Bare Minimum For Salvation

Comment: As I read the questions addressed on this website I understand that I indeed can/must “work” my way to heaven and Christ did not pay the whole price for my sin. And I am reminded of people all around us like my own mother (now deceased) who could read but there is no way on this earth my dear uneducated uncomplicated mother could have gotten to heaven in the Catholic church. She could not have understood all this..your info on this site sounds like “hopelessness” for a mere human being….am at a loss for words-satan couldn’t defeat me today but I daresay your website has come near to doing just that.
Response: I am sorry you felt defeated after reading my website. But let me assure you, you have misunderstood. The Catholic Faith does not teach that we must work our way to Heaven. That is what some who are misinformed say we teach. But they are wrong.

The minimum requirements for salvation in the Catholic Church are very easy and full of mercy and grace with the safety net of Confession. They are called the Precepts of the Catholic Church. CCC


2041 The precepts of the Church are set in the context of a moral life bound to and nourished by liturgical life. The obligatory character of these positive laws decreed by the pastoral authorities is meant to guarantee to the faithful the indispensable minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbor:

2042 The first precept (”You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation.”) requires the faithful to participate in the Eucharistic celebration when the Christian community gathers together on the day commemorating the Resurrection of the Lord.[82]

The second precept (”You shall confess your sins at least once a year.”) ensures preparation for the Eucharist by the reception of the sacrament of reconciliation, which continues Baptism’s work of conversion and forgiveness.[83]

The third precept (”You shall humbly receive your Creator in Holy Communion at least during the Easter season.”) guarantees as a minimum the reception of the Lord’s Body and Blood in connection with the Paschal feasts, the origin and center of the Christian liturgy.[84]

2043 The fourth precept (”You shall keep holy the holy days of obligation.”) completes the Sunday observance by participation in the principal liturgical feasts which honor the mysteries of the Lord, the Virgin Mary, and the saints.[85]

The fifth precept (”You shall observe the prescribed days of fasting and abstinence.”) ensures the times of ascesis (exertion/eercise) and penance which prepare us for the liturgical feasts; they help us acquire mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart.[86]

The faithful also have the duty of providing for the material needs of the Church, each according to his abilities

The hardest one is to actually get to Mass each Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation. The good works required of us, (“Faith without works is dead” James 2) help in our purification and reparation for our sin. But you don’t have to understand all the theology to follow the precepts and do good works. It is really pretty easy. We are not saved by how much theology we know but by our Obedience of Faith as St. Paul opens and closes Romans. This website is to explain Catholic theology to those who are interested. But it is not necessary to be saved.

Our Heavenly Father is full of mercy and desires that every single person would come to Heaven with HIM.

9 Responses

  1. “As I read the questions addressed on this website I understand that I indeed can/must “work” my way to heaven and Christ did not pay the whole price for my sin. And I am reminded of people all around us like my own mother (now deceased) who could read but there is no way on this earth my dear uneducated uncomplicated mother could have gotten to heaven in the Catholic church. She could not have understood all this..your info on this site sounds like “hopelessness” for a mere human being….am at a loss for words-satan couldn’t defeat me today but I daresay your website has come near to doing just that.”

    I just want to say to the individual that made the comment above that Jesus did in fact die for the sins of mankind. No matter what “works” you do it is not enough to get you into the kingdom. Why else would Jesus have died? Thankfully though, there is hope and you can have that hope. God offers His grace as a gift for the taking, should you so choose to accept it. How do you accept this gift? You have to BELIEVE that Jesus died for you—and yes—He paid the WHOLE price! We have been bought with the blood of Jesus. How can you begin to believe? You can have faith by reading the Holy Bible—word for word (Romans 10:17). The Holy Word of God is ALL YOU NEED to know of His truth and of His gift of grace. After you decide (if you choose to decide on accepting His gift), then you REPENT your sins to Him and to Him ONLY. It is, after all, a private matter that you take up with God. Its no body’s business what your sins are—NOBODY. God can hear you and He knows your heart—so if you are not sincere—He will know it (Acts 1:24). And if anybody tells you that God cannot hear you, are themselves going against God—woe to them!. God can hear the prayer of one who wants to repent because it is HIS WILL that you ask for forgiveness (1 John 1:8-9). This is about you and Him—so you need only to pray to HIM and no one else. Then go to a “bible following” church which has no doctrines other than following the Word of God and ONLY the Word of God. (I would recommend the “Churches of Christ”). Then out of obedience, get BAPTIZED. In baptism you are buried with Christ—when you come out of the water you are rising to a new life (Romans 6:4). You live for Him. The best way to thank Jesus for what He has done is to “serve” Him. And how does one serve our Lord? By doing “works” but this time, it will be under HIS grace through faith and in love with a willingness behind it. There is hope in Jesus. The doctrines (precepts) of the Catholic church are the doctrines of man. Thankfully, God did not write those doctrines. The doctrines of man will change as people and cultures change. God however, is the same today as He was yesterday, and He will be the same tomorrow. Thats why you can count on HIS WORD—IT NEVER CHANGES. I will surely pray for you. God Bless!

  2. BFHU, are you born again?

  3. Absolutely.

  4. Just curious—can you share your baptism experience? Was it like a sprinkle or was there a tub full of water?

  5. I have been baptized three times. Once when I was twelve. Sprinkling. Full immersion by a pastor who said we needed to be fully immersed. And one other time before joining a Baptist Church we had to be baptized in their church. Again full immersion in front of the whole congregation. When I entered the Catholic Church I was looking forward to being baptized in the Catholic Church but they said that was not necessary because I had already been baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. I was a little disappointed but amazed at the security of the Catholic Church in KNOWING that I had indeed been baptized and they did not need to do it again just because it wasn’t in the Catholic Church.

  6. I am a Catholic. I teach CCD/PSR to 4th graders. I teach them what the bible says and that is that if you believe in Jesus Christ, you will live with him in his kingdom for eternity. There are dozens of scripture passages to back up this thought.

  7. That is too minimal for several reasons. God may MAY make that judgment for some people, but the Church cannot teach that authoritatively.

    The ordinary and secure method for salvation has been given to the Catholic Church.


    John 3:3 In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.4″How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” 5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.

    I Peter 3:21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you


    John 3:50But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. 53 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.”

    Attend mass as a minimum to obey the commandment.

    Exodus 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God.

    It is a mortal (as in deadly) sin to knowingly and willfully, without a good reason, skip mass or any other holy day of obligation.


    For the forgiveness of a mortal sin one needs to go to confession to a priest and receive absolution. Dying with a mortal sin on your soul would bring condemnation.

    I John 5:16 If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. 17All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.

    CCC 1472 To understand this doctrine and practice of the Church, it is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence. Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the “eternal punishment” of sin. On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the “temporal punishment” of sin. These two punishments must not be conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the very nature of sin.


    Mark 10:11 He (Jesus) answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her.

    Adultery is a mortal sin and is not a good thing to have on your soul. Now, let me be clear. A person would have to know first of all that remarriage is adultery and do it anyway for it to qualify as a mortal sin for that person. Nevertheless, adultery is always objectively a grave sin.

    In closing, as a catechist who earnestly desires the salvation and safety of souls, or you wouldn’t take the time to teach CCD, I hope you can now see that it is risky to teach that belief in Jesus is all you need to go to Heaven.

    I realize you can’t get into a lot of detail at the level you are teaching, but they need to hear a little more about what the Bible actually says we need for salvation. What if they never have the opportunity of receiving more advanced teaching and they honestly have been convinced that they can live any way and do any thing and still go to Heaven as long as they believe in Jesus. Sola Fide, Faith Alone, is one of the errors or the Protestant Reformation.

    CCC 816 “The sole Church of Christ [is that] which our Savior, after his Resurrection, entrusted to Peter’s pastoral care, commissioning him and the other apostles to extend and rule it. . . . This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in (subsistit in) the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him.”267

    The Second Vatican Council’s Decree on Ecumenism explains
    : “For it is through Christ’s Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained. It was to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, that we believe that our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant, in order to establish on earth the one Body of Christ into which all those should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the People of God.” UR #3 &#4

    Wounds to unity

    817 In fact, “in this one and only Church of God from its very beginnings there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly censures as damnable. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church – for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame.” The ruptures that wound the unity of Christ’s Body – here we must distinguish heresy, apostasy, and schism 270 – do not occur without human sin:

    Where there are sins, there are also divisions, schisms, heresies, and disputes. Where there is virtue, however, there also are harmony and unity, from which arise the one heart and one soul of all believers.

  8. […] A discussion from a comment on the post Bare Minimum for Salvation […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: