3. THE QUESTION WAS:
The Catholic Church teaches that salvation is by:
a. Works alone
b. Grace alone
c. Belief in God Alone
THE ANSWER IS B .Grace alone.
Both Protestants and Catholics agree that salvation is by grace alone. The belief that people could be saved by their works apart from faith was an early heresy called Pelagianism which, along with Semi-Pelagianism, has been condemned by the Catholic Church since the heresy first emerged. The Church has continued to condemn Pelagianism. According to the Council of Trent, If any one saith, that man may be justified before God by his own works, whether done through the teaching of human nature, or that of the law, without the grace of God through Jesus Christ; let him be anathema. (Council of Trent, Canon 1).
The Catholic Church teaches that we are first given grace in Baptism, which turns us into a new creation. We are now spiritually alive and fit for heaven. We no longer have the stain of original sin passed down by Adam and Eve, but instead inherit the free gift of salvation thanks to the merits of Jesus Christs life, death and resurrection. We continue to receive Christs grace through the sacraments, through prayer, through charity, through love, through selflessness.
A person who commits a mortal sin forfeits the gift of grace by his own choice. Judas did just that.
Even knowing that Judas would do this, Christ loved him, invited him to his table, and gave him everything he needed for salvation, but in the end, Judas decided to forfeit his inheritance of salvation, freely making a choice for hell.
Grace may be invisible but its as real as the oxygen in the atmosphere. This free gift of grace, the great inheritance of salvation, is ours to keep unless we trash it (by sinning mortally against God). Even after a mortal sin, forgiveness is ours if we accept Gods grace and salvation, and allow Him to live through us once again.
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