The efficacious virtue of divine light and grace remains our only true hope for salvation.


by Doug Lawrence

The only church that was ever personally founded by Jesus Christ is the one, holy, apostolic and universal church … known today as Catholic.

The ordinary means of personal salvation in Jesus Christ is through baptism … which is “the door” by which someone typically enters … along with a lifetime of subsequent, faithful participation in all of the work, worship, sacraments and devotions of the Catholic Church.

Outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation. But God is sovereign, merciful, and all powerful … and he can save whomsoever he wishes … for any reason or for none … even in direct exception to the rules of the church, which are necessarily subject to the will of God, in all things.

Yet, anyone God chooses to save is saved only by the effective application of the grace that Jesus obtained for all, on the cross at Calvary.

The Catholic Church itself has canonized only a few thousand saints. Hence, the church claims no direct knowledge of the salvation … or damnation … of the great majority of souls.

In spite of all this, some Catholics maintain
that we can be absolutely confident of the salvation
of other apparently “good” people,
who through no fault of their own,
never became members of the Catholic Church.

Yet we know not of a single one, for certain!

Jesus remains the Blessed Hope of our salvation. Until the moment Jesus, the just judge  personally invites into heaven (or banishes us to hell) the best we can do is depend upon his saving grace, so that we might one day, like Saint Paul, be able to truthfully exclaim:

For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished [my] course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:1-8)

St. Paul turned out to be correct, and the Church subsequently confirmed as much, by officially declaring him a saint. Yet we have absolutely no specific knowledge of anyone outside the church ever being admitted to heaven.

But what about St. Daniel the Prophet, St. John the Baptist, St. Dismas – the “good” thief, and the many prophets and patriarchs of old? It remains a complicated subject!

Read Lionel Andrades latest column on this matter.