FAQ: Can we participate in the work of salvation?
During Lent, we are sharing some reflections from our nuns on common questions about the Passion of Christ, redemptive suffering and penance, and some aspects of cloistered contemplative life. Read the first FAQ here. We hope these may answer some of your questions, or help you to respond to the questions of others!
Question #2: If Jesus has died for the salvation of mankind, can we sinful people do anything for our own salvation or that of other souls?
Yes, Jesus did die for the salvation of mankind. He redeemed us by His Blood. That was something only He could do since, being God, His Blood had infinite value. By the Fall we had sinned against an infinite God and therefore we owed God an infinite debt which we could never pay back. God alone, Who is infinite, could pay back the debt and redeem us. Jesus, God Incarnate, did this, and won for all of us the opportunity to go to Heaven. I say “opportunity” because being made in the image and likeness of God, we have all been given free will. Though we are inclined to sin, through the Sacraments God gives us the grace to live as His beloved children in a state of sanctifying grace already here on earth. As sons and daughters of God we have such immense dignity!
God calls us to the most intimate relationship with Himself even here on earth. So, we should strive to live the beatitudes and virtues, do all things with love – love for God first and love for neighbor. We can and should offer prayers and sacrifices for others: for Christians that they may continue to grow in sanctity, for fallen-away Catholics so that they may come back to the Church, and for non-Christians because they too are called to be sons and daughters of God. This past year we celebrated the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima. She, as our loving Mother, asked us to pray the Rosary, and to offer prayers and sacrifices for the world and for souls. We can make of everything a sacrifice, if we do it out of love in imitation of Jesus Crucified. Look at how He loved us on the Cross and see how you can return that love to Him and imitate that love for others. Love is what gives value to everything.