We can not and should not be happy if our salvation is at risk

Whether invincible ignorance is true, (in which case we can’t know who it applies to), whether we need perfect contrition or not, we can not and should not be happy as long as our salvation is at risk, (e.g. mortal sin, lack of perfect contrition, even for a millisecond).

Pax Christi!

Please be careful not to be scrupulous. If we make good efforts to love God and each other and follow the precepts of the Church, we can be reasonably sure we are headed in the right direction.

“Pray, hope and don’t worry.” - Padre Pio

God bless.

I’m being factual. It is impossible to be happy if our salvation is at risk.

She’s right though, in that so many clear and obvious sins, especially in the area of illicit relationships, get rationalized by the “But they’re so happy together!” fallacy. Or sometimes leaving one’s responsibilities to find “happiness” even if it hurts one’s family, even if there’s no love affair, just a desire to kick off the traces. Stuff like that. True happiness comes from knowing God’s will and following it, with the help of His grace.

I dont understand then how there can be so many seemingly happy people out there today? I personally know quite a few people who are generally happy people, and they have no relationship with God, dot go to mass, and have never really been religious…how is it possible they are able to be truly happy?

In these particular people, I know for a fact they are happy people, and its not just an act. Im guessing this theory is wrong or does not always apply to everyone

What happened to the “Good News” of the Gospel? Didn’t Pope Francis warn us against being sourpusses? Wasn’t Pope Francis’ first writing titled, “The Joy of the Gospel”?

St Paul knew that his salvation wasn’t guaranteed but he wrote of the Joy of knowing Christ. St. Peter wrote about that same joy.

Without having seen him you love him; though you do not now see him you believe in him and rejoice with unutterable and exalted joy. (1 Peter 1:8)

Anyone who says it is impossible to be happy doesn’t know Jesus.


Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!

PHI 4:4-7 Joy and Peace.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! 5 Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. 6 Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. 7 Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

1Peter 1: 8-9
Although you have not seen him you love him; even though you do not see him now yet believe in him, you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, 9 as you attain the goal of [your] faith, the salvation of your souls.

I’m afraid I simply can’t agree. Especially now as we approach the most glorious day of Easter, I am filled with the happiness of Christ’s assurances for me.

He loves me, specifically, personally me!
He has provided wonderfully for me!
He died for my redemption!
He forgives me!
He wishes nothing less than to see me gathered to Him!
He sent His Spirit to guide me to Him!
He reassures me!

How can we possibly fulfill God’s will that we spread the Good News without feeling the great joy of His love?

Now I know that my happiness is not complete, but I am also told that through the grace of God, I can achieve salvation and a joyous eternity with Him. I have a LOT of work to do, and many trials to suffer through, but I have the promise of eternity! I can do it with God’s help. I have full faith in His promises.

May God protect me from gloomy saints.
Saint Teresa of Avila

I can only agree with you. However we are speaking of committed Christians who believe in the long road to salvation, not the already saved lot, whose philosophy seems to allow for a loose life once accepting Jesus as our Lord and Master.
We believe that having accepted the Lord we follow His commandments as proof of our sonship. This does mean that we should not be content, or have peace of mind or look for happiness not in keeping with our relationship to Jesus.
We see many people happy with their lot without any realisation of the relationship to Jesus. We see a lot more unhappy as they are still seeking what they have not found in the riches of this world.
But we have the pearl of great price and must grip fast throughout our lives finding our joy and peace of mind in Our Lord, as we pray for those not yet blessed in His gift of Faith.

I must also agree with the need to steer clear of scrupulosity and see our Faith as a joy not a burden.


Nobody is answering my question. HOW can we be happy knowing that our salvation is at risk, (e.g. by our behaviour)?

We can be happy that God loves us so much that Jesus died for our sins. We can be happy that we are given the Holy Spirit Who sanctifies us (and Whose fruit includes joy). We can be happy that the act that merits our salvation is done. These things alone warrant our happiness. To be solely fixated on the end result (salvation) as our source of happiness rather than to have our eyes fixed on Jesus and all that He did for us is to put the cart before the horse, in my opinion.

Scripture affirms that our joy is in the HOPE of salvation which we will receive if we believe in Jesus, receive Him and walk in His way. Our salvation is not at risk if we follow the teachings of the Church. If we stumble and sin, then God has made a way to be reconciled to Him again. How can one not be happy in light of all of this?

Some Scriptures to consider.

Romans 12:12

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

James 1:2

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,

Galatians 5:22

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

John 16:24

Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

1 Peter 1:8

Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,

PS. Most people I know are not happy when they commit a mortal sin— that is the time to be unhappy and contrite. It is also the time to receive God’s gift of reconciliation in Sacrament.

No. It is not selfish to want to spend eternity in Heaven with God. God wants us to want that.
Anyway, it doesn’t answer my question. No reasonable person who thinks their salvation is at risk can or should be happy.

I never said you were selfish, I said it was putting the cart before the horse. Our joy is in the hope of salvation. Jesus is our hope (1 Tim 1:1).

You are welcome to your opinion. As for me I will follow the teachings of Jesus in the Scriptures and in the Church. I am happy, especially today… Jesus is risen! Alleluia alleluia!

How can we be happy though if our salvation is at RISK, (and others’)?

We keep our eyes fixed on Jesus (Heb 12:2) and not fixed on the risk. And we let the Spirit manifest His fruit in our lives. Jesus has given us EVERYTHING we need to be saved. We just have to live it. Many Catholic friends I’ve talked to used to solely focus on not going to hell. That was all they cared about. They spent many years of their lives crossing every T and dotting every i. But they missed out on the part about having a loving relationship with Jesus (which our current catechism is sure to emphasize). They were missing a sense of balance. We need to be cautious about how we live out our lives, yes, we need to be very aware of the temptations around us. But our focus needs to be Jesus and and living life in the Spirit-- with that focus, we will have joy.

Additionally, a question you may want to ask yourself: Why would joy be a fruit of the Holy Spirit if God doesn’t want us to have it?

PS. I do feel great sorrow at the thought of people being lost. But at the same time, I know that Jesus will judge each of us fairly. Those who go to hell have, in essence, sent themselves there.

You could say that wanting to be with Jesus in Heaven is keeping our eyes fixed on Him.
Exactly. We HAVE to live it, which means relying on human action and beliefs, etc, which frankly, we can’t rely on. The whole arrogance of Catholicism.

Yes, we maybe should be happy, but what I am asking is HOW. I personally can’t be happy while I know my salvation and other’s salvation is at risk and don’t understand anyone who doesn’t feel the same way.

How can we be sad when Christ has given us the key to our salvation through His perfect sacrifice and His glorious resurrection? We are meant to rejoice in the hope of achieving the salvation promised.

You are correct that we do not have ASSURANCE of salvation, but we rejoice in the HOPE we have in our salvation if we do as Christ commanded of us.

God wants us to be saved. He also wants us to believe in His word. He loves us. He wants us to be with Him in eternity. He has given us the Saints, the Fathers of the Church, the Martyrs, the Sacraments, the clergy, Apostolic Succession, Sacred Tradition, Holy Scripture, His Spirit, His Son, His Mother, and the body of believers. We have great hope because of His grace and His promises.

1 Peter 3-9
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you 5 who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith, to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time. 6 In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, 7 so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Although you have not seen him you love him; even though you do not see him now yet believe in him, you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, 9 as you attain the goal of [your] faith, the salvation of your souls.

Yes, we sin. But Christ is our means to salvation. If we TRUST IN THE LORD, we must persevere in hope! To do less is to deny the power of Christ’s perfect sacrifice for us.

O Most Holy Virgin Mary, always present before the Most Holy Trinity, to whom it is granted at all times to pray for us to your Most Blessed Son, pray for me in all my needs. Help me, defend me, give thanks for me, and obtain for me the pardon of all my sins and failings. Help me especially in my last hours. Then, when I can no longer give any sign of the use of reason, give me courage and protect me against all evil spirits. Make in my name a profession of Faith. Assure me of my eternal salvation.

Never let me despair of the mercy of God. Help me to overcome the evil spirits. When I can no longer say: “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I place my soul in your hands,” say it for me. When I can no longer hear human words of consolation, bring me comfort. Stay with me when I stand in judgment before your Son.

If I have to expiate for my sins and failings in Purgatory, pray for me after my death. Inspire my friends to pray for me, and thus help gain for me very soon the happiness of being in the Presence of God. Lead my soul to heaven where united with all the elect, I may bless and praise our God and yourself for all eternity. Amen.

~~ Prayer by St. John Vianney, Cure of Ars; taken from “Prayers for Today,” published by Leaflet Missal Co.

I do not rely on human action or beliefs, I rely on Christ’s gift of salvation and rejoice in hope. I don’t have to be perfect! I have to have a repentant heart. Mortal sins, by their nature are very grave. They are not common sins. I trust that God forgives me for my sins, both small and large and I pray that if I do commit a mortal sin I will be graced by the opportunity to receive His merciful forgiveness in the sacraments.

The whole arrogance of Catholicism.

How is this arrogant?
-We admit our sinfulness.
-We admit our unworthiness,
-We trust that we were redeemed by Christ’s perfect sacrifice.
-We trust that Chris’s resurrection made salvation available to us.
-We trust that we are being led by the Holy Spirit on the path to salvation.
-We trust that God will judge us mercifully.

Is this more arrogant than the opposing belief that Salvation is guaranteed and that no matter what sort of life we lead we cannot lose it?

Yes, we maybe should be happy, but what I am asking is HOW. I personally can’t be happy while I know my salvation and other’s salvation is at risk and don’t understand anyone who doesn’t feel the same way.


Do as Christ commanded:
-Follow the commandments.
-Love the Lord your God with your whole mind, heart and soul. Love your neighbor as yourself.
-Be merciful.
-Be poor in spirit.
-Be just.
-Be clean of heart.
-Be a peacemaker.
-Feed the hungry.
-Console the mourning.
-Clothe the naked.
-Comfort the afflicted.
-Pray unceasingly.
-Be repentant for your sins.


I see that you are not Catholic. What is your belief in the attainment of salvation?

At this point you have implied I’m unreasonable because I’m happy and arrogant because I’m Catholic so I will be disengaging from the conversation. However, I’ve posted several Scriptures to support my position that we can and should be happy. (With the qualifier that we regard our sin and temptation seriously)

Jesus words in Mark 1:15 were “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” To repent is a human action. “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” John 14:1. Believing in Jesus is also a human action. It isn’t arrogant to follow Jesus (to follow is an action) in our journey. I have found happiness because I know Jesus and what He has done for me. I live a Spirit filled life and have immersed myself in the study of the Scriptures. I am not focused on the end of the journey, but on the day to day walk with Jesus. I can only say that my faith in Jesus and my daily relationship with Him is what has brought me peace and joy.


Your particularly strong take on sola fide (that a single act of faith guarantees salvation regardless of repentance or future behavior) appears in some Protestant circles but is not the understanding of the vast majority of Christians throughout history (including Catholics, Orthodox, and most types of Protestants). Yet these Christians were not overcome with terror and despair.

Nevertheless, if that is the belief you find both most consonant with Scripture and most likely to give you peace of mind, I strongly suggest that you stick with that and be at peace, rather than trying to argue the position on a message board full of people who do not agree. If the possibility that we might be right leads you to literally suicidal despair, then you are in no shape to engage in apologetic argumentation for any position. We may disagree on points of doctrine, but you are still our Christian sister and we do not want to see you in anguish or push you toward self-harm.

I commend your desire to investigate all flavors of Christianity to find the truth, but I cannot in good conscience recommend that you continue until you have consulted with someone who can help you with your evident mental and emotional issues. Until then, may the Risen Lord we share lead you to comfort and peace.


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