What is the Catholic Church's standpoint on how one can be "justified" and keep remaining be "justified"?

Dear friends on Catholic Answers Forums:

I am a prospective Taiwanese Catholic living in Taiwan, and currently have joined RCIA-like programs here. Although in the programs there are no much study materials, and even CCC and Compendium and Youcat are not used mainly, I still am trying to self-study CCC.

Recently I found that the concept of “justification” is indeed profound (and maybe complicated). Could someone please teach me (with necessary references to Scripture and Tradition) what is the Catholic Church’s standpoint on how one can be “justified” and keep remaining be “justified”?

The Catechism on Grace and Justification:


Welcome! To make it simple, we are justified by God’s grace through our faith. However, we must remain in a state of “sanctifying grace” so that our relationship with God remains unbroken. For this purpose, Jesus instituted the Sacraments. We are primarily concerned with:

  1. Baptism (spiritual regeneration)
  2. Confirmation (laying on of hands, reception of the Holy Spirit)
  3. Confession (absolution from sin)
  4. Eucharist (Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ - we partake of the Divine nature)

Baptism and Confirmation are to be received only once. Confession and the Holy Eucharist are to be received regularly, so as to maintain us in a state of sanctifying grace.


Catholics are not a troubled or obsessed with the issue of justification as many other Christians are. Jesus said “My yoke is easy and My burden light.” He does not make the journey impossible, but gave us the Sacraments as channels of God’s grace. Once fully initiated by Baptism and Confirmation, we simply attend mass regularly, confess our sins and receive the Holy Eucharist. Simple, not complicated. Comforting, not upsetting.

Where are you in Taiwan? A Taiwanese Catholic who has been very good to me, a nurse in the US, is visiting family in Kaohsiung right now.

Thank you for everyone who replied and taught me! :):):slight_smile:

Check out the image below.

Check out that Catechism link above.

In a nutshell once you get out of original sin or mortal sin (Baptism/Confession) you are justified by Christ. Once Baptized we are taken into the Mystical Body of Christ and therefore Justified in Him.

Now as long as you don’t commit any mortal sins and stay in a state of Grace you are staying in Him who is alone justified. Once a mortal sin is committed you tear apart from Him who is Justified, you tear away from Life. By default once you tear away from God who is Life death is incurred (i.e. hell).

So Jesus is justified not us. We lost our Original Justification when Adam and Eve committed original sin. But if we stay in Him, by staying in a state of Grace, we are Justified in Him.

How to remain “justified”, that is, in a state of grace:

Do not commit a mortal sin. That’s it. Only mortal sin destroys charity in the soul, which is the life of God in the soul. To increase charity in the soul and to strengthen it against temptation one must lead a holy life by prayer, frequent reception of the Sacraments, and performing acts of charity towards one’s neighbor.

God bless

John Henry Newman defined Justification as the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

By justification, we mean that the soul has been washed of Original Sin, and through the Sacraments, ordinary actual sins. What we call “the State of Grace” would also imply the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Our Souls are Sanctified (justified.) It is not as the Lutherans suppose, some kind of “cover up” type of justification (by imputed Justification,) whereby our sinful ugly souls remain unchanged, but have been nevertheless “legally” justified by God.

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