Presumptive Certainty of Reaching Paradise

Transfiguration by Lorenzo Lotto

Father Frassinetti states that, although we cannot have infallible certainty that we are in a state of grace, we can have “a presumptive certainty, which is a sufficient assurance for us, and keeps us in peace and tranquillity.”

“Is not a son, who does not remember to have ever given grave displeasure to his father, or if he ever did so, has endeavoured to satisfy him by a true repentance,—is he not, by presumptive reasons, certain of possessing his fathers love? Does he not feel so certain of it that he is able to be in peace and tranquillity?”

“Mortal sin is the turning away of our wills from the Will of God. When our wills are united with and conformed to the Will of God, mortal sin is not to be found in our souls; for union with the Divine Will is, in fact, perfect charity. . . . Who, then, can feel more sure of possessing Divine grace than a soul that not only abhors mortal sins but venial sins also, and in everything tries to do what is most pleasing to God? Who can feel more secure of being in conformity with the Divine Will, and of possessing perfect charity? No one.”

“Is it not true that your greatest consolation would be to feel assured, as much as it is possible to be so, that you are in the grace of God; that if death should in any unexpected way or at any hour surprise you, you could not fail of reaching paradise? Well, if you would have all the security possible, you know now what you have to do—do you not? Abhor even venial sin; do in everything what is most pleasing to God, so far as you know it; and by so doing you will have more real security than you could have were you to perform the most stupendous miracles.”

Quotations from Joseph Frassinetti, The Consolation of the Devout Soul, trans. Georgiana Lady Chatterton (London: Burns and Oates, 1876).

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