A distorted idea of salvation
and a retreat opportunity
For some reason, a distorted idea of salvation became ingrained in the Catholic imagination. It goes something like this:
My sin created a debt to God. Jesus came and, on the cross, paid that debt for me. So now, as long as I go to Mass and bring my serious sins to Confession, I will go to Heaven after I die.
For most of my adult life, I believed some version of this legal/transactional idea of salvation.
While there's some truth in this proposal, it's lacking the full idea of salvation that comes from the Catholic Tradition.
For Catholics, salvation doesn't simply mean forgiveness of sins. Salvation means sharing in God's divine life.
St. Athanasius, quoted in the Catechism, makes the radical statement, "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God."
Since the beginning of creation, God has been working for our transformation, our becoming divine. God created us so that we can share in his divine life—that is our purpose and destiny.
In Genesis, man’s first experience of himself was face-to-face with God breathing his divine life into man’s nostrils. And after the fall, the rest of the story of salvation is God coming down to man, condescending himself, in order to rescue us from our sin and raise us up to new life.
Catholics have a two-fold understanding of salvation: Jesus saves us from our sinfulness in order to save us for transformation. The tender mercy of God is not only forgiveness, as if that was not enough, but also to make us “adopted children of God and thus heirs to his own blessed life” (Catechism 1).
This transformation isn't a distant reward after we die. It's happening now.
And that is what the Kerygma Encounter retreat is all about.
Come and hear the truly and wonderfully Good News about God and his promises for us.
The Kerygma Encounter Retreat is this Saturday at my parish in Fowler, MI.
The retreat will run from 8:30am-3:30pm on November 13.
This retreat is great for anyone who may be interested in a full weekend retreat but has had a difficult time getting that to work with their schedule. It’s also a great event for people to invite their non-Catholic or non-practicing Catholic friends and family too.
There's no cost, only a freewill offering at lunch. Please register so we know how much food to get (we will have coffee and breakfast snacks in the morning and then subs for lunch). Doors open at 8:00.
Register here: https://forms.gle/7XDe33obLEgwJkns8