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Tema: A theological question for any Catholic regarding the nature of God's forgiveness.

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    Avatar de Annuit Coeptis
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    A theological question for any Catholic regarding the nature of God's forgiveness.

    This query isn't meant to offend, only to enlighten me. It regards the nature of God's forgiveness and how it relates to mankind, especially non-Christians. I was directed here by a friend, since my ability with Spanish is poor at best.

    If God is all-forgiving (as he is said to be), what's the use of being good and moral in this life if all of us wind up in heaven in the end? I've tried to wrap my mind around this conundrum and was directed to ask here by a friend.

    Are only the saved (baptised Christians/Catholics) going to go to heaven? I've heard it said from time to time that, in the end, all and sundry will be forgiven. This strikes me as very odd given that Jesus had very clear requirements for his followers, often speaking of hell and judgment (especially for false followers, false teachers, and so forth) and of Jesus's scathing
    commentaries about the Jewish religious leaders.

    To be saved, doesn't one have to be aware that one is doing wrong? And also possess a desire to be forgiven by God? These are the kinds of people that went out to Jesus, but there were plenty of people who didn't go out to him or, in the case of the Jews, tried to hamper Jesus's teachings.

    The modern world is full of atheists, hedonists, pagans, and so on, many of them openly scornful of God. Added to this the many Christians who, well, are lukewarm or liberal in nature. Will people of this kind be forgiven by God?

    Thanks.
    "And, as we Catholics know, Western Civilization is Roman Civilization, first classical Roman Civilization, then Roman Catholic Civilization, as the Christians preserved and carried classical Roman Civilization to the world in a Christianized form. That is, after all, why we are described as Roman Catholics."

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    Re: A theological question for any Catholic regarding the nature of God's forgiveness

    God is merciful and will forgive any sinner or wrongdoer who sincerely asks His forgiveness. Even if you are at the point of death and don't have a priest available to confess your sins, God will nor reject your plea, though you will have to spend some time in Purgatory to make up for your lacks before going to Heaven. The doctrine of apocatastasis (that eventually all will be saved in a universal reconciliation) has always been considered heretic. And if you ask me, it's absurd because then there would be no point in behaving in the right way, or at least there we wouldn't be challenged to do our best, as by our fallen nature we tend to follow the easiest way and sin easily. But God cannot be mocked.

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    Re: A theological question for any Catholic regarding the nature of God's forgiveness

    Can you muster up the belief to accept Jesus as God though?
    “La verdadera fe es incolora, por decirlo así, como el aire y el agua; medio transparente a través del cual el alma ve a Cristo. Nuestros ojos no ven el aire y de la misma manera nuestra alma no se detiene a contemplar su propia fe. Cuando, por consiguiente, los hombres toman esta fe como si dijéramos en las manos, la inspeccionan curiosamente, la analizan, se absorben en ella, se ven forzados a materializarla, a darle color para que pueda ser tocada y vista. En otros términos, sustituyen a ella, colocan sobre ella, cierto sentimiento, cierta impresión, cierta idea, cierta convicción, algo en fin en que la atención pueda prenderse. Cristo les interesa menos que lo que llaman ellos sus experiencias. Los vemos trabajando para seguir en sí mismos los signos de la conversión, la variación de sus sentimientos aspiraciones y deseos: los vemos ponerse a conversar con los demás sobre todo esto. ”. John Henry Newman

  4. #4
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    Re: A theological question for any Catholic regarding the nature of God's forgiveness

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    Can you muster up the belief to accept Jesus as God though?
    Given that I was raised as a Protestant, no.
    "And, as we Catholics know, Western Civilization is Roman Civilization, first classical Roman Civilization, then Roman Catholic Civilization, as the Christians preserved and carried classical Roman Civilization to the world in a Christianized form. That is, after all, why we are described as Roman Catholics."

  5. #5
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    Re: A theological question for any Catholic regarding the nature of God's forgiveness

    If God is all-forgiving (as he is said to be), what's the use of being good and moral in this life if all of us wind up in heaven in the end? I've tried to wrap my mind around this conundrum and was directed to ask here by a friend.
    You are right to be confused by this, and Hyeronimus is correct. The reason for the illogicallity here is due to a false premise - that God is all-forgiving.
    That is not so, at least it doesn't form a part of Catholic belief.
    God's mercy is in that he can forgive just about anything so long as the sinner is truly contrite and sincerely desires forgiveness.
    But forgiveness is also a gift, a grace. And God does not force such graces on people. Graces may be rejected and the unrepentant sinner does not truly seek forgiveness. And thus it is not given to him.

    "Ask, and it shall be given unto you".
    But if you don't ask, if you don't desire, then you will not recieve.

    Are only the saved (baptised Christians/Catholics) going to go to heaven? I've heard it said from time to time that, in the end, all and sundry will be forgiven. This strikes me as very odd given that Jesus had very clear requirements for his followers, often speaking of hell and judgment (especially for false followers, false teachers, and so forth) and of Jesus's scathing commentaries about the Jewish religious leaders.
    Funny, I'm having a similar discussion now on what exactly is required to be saved.
    To be baptised, I would say yes. And also to be a member of Christ's Church. But these I would deem as necessary conditions rather than sufficient conditions.
    Calvinists would disagree, however. For them - once saved, always saved. I find this a very problematic doctrine and it is liable to lead to all sorts of horrific logical consequences,which in turn have prompted a large amount of sophistry in order to counter. But for a Catholic there are some basic requirements - valid baptism and faithful membership and participation in the life of the Church. But these are not enough in themselves. Catholicism deems faith and works as being necessary, so good deeds are required too. As St James said - "Faith without works is dead"
    Última edición por Alejandro O'Reilly; 02/03/2011 a las 21:35

  6. #6
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    Re: A theological question for any Catholic regarding the nature of God's forgiveness

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    Cita Iniciado por Alejandro O'Reilly Ver mensaje
    You are right to be confused by this, and Hyeronimus is correct. The reason for the illogicallity here is due to a false premise - that God is all-forgiving.
    That is not so, at least it doesn't form a part of Catholic belief.
    God's mercy is in that he can forgive just about anything so long as the sinner is truly contrite and sincerely desires forgiveness.
    But forgiveness is also a gift, a grace. And God does not force such graces on people. Graces may be rejected and the unrepentant sinner does not truly seek forgiveness. And thus it is not given to him.

    "Ask, and it shall be given unto you".
    But if you don't ask, if you don't desire, then you will not recieve.

    Funny, I'm having a similar discussion now on what exactly is required to be saved.
    To be baptised, I would say yes. And also to be a member of Christ's Church. But these I would deem as necessary conditions rather than sufficient conditions.
    Calvinists would disagree, however. For them - once saved, always saved. I find this a very problematic doctrine and it is liable to lead to all sorts of horrific logical consequences,which in turn have prompted a large amount of sophistry in order to counter. But for a Catholic there are some basic requirements - valid baptism and faithful membership and participation in the life of the Church. But these are not enough in themselves. Catholicism deems faith and works as being necessary, so good deeds are required too. As St James said - "Faith without works is dead"
    Well, I was baptised as an infant as a Protestant Christian (Methodist in the tradition of John Wesley), and later confirmed into the Methodist tradition in my early teen years. A good 20 years ago, and Methodism has largely gone downhill since then, trust me.

    I ask questions about traditional Catholicism because I've only really ever encountered the watered-down Catholic Church from the Vatican II period. The liberalized Church, in other words. When I go to a Catholic mass in the U.S.A. these days, it's little more than a Protestant service. The father gives a nice sermon, communion is taken, hymns are sung, and everyone goes home feeling happy-go-lucky. No Bible readings, no mentions of, say, the Beatitudes, no uttering of the Pater Noster, Ave Maria, etc.

    So, you may wonder why I have questions.
    "And, as we Catholics know, Western Civilization is Roman Civilization, first classical Roman Civilization, then Roman Catholic Civilization, as the Christians preserved and carried classical Roman Civilization to the world in a Christianized form. That is, after all, why we are described as Roman Catholics."

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