Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Fewness of the elect

Most Catholics go to hell

Being Catholic is the first and necessary step toward salvation, but it is not the only one. As a Catholic, your salvation is not guaranteed. Just as good works without the Catholic faith is dead (cannot give you eternal salvation), the Catholic “faith without works is [also] dead.” (James 2:26)

Jesus says that only few men attain eternal salvation. He says, “Enter ye in at the narrow gate… How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it!” (Mt. 7:13-14) These few men are only Catholics. The Athanasian Creed of 361 infallibly teaches that “Whoever wishes to be saved must, above all, keep the Catholic faith.”[1]

But not all Catholics will be saved. Jesus also says that only few Catholics attain eternal salvation. Commanding His disciples to evangelize, He says, “Go ye therefore into the highways; and as many as you shall find, call to the marriage [evangelize]. And his servants going forth into the ways, gathered together all that they found, both bad and good: and the marriage was filled with guests [good and bad Catholics]. And the king went in to see the guests: and he saw there a man who had not on a wedding garment [a bad Catholic]. And he saith to him: Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? But he was silent. Then the king said to the waiters: Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the exterior darkness [hell]: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called [Catholics], but few are chosen [saved].” (Mt. 22:9-14) Jesus, speaking of the Catholic congregation at Sardis, says, “Thou hast a few names… which have not defiled their garments: and they shall walk with me in white, because they are worthy.” (Apoc. 3:4) That is why St. Paul tells Catholics to “work out your salvation in fear and trembling,” (Phil. 2:12) and St. Peter says, “If the just man [a good Catholic] shall scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” (1 Pt. 4:18) St. Leonard of Port Maurice, in his sermon “The Little Number of Those Who Are Saved,” gives a fearful account of how few Catholics are saved. He says, “One day Saint John Chrysostom, preaching in the cathedral in Constantinople and considering these proportions, could not help but shudder in horror and ask, ‘Out of this great number of people, how many do you think will be saved?’ And, not waiting for an answer, he added, ‘Among so many thousands of people, we would not find a hundred who are saved, and I even doubt for the one hundred.’ What a dreadful thing! The great Saint believed that out of so many people, barely one hundred would be saved; and even then, he was not sure of that number. What will happen to you who are listening to me? Great God, I cannot think of it without shuddering! Brothers, the problem of salvation is a very difficult thing; for according to the maxims of the theologians, when an end demands great efforts, few only attain it. That is why Saint Thomas, the Angelic Doctor, after weighing all the reasons pro and con in his immense erudition, finally concludes that the greater number of Catholic adults are damned…
“The following narrative from Saint Vincent Ferrer will show you what you may think about it. He relates that an archdeacon in Lyons gave up his charge and retreated into a desert place to do penance, and that he died the same day and hour as Saint Bernard. After his death, he appeared to his bishop and said to him, ‘Know, Monsignor, that at the very hour I passed away, thirty-three thousand people also died. Out of this number, Bernard and myself went up to heaven without delay, three went to purgatory, and all the others fell into Hell.’”

You should now have an idea of how very, very, very few Catholics attain eternal salvation! This truth ought to rid you of any false confidence and make you aware of the fact that every day you live your salvation is in danger. Dear Catholic, if every day you do not sincerely work, by God’s grace, to obtain salvation, you will lose it. Salvation, then, comes only by faith and persevering labor. Jesus says, “Labour… for that which endureth unto life everlasting.” (Jn. 6:27) St. Paul says, “Labour as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” (2 Tim. 2:3) “We labour, whether absent or present, to please him.” (2 Cor. 5:9) “Being mindful of the work of your faith and labour and charity: and of the enduring of the hope of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thess. 1:3) And St. Peter says, “Wherefore, brethren, labour the more, that by good works you may make sure your calling and election. For doing these things, you shall not sin at any time.” (2 Pt. 1:10) From St. Alphonsus Marie de Liguori’s book The Dignity and Duties of Priests, we read, “St. Bernard says that the solicitude of the devils for our destruction should make us solicitous in laboring for salvation.”[2] For Catholics to gain eteral life, St. Paul says they must finish and win the race for the salvation of their immortal souls. He says, “Know you not that they that run in the race, all run indeed, but one receiveth the prize? So run that you may obtain.” (1 Cor. 9:24) The Haydock Commentary on his passage says, “It is true in our case many obtain the crown for which we strive, but every one is in danger of losing it, and so must use all his endeavours to obtain it.”

1 comment:

De Liliis said...

Great post the above, very worth reading. Thanks be to God for it. :)

I have over one hundred quotations of the saints speaking of the fewness of the saved.

Not one, not even one, none, saying otherwise, that the greater number are saved.

And when there is further clarification of the fewness, it is the very few, the tiny few, the so small few.

Perhaps someday I will find one quote. Would it make a difference? If there were one? No. There are too many else.