Accessibility of Salvation: Theo's Thoughts
"I did not realize that it was my patron's feast day when I started work yesterday. As it happened, I was doing some consulting work in NYC, where my associates and I were working out kinks in a particularly stubborn computer network. I strolled over to St. Patrick's Cathedral just in time for afternoon Mass. It was a joy to join a hundred or so worshipers at a weekday Mass (not counting the hundreds more tourists who observed or came and went throughout the liturgy). Speaking in a New York accent that would have made the Bowery Boys proud, the priest delivered a simple and direct homily on the saving power of Christ's one and only sacrifice, and the opinions of Aquinas and the second Vatican Council on the astounding universality of Jesus' saving act, that whosoever responds to saving grace shall be saved--even if they don't realize themselves that "responding to saving grace" is what they are doing. It was interesting to hear one of my own championed beliefs echoed in this vast cathedral, delivered to people of many backgrounds and (no doubt among the tourists) nationalities and faiths: that one does not need to understand salvation to be saved, but that all are called to repent and respond to the gift being offered and that it is possible for even those who through no fault of their own are intellectually ignorant of Christ may be saved by the grace God offers all men through his once-and-for-all sacrifice, by reason of the gospel presented to them by the Holy Spirit. It is Christ alone who shall judge every human heart, not any mere man. He also noted how wonderful it is that one of the greatest doctors of the church (My mother used to claim Aquinas was the most intelligent man who ever lived, not counting Christ) confessed that the greatest knowledge is the simple knowledge of our savior’s love, understandable by any child.