I received a reply to the blog entry I posted last night ("NOT by faith alone...") and for some reason it didn't publish so I apologise to who wrote it (the response came up as "anonymous"), but in brief it was implied that somewhere in my post I had suggested or said that Catholics try to "earn" their salvation and work their way into Heaven. I would invite you to read over the post again and a third time if need be; no where in that entry did I say or even imply that Catholic try to "earn" their salvation and work their way into Heaven. I'm going to be very forward and say that you, the respondent, did not bother to read through the entry properly and in doing so missed the entire point of it.
So for you and others who may have missed the point (although I can't see how I could have made it more clear), allow me now to clarify:
The Catholic Church has NEVER taught that salvation is "earned" and no where in that blog entry do I state or suggest that Catholics try to "earn" their salvation. This is not the Catholic understanding of faith and works in the role of salvation and this is not was I was advocating; quite the opposite in fact.
Salvation is the free gift of God. It is grace that saves us and faith that justifies us but like with any other gift, it can be rejected. When we commit mortal sin - when we are gravely disobedient to God - we fail to love Him and fall out of communion with him.
The works spoken about here are of twofold meaning:
1.) These works show that we are children of God and that grace is present in us (Ephesians 2:10); and
2.) These works are the actions of believers desiring to walk in holiness and be as close to God as possible because when we knowingly act contrarily to as God desires, we sin, and sin is what separates us from God.
So therefore we mus bear in mind these things:
"You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." - Matthew 5:48
"... work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" - Philippians 2:12b
"But he who stand firm until the end shall be saved." - Matthew 24:13
"For we share in Christ, if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end." - Hebrews 3:14
Remain a friend of God, do His will, and persevere until the end.