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Thursday, April 10, 2014

On Salvation for All

Many people argue that there are human persons in hell, or that some subset of human persons MUST end up in hell. Part of their argument invariably involves an invocation of private revelation.

"What about the vision of Fatima!?!?" is a common wail.

Well, let's think about Fatima for a moment.

On July 13, 1919, the Blessed Virgin Mary herself taught the three visionaries this prayer:
O my Jesus, 
forgive us our sins, 
save us from the fire of hell,
*lead all souls to heaven,*
especially those who are in most need of Thy mercy.
Now, think about that. 

Is prayer ever useless? Obviously not. 

Would Mary ever insist we pray for something that is useless? Again, obviously not. 

God doesn't have us do useless things. 

So, if human souls were in hell, why would Mary ask us to pray in 1917 that all souls be led to heaven? There is no way to get out of hell - that's de fide. Yet we are asked to pray that all souls be led to heaven. 

Now, prayer is a timeless act. It's effects can ripple backward in time as well as forward in time. Therefore, it must be possible for us to have theological hope, rooted in God's own divine mercy, that all human persons be saved. Hell would still exist, and would still be occupied by the fallen angels. It would not be empty. There would simply be no human persons in it.

If we didn't have the theological right to hope for this - indeed, the duty to hope for this - then Mary would never have taught us this prayer and asked us to pray it. And this hope cannot just be a natural hope, for no one can have a natural hope for heaven. If our entire basis to hope for heaven lay only in our human nature, then we are all doomed to hell. The only way we can attain heaven is through God's own gift of supernatural grace. That is why our hope for heaven, whether it be for ourselves or someone else, must always be a supernatural hope, for only God's supernatural grace can accomplish this end. To say we can only pray this prayer with a natural hope is to say that Catholics are allowed to be Pelagians, which is absurd. 

So, Fatima has a certain tension within it. On one hand, we have the visionaries seeing people falling towards hell, on the other, we have Mary teaching them to pray that all souls end up in heaven.

Conclusion The only conclusion we can reach is this: the souls the visionaries saw moving towards hell, even at the moment of their death. even those who died in the past, can be saved for heaven at the moment of their death by our (future) prayers and sacrifices before God's throne. The timeless nature of prayer is also about the only thing that would explain why none of the nasty events Mary described at Fatima actually happened: Russia would eventually be properly consecrated at some future point, so none of the described disasters actually took place. 

If anyone wishes to stand on Fatima in order to demonstrate that not all human beings are saved, s/he stands on a very weak reed indeed, for in the very same visionary event, the Blessed Virgin Mary commands us to pray a prayer that assumes all human beings can, in fact, be saved. Since Mary did teach this prayer and command we pray it, we can correctly conclude no human being is yet in hell, and we can also conclude that it is our duty to hope every human being attains heaven. 

UPDATE:
The papal preacher apparently agrees with this view.

13 comments:

Mike said...

Steve's heresy today ... is that souls can gain merit after death (after the soul leaves the body).

This has been repeatedly condemned by the Catholic Church ... so we see that Steve (again) is not speaking on behalf of the Catholic Church.

A couple examples that prove that Steve is lying ...

Council of Florence, Session 6, 1439 A.D. -- Ex-Cathedra Dogma >
"But the souls of those who depart this life in actual mortal sin, or in Original Sin alone, go down straightaway to Hell to be punished, but with unequal pains."

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Session 11, 1442 A.D. -- Ex-Cathedra Dogma >
"It (the Catholic Church) firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church ... will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Catholic Church *before the end of their lives*."

More on Section 37 of > Immaculata-one.com.

Mike said...

Steve's heresy today ... is that souls can gain merit after death (after the soul leaves the body).

This has been repeatedly condemned by the Catholic Church ... so we see that Steve (again) is not speaking on behalf of the Catholic Church.

A couple examples that prove that Steve is lying ...

Council of Florence, Session 6, 1439 A.D. -- Ex-Cathedra Dogma >
"But the souls of those who depart this life in actual mortal sin, or in Original Sin alone, go down straightaway to Hell to be punished, but with unequal pains."

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Session 11, 1442 A.D. -- Ex-Cathedra Dogma >
"It (the Catholic Church) firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church ... will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Catholic Church *before the end of their lives*."

More on Section 37 of > Immaculata-one.com.

Viva Cristo Rey said...

Thanks for this post.......I was thinking about stealing money from the peasant workers I have in my factory along the boarder. I was also going to pillage the environment, mock and ridicule illegal aliens, and discriminate against minorities. Now I know I can and still go to Heaven.

I am so glad I am free to follow my conscience when it tells me to rob, rape, steal, and murder.....we all go to heaven anyway!!!!

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Hey Vivo Christo Rey, if you have an issue, take it up with the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Flambeaux said...

Wow...the asplosion of Trad heads was more impressive than I expected.

Good work, Steve. :D

S said...

More muddled modernist thought.

If the Blessed Mother wanted to say
"Deliver All Souls to Heaven" she would have said it.

If that were the case it is likely that Fatima would never have been recognized as worthy of belief.

The intention to 'Lead all sheep to safety' in no way implies they all will make it. Certainly it is a pray rooted in charity and love for souls. Decisions on eternal salvation however are God's alone. The BVM would not tread on God's domain.

Perhaps your thinking has been polluted by the clown show of Medjugorje and the 40,000+ visits
they have received - Guffaw.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

"The intention to 'Lead all sheep to safety' in no way implies they all will make it. "

Actually, it DOES imply exactly that possibility, otherwise the possibility would not be expressed in the thought. If Mary wanted to spread the idea that only some had the hope of salvation, she would say instead "Lead many sheep to safety." You know - pro multis and all that. Perhaps you're not familiar with pro multis???

In any case, it's funny you brought up Medjugorje, since I didn't. It's almost like you're trying to change the subject. How odd.

S said...

If I pray "lead all baseball teams to victory tonight", I have a right to the hope of victory for all. I can even enjoy the possibility, in some kind of grand charitable fantasy. If I bank on it, I would be guilty of presumption, and prove I know little about baseball.

God judges salvation. If all attain heaven what would be the point? I brought up Medjugorje because it has become quite popular to put words and ideas into BVM mouth.

I love how your blog trolls.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Mary gave you that basketball prayer did she?

Fascinating.

You don't have a logical right to hope for the victory of ALL basketball teams because the nature of sports precludes that.

But you DO have the logical right to hope for the salvation of ALL men, because the nature of God's grace permits that.

Now, if you're saying the three visionaries put words in Mary's mouth and actively lied about what she expressly told them to pray, well, I guess that's your right as a Catholic.

And I can see how you would need to argue that way, given that if the three visionaries are right, your entire pro multis argument falls flat on its face and breaks its poor little "knows".

Jordanes551 said...

If the Fatima prayer means literally all human souls shall escape hell, then by the same token St. Paul's "all have sinned" means Our Lord and Our Lady are sinners.

Since it doesn't mean all human souls shall escape hell, that means the ancient understanding that some or most souls will be damned does not contradict the Fatima prayer.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Well, no one is saying the Fatima prayer means all human souls shall (in the imperative) escape hell. That's a straw man argument.

It means we can legitimately have the theological hope, based in God's saving grace, that all may escape hell.

As for St. Paul's statement, "all have sinned", it is certainly the case that all - including Mary and Jesus - suffered the consequence of sin. Now, since it is de fide that Mary and Jesus did not sin, we obviously are not permitted to interpret the verse to say that Mary and Jesus are sinners.

But it is also de fide that Christ came to save ALL men (by which we mean all human persons, not just the males). Thus, while it is the Church does not forbid Catholics from saying that some human persons are in hell, neither does She forbid us from hoping that NO human person is in hell.

Further, given our trust in Christ's saving grace, we even have the right to the theological hope that no human person EVER ends in hell. Indeed, given that this right is based in God's own saving grace, a very strong argument can be made that we have a DUTY to entertain this divinely-based hope. The Fatima prayer is a fine example of the requirement to carry out this duty.

ButterflyofGrace said...

I truly believe that Protostants go to heaven, and our not doomed to hell. I can not even imagine Billy Graham going to hell.

ButterflyofGrace said...

I truly believe that Protostants go to heaven, and our not doomed to hell. I can not even imagine Billy Graham going to hell.