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
THE PRECEPTS OF THE CHURCH
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.