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The Fewness of the Saved March 9, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Grace, persecution, priests, Saints, sanctity, secularism, self-serving, Tradition, Virtue.

I am certain many readers will recognize the voice, but keeping with Video Sancto’s policy, please do not identify the priest in the comments.  I can say it is always a pleasure for me to hear his voice.

This sermon is most worth listening to.  It discusses something very much of concern to me, for which I have coined the clumsy phrase “salvation potentiality,” or the likelihood that one may be saved.  As father notes below, even for Catholics, most will not be saved.  As for those outside the Church, while there salvation may be theoretically possible, it is, in practical terms, even more unlikely.  Father quotes from various Saints in supporting his claim, though he could have chosen from many more.  I personally know St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Alphonse Liguori, Saint Teresa of Avila, and St. Catherine of Siena all opined on the very low number of the elect – and each is a Doctor of the Church.

Quoting St. Leonard of Port Maurice: “The point of this instruction is to decide whether the number of Christians who are saved is greater or less than the number of Christians who are damned. It will I hope produce in you a salutary fear of the judgment of God. Brothers because of the love I have for you, I wish I could reassure you with the prospect of eternal happiness by saying to each of you, you are certain to go to paradise. The greater number of Chirstians are saved, and so you also will be saved.  But how can I give you this sweet assurance, if you revolt against God’s decrees as though you are your own worst enemies?  I observe in God a sincere desire to save you, but I find in your a decided inclination to be damned.”

I don’t think there is really a more important topic that priests could discuss, and yet the reality of of salvation and damnation is so little discussed. Today, most priests and even most prelates are invincibly convinced – I know not how, it is surely a rank novelty – in the idea of universal or quasi-universal salvation.  This belief is contrary to the guidance of almost all Fathers, Saints, Doctors, and, of course, the Blessed Trinity in Sacred Scripture. But as St. Leonard notes, our fallen nature causes us to have a certain inclination to disbelieve God and to pretend that He will not judge us harshly, or even barely at all, and that we shall skip into Heaven gleefully even if we die in the very act of committing a mortal sin.  Good luck with that.

I pray you find this very Lenten sermon edifying!  I certainly did.

And if you recognize the priest’s voice, please continue praying for him, especially.  We should pray for all our good, holy priests but please pray especially for him.


1. Observer - March 9, 2015

‘Belief’ in the concept that few are saved is in my opinion a powerful incentive for many Christians to become atheists. If the odds are stacked against us and the program so difficult to accomplish….then why bother? At least an atheist affirms that when he dies it is the end of any conscious reality and the end of suffering, but a sincere Christian is likely tormented in life with the likelihood that he will not make the grade and receive another dose of torment, this time of eternal duration. Hardly a ‘win-win’ situation. Which leads me to suspect the ‘few are saved’ doctrine wasn’t mentioned by missionaries when they were trying to make converts among the pagans of Northern Europe.

Branch - March 10, 2015

But what someone affirms does not make it so. Someone can believe something to subjectively console their self, but that does not define the reality. We should strive instead for the truth.

2. LaGallina - March 9, 2015

Thank you for this. I have never heard a priest talk about Heaven, Hell, the Four Last Things, etc. in his sermon except one who was kinda sorta Traditional-leaning. And the only thing he ever told us was a story about a French lady who was distraught over the death of her atheist Church-hating husband. She went to Confession and the priest (who is now a great saint, maybe St. John Vianney, I forget.) told her not to worry. That her husband was not in Hell. God had had mercy on him because once he allowed his wife to portray a picture in their home of the Sacred Heart (or of Our Lady, I forget that detail too.)

Hmmm. I’m thinking his story was wishful thinking. (That priest was very involved in devotion to the Divine Mercy Chaplet.)

Priests in the N.O. Mass do not talk about Hell. I had never even heard of the “Four Last Things” until 2 years ago when I started actively seeking out the traditional teachings of the Roman Carholic Church.

So, thanks again. We need to know about this!!

3. Magdalen - March 9, 2015

Yes, I recognize that very dear voice! I do not recall ever hearing a homily like this. God is merciful and He knows that even the faithful who attend Mass weekly do not know what sin is for the most part. Not only are they not taught about salvation–only that everyone is saved pretty much–there is often little opportunity for confession which shows even more that sin is not taken seriously. The faithful to a large extent have fallen prey to the world. They know not what they do.

4. Joan - March 10, 2015

Yes, I also recognize that voice and those true teachings of our Holy Mother Church . Oh that we were able to hear them from many more shepherds on many more occasions. Truth is not easily come by these days. But, it is still truth. Thank you for this opportunity to hear with our ears and hearts.

5. Branch - March 10, 2015

Thank you for this. I found it edifying, particularly as I thought the preacher balanced well the sober truth of the fewness of the saved with the hope and possibility we have to turn to God.

6. Baseballmom - March 10, 2015

Powerful. Thank you. Serious question – for those of you who have lost parents, sibs, etc. – do you ever consider that they were damned? How do you deal with that? I just weep at the thought of it….

Tantumblogo - March 10, 2015

Well my entire family is in that boat. Fortunately my parents and siblings are still in this world, but all grandparents etc all passed away.

I pray for them every day. I hope by some miracle, by some last second intervention of Our Lady, they were saved. But I know the score. It’s very sad. I wish I could convert my parents, in particular. Their attachment is so worldly, they basically believe most every Doctrine of the Faith but they don’t believe the Church is………the Church. So they won’t convert, they think any church/sect is about as good as any other. This indifferentism, I have found, is the most difficult thing to overcome.

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