So as I continue to think about faith and what it is/isn’t, two conversations come to mind. The first is with the guy from Atlanta who is extremely opposed to Catholics. When he found out I was Catholic, he told me to not go crazy and start working my way to heaven, but to remember that faith is what saves. I told him to remember that salvation doesn’t come from simple belief. He then responded with “even the demons believe.” It struck me as interesting that he would quote that verse to me because it screams “works” and “action.” In fact it is the very antithesis of the notion that we are once saved by our belief. I just thought it was weird.
I also think of a conversation that just happened this past weekend in which I was asked, “How Catholic are you?” When asked to clarify, the response was, “Are you one of those Catholics that thinks they can do whatever they want and then confess to a priest and that is ok?” Before I could respond, my friend, a future FOCUS missionary jumped in to defend the faith and clear up the misunderstanding that was clearly present. It’s interesting, though, that this would be someone’s idea of the Catholic Church when most people see us as people who believe we must work our way to Heaven, not people who sin unashamedly. If it weren’t for the part about confessing to a priest, I would say that that is one of the most Protestant ideas out there, that we can sin all we want without consequence to our salvation.
Anyways, just some thoughts as I was coming back from Mass this morning.