Mar 6, 2009

People from other Religious and Salvation

How, can people in other religious situations come to a saving grace?

To quote our holy father in an interview with Peter Seewald

How many ways are there to God?

"As many as there are people. For even within the same faith each man's way is entirely personal one. We have Christ's word: I am the way. In that respect, there is ultimately one way, and everyone who is on the way to God is therefore in some sense also on the way are identical in terms of consciousness and will, but, on the contrary, the one way is so big that it becomes a personal way for each man"

Another thing is Pope Benedict’s understanding of Lauterkeit, which is that in all religions there are men of interior purity who through their myths somehow touch the great mystery and find the right way of being human.

So the idea is not that other systems of faith are valid. But that someone can still be touched by grace, still find salvation while in those systems. Not because of those systems, and not always in spite of those systems. CS Lewis and other theologians have wrote that in the other myths of the world there are partial truths, those truths can led to a pursuit of other truths, and sanctifying grace.

Vat 2 teaches a few things here. In regard to Protestants it is the understanding that in their eccesiologies there are variance of truths that can lead to sanctifying grace. The key is to find those truths and be open to the seeking of more truth. Not to be in these systems because they feel that it is enough. For to truly seek truth will bring you to more truth.

It has nothing to do with a denial of Christ. or simply being good,. but by discovering the sanctifying grace. Plenty of people are good people but do not have grace. Thats a product of modernism. The individual people can discover grace. Not the people-groups overall. These communities do have partial truths. The world itself has partial truths. In Romans Paul is able to convict the gentiles because they should be able to be moved towards grace simply by creation. Now, if a little Muslim boy is raised Islamic and is faithful to his faith and truly submits to truth and responds to it. I feel that grace can be found. The Holy Spirit moves all of creation towards Him. The spirit can move people in these systems. Not because of these systems. Not in spite of them. As Catholics we have more truth. We have the sacraments and the dogmas of truth. We have more truth expressed for us to react towards. But the key is still the reaction to grace expressed.

Paul says that the Lord has impressed his law on the hearts of men. This is called "natural law." It insures that no man has an excuse. Everyone will be held accountable for their actions, to the degree to which they have had the opportunity to know and accept the Truth. "To whom much has been given, much is required." I know Jesus Christ. I know his Church. I know what is True. Thus, much is required of me. But, for the Muslim who never knew Christ and never will, he surely cannot be held to the same standard as me. It's impossible, and unjust. Thus, he is held accountable to the natural law imprinted on his heart.

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