful Heart.

The sin of presumption is to presume the mercy of God without conversion. That is a sin that is being fostered in the modern world. It will lead souls to Hell.

God’s mercy is like this:

He will forgive any and all sins, no matter how bad they were, and bring a person to Heaven - if only they will be humble and cooperate with His grace. He loves all of His creation. He is the lover of souls.

I know it is hard to accept, but yes, it looks like most of humanity is damned. We can save souls from Hell by being obedient to God’s Will in our lives, but we won’t be able to save all of humanity.

1 John 5:19
We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. 19We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 20And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.…

Read St. Faustina’s Diary. It will help you to get to Heaven and to save others from Hell.

I struggle with this too. Pray for me and I will pray for you. Remember that God is Love.

Or are most of us destined for a long, uncomfortable stint in Purgatory? The fact is, we do not know for sure. This is why Jesus told us, “Strive to enter by the narrow gate.” Play it safe, seems to be His message here. Try to follow Church teaching as best as you can. Show others the mercy you yourself hope to experience from God.

We can indeed have the** hope **that most, and perhaps all will be saved. From Gregory of Nyssa, to Hans Urs von Balthasar, to Cardinal Walter Kasper, this possibility has been, to my way of seeing, convincingly proposed. But if we obstinately choose to live in sin presuming God’s mercy and forgiveness, we are fools and playing a deadly game. Myself, I wouldn’t worry so much about whether everyone else will be saved. Leave that to God and trust in His mercy. But let each one of us strive to enter through the narrow gate :thumbsup:.

I have been threw at lot myself,but Go too confession when I feel that I have done wrong in the eye,s off God,so that I,am always,s in the state off Grace,so that the Lord will accept me into his Father,s Kingdom when I come before him, for Judgment ,and I,always,s try my best too avoiding sinning again,s my Lord ,who other,s still do ,because they don,t care or want too follow the Lord. Amen

How would you know that one’s punishment is not tempered by God’s mercy? A just God will ensure that a fitting punishment will be meted out for that sin and a merciful God may reduce the severity of the punishment.

It is futile to reduce God’s omnipotence via contradiction. No sin can enter heaven. Yes, it is impossible even to an omnipotent God. As it is equally impossible for him to make a four sided triangle or a stone too heavy for God to lift.

We can have hope by letting God take charge and not self. We surely can believe God is all powerful and loving. And an all knowing God also know your heart and whether one is fit for heaven. All that will be made clear on judgement day. If you love someone, you will try your best not to pain/anger him/her. If you know that all those grave sins cause grief to God, why do you not stop? If you have love in your heart for God, you will be trying very hard to do that. Of course one may fail from time to time and he certainly didn’t expect us to be perfect. But he knows how sincere you are in trying to love him and not self.

The parable of the talents reminds me that God gave us x amount to work with. Not only we must not be idle, we must be productive. Each to the best of our ability. Needless to say, we must not use it for evil. Deliberate missing the presence of God on Sunday tells God that one is not that keen on him. After all most of us will miss girl/boyfriend/spouse and children even after short periods of time. How much we love God is shown by how keen we are to meet up with him. Once a week for 1.5 hrs is not asking for much. Telling God on Judgement Day that he is kind and merciful doesn’t seem to merit anything other than an excuse. It really is rather unproductive arguing that a loving God should be this or that. A more productive exercise is reflecting on one’s sinful behaviour and how best to overcome it. Avoidance is one. Putting oneself in tempting conditions is not a wise thing to do. Perhaps it is time to throw out junk and pornographic collections from ones PC and secret hiding places for a start. Going to confession and receiving the Eucharist, prayers etc. Getting involve in Charities may help soak up time that may lead you to temptations. If one has too much time that lead into sinful situations, one must work really hard to reduce those time or those situations,

If someone is tempted to look at pornography when they use the internet, they are bound to avoid the near occasion of sin. They have to do more than throw it out/delete it from their computer. They have to stop going on the internet all together. It is the near occasion of sin.

Eternal peace and love in the presence of God is worth more than the internet is.

How come your questions never account for people repenting and somehow seem to demand that God extend mercy to those who do not turn back to him and ask for it?

Since Christ demanded repentance, don’t you think it’s a good idea to obey him and not presume? God made repentance a prerequisite to mercy, and further, he gives the grace to repent to all men. If someone refuses to cooperate with that grace, whose fault is that?

Man did not make the rules regarding repentance and mercy. God did.

And I would say, worry first about only one soul: yours. Not some theoretical 13-year old looking at pornography. Everybody else is in God’s hands.

I desire trust from My creatures. Encourage souls to place great trust in My fathomless mercy. Let the weak, sinful soul have no fear to approach Me, for even if it had more sins than there are grains of sand in the world, all would be drowned in the unmeasurable depths of My mercy. (1059)

Say unceasingly the chaplet that I have taught you. Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death. Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My infinite mercy. I desire that the whole world know My infinite mercy. I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy. (687)

I was replying in detail to all the replies, but lost many of them.
However Christofirst’s reply is excellent. I would go along mostly with him.
One could add to his list of those who believed in some form of universalism, Origen, JP II, B XVI and Francis.

We cannot cause God grief, he is fully happy in himself, his happiness cannot be increased or decreased. Your reply still leaves me unsatisfied.

Universalism is a heresy that was condemned by the Church in AD 543. The Popes you mentioned, therefore, did/do NOT believe in this heresy.

I am a simple man. I don’t spend a lot of time on the Trinity. I don’t dwell on the hypostatic union. I worry not about the filioque. I hold degrees in Philosophy, Psychology and Law and laugh at the wisdom of man in the face of the foolishness of God.

But I take very seriously my Baptism as a Son of God. I rely on it and make presumptions on His promises. Jesus taught us the mercy of God that is not immediate to the eye in the Old Testament. I do not show a lack of respect by my presumption on my sonship. I show respect to my Father accepting the rules of His house. But I also know that one day, I will have a room in the back of His house, not because of my good deeds, but the salvific sacrifice of Jesus. It is his crucifixion that I offer to my God, shamefully admitting to my traitorous contribution to the sins that He expunged from the mind of His Father.

I believe we must run the good race of Paul. But I just expect a participation ribbon. Too many believe you don’t even have to enter. We must have something to show for the talents given us.

I also rely on our blessed mother, Mary to have a good word for me in His ear at the right time. I am a father, and I know that I will use every sophistry I possess to forgive my son if he comes to me with a failure. I know my Father will do the same.

Mercy? We don’t know the word until we see the Face shown to the good thief; the woman caught in adultery; the lepers; the people He called out to His Father to forgive, as they knew not what they do.


I am pleased to hear you are a simple man. God is also simple. So am I. But be careful as the principal sins against hope are despair and presumption.

We are fully in agreement. I also hope I will be saved by Jesus.

I worry about using relatives of the judge to influence the outcome of a judgment. In Ireland trying to influence a judge through ‘pull’ is illegal.

The Jesus I hope in was considered ‘a drunkard and a friend of sinners’. I hope in him, not on my own deeds.


Many thanks for your reply. I find that often initial replies lack thought but later ones are more considered and thoughtful.

Considering that Universalisms was condemned in 543 may be an over-simplification. As well as Origen, Gregory of Nyssa and perhaps Jesus, St Paul, Karl Rahner, Hans Urs von Balthasar, JP II, B XVI and Pope Francis may not be too far from a type of Universalism, It is acceptable for Catholics to believe it is a reasonable hope that all will be saved.


The chaplet is NOT our hope of salvation.
In God we trust, all others pay cash.
Seriously, to put our trust in charms, spells, incantations or anything other than God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is not Catholicism.

Porthos 11,
You wroye ‘God made repentance a prerequisite to mercy,’

Do you recommend I only think of my own happiness and ignore everyone else? As long as I am OK is everything fine? Excessive individualism may be more a fault of Protestants than Catholics, who believe in the People of God/Body of Christ. We are more than individuals.

It is difficult for a person who has never heard of Jesus to turn to him. How can a Hindu or atheist who has never heard of Jesus or God turn to him and ask for repentance?


perhaps most of us should be banned from the internet?


I really do not think any one of us is competent to say what God can or cannot do, provided there is not an inherent contradiction.

The most important thing is that God loves me, not that I love him.

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