Some believe faith alone is sufficient for salvation; others believe they will be saved by Christ’s sacraments alone; others rely on works of mercy alone and think they can sin with impunity. Such people fail to understand that nothing avails without charity (St. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on 1 Corinthians 6, 2).
Some people do not acknowledge their transcendental dimension, and as a consequence they do not investigate the evidence for it or even reflect on their restricted assumptions about themselves. This does not mean that their transcendental nature will lie dormant. It most assuredly will not. Rather, it will produce a myriad of frustrations with the world of restricted and conditioned beings. For example, we will still have a desire for unconditional love whether we acknowledge it or not; but because we do not acknowledge it, we begin to look for unconditional love in restricted and conditioned individuals. They of course will never be able to satisfy our desire for unconditional love, and this will produce feelings of frustration and rejection. We may make judgments about them such as “they are not understanding enough”, “not responsive enough”, “not sympathetic enough”, “not strong enough”, and so forth. Thus, failure to acknowledge our transcendental desires almost invariably leads to frustration and unhappiness, because it compels us to look for perfect and unconditional love in imperfect and conditioned places.
Conversely, if we do acknowledge our transcendentality, and we pursue a Being who can truly fulfill it, everything changes. The more we open ourselves to a true transcendent power, the more that transcendent power responds to us. Of course, we can only know this by either trusting in the testimony of those who have done it or by doing it ourselves. In either case we will have to make a decision to let God into our minds and hearts. Though God takes the first step by inviting us through the numinous experience, the desire for the sacred, and our five transcendental desires, He awaits our response to His invitation. This requires an act of the will—a little leap of faith—to connect with the deity who is already present to us. This connection has many facets—opening ourselves to the deity, responding to His call, learning His ways, responding to His guidance, asking for help, and surrendering to His providential love—to see Him more clearly, follow Him more nearly, and love Him more dearly.
Sample Bible search on the words “saved”, “repent”, and “salvation”:
Mt 3:2 (cf. Mt 4:17)—“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Mt 5:3 (Sermon on the Mount; cf. Lk 6:20)—“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Mt 5:10—“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Mt 5:20—“For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Mt 6:33—“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.”
Mt 7:21—“Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
Mt 10:22 (Mt 24:13; Mk 13:13)—“But he who endures to the end will be saved.”
Mk 1:15—“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.”
Mk 2:5—“And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Child, your sins are forgiven.’ ”
Mk 8:35 (Mt 16:25; Lk 9:24)—“[W]hoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.”
Mk 16:16—“He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”
Lk 3:3—“And he went into all the region about the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”
Lk 7:50—“And he said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’ ”
Lk 8:12—“[B]elieve and be saved.”
Lk 13:3 (Lk 13:5)—“I tell you, No; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
Lk 15:7, 10—“Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. . . . Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Lk 24:47—“and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem”.
Jn 5:24—“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life.”
Jn 6:29—“Jesus answered them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.’ ”
Jn 6:35—“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.’ ”
Jn 6:40—“[E]very one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Jn 6:47—“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.”
Jn 8:24—“I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he.”
Acts 2:21—“And it shall be that whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Acts 2:38, 40—“Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. . . . Save yourselves.”
Acts 3:19—“Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out.”
Acts 5:31—“God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.”
Acts 8:22—“Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.”
Acts 15:11—“But we believe that we shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.”
Acts 16:31—“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
Rom 5:9—“Since, therefore, we are now justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.”
Rom 10:9—“[I]f you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
1 Cor 1:18, 21—“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. . . . For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.”
1 Cor 3:15—“If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.”
1 Cor 5:5—“[Y]ou are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”
1 Cor 7:16—“Wife, how do you know whether you will save your husband? Husband, how do you know whether you will save your wife?”
1 Cor 15:2—“by which you are saved, if you hold it fast—unless you believed in vain”.
2 Cor 7:10—“For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings regret, but worldly grief produces death.”
Rom 3:25-28—“whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteousness and that justifies him who has faith in Jesus. Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On the principle of works? No, but on the principle of faith. For we hold that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the law.”
Gal 2:16—“yet who know that a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ, and not by works of the law, because by works of the law shall no flesh be justified”.
Gal 3:11—“Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law; for ‘He who through faith is righteous shall live.’ ”
Eph 2:5—“even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)”.
Eph 2:8-10—“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God—not because of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
Phil 2:12—“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
2 Thess 2:10—“those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved”.
2 Thess 2:13—“But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning to be saved through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.”
1 Tim 2:15—“Yet woman will be saved through bearing children, if she continues in faith and love and holiness, with modesty.”
1 Tim 4:7-10—“Have nothing to do with godless and silly myths. Train yourself in godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.”
1 Tim 4:16—“Take heed of yourself and of your teaching; hold to that, for by doing so you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
2 Tim 1:9—“who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not in virtue of our works but in virtue of his own purpose and the grace which he gave us in Christ Jesus ages ago”.
Titus 3:5—“[H]e saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.”
Heb 5:9—“[A]nd being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.”
Heb 7:25—“Consequently he is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”
Heb 9:28—“[S]o Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.”
Jas 1:21—“Therefore put away all filthiness and rank growth of wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”
Jas 2:14, 17-18, 20-22, 24-26—“What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can that faith save him?. . . So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. . . But some one will say, ‘You have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. . . . Do you want to be shown, you foolish fellow, that faith apart from works is barren? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works. . . . You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not also Rahab the harlot justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead.”
Jas 5:15—“And the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”
1 Pet 2:2—“Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation.”
1 Pet 3:21—“Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
2 Pet 2:20—“For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overpowered, the last state has become worse for them than the first.”
1 Jn 3:23—“And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.”
1 Jn 4:16—“So we know and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
1 Jn 5:1—“Every one who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and every one who loves the parent loves the one begotten by him.”
1 Jn 5:5—“Who is it that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”
1 Jn 5:13—“I write this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life”
Jude 5—“Now I desire to remind you, though you were once for all fully informed, that he who saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.”
Jude 23—“save some by snatching them out of the fire; on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh”.
Rev 2:19—“I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first.”
Rev 14:12—“Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”
Beaumont, Douglas (2016-02-11). Evangelical Exodus: Evangelical Seminarians and Their Paths to Rome. Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.
We often have an erroneous concept of freedom. We think that freedom is the ability to choose between contraries and, therefore, the possibility of choosing evil. We think that a transgression is a manifestation of our freedom. But that is not true at all. Let us take a musical comparison: the violinist who practices his exercises for hours acquires little by little a greater mastery of his instrument. Will he be less free as a result? Would freedom be, for him, the ability to play wrong notes? Is it not instead such mastery of his instrument that if, unfortunately, a string were to slacken during a concert, he could continue to play without anyone noticing the problem? Virtue is precisely what enables us to perform excellent actions easily and joyfully, in a stable manner, with profound interior freedom, the freedom of the children of God. – Jean-Charles Nault
JESUS’ WORDS are for doing, for incarnating in ourselves. Just as Jesus himself is called The Word, because God’s innermost Expression of himself is not only a passing thought but a Person, so too the words to us of this same Person by their very nature and dynamism want to become incarnated in us, in our souls, hearts, and lives. A Christian’s life is intended to be the concrete manifestation of the Word in the world. Our lives ought to “proceed” from us into the world made strong and fertile by the advent of the Word within us. A Christian life is meant to be a visible witness of trinitarian fecundity of the Trinity’s interior life of charity – Erasmo Leiva