It is interesting to read about the interview that Pope Benedict XVI gave in Oct 2015 that he was deeply concerned why any Christian should bother keeping up or where will be the motivation for missionary work, when document from Vatican II state that there can be salvation for all. Andrew Brown further wrote a piece on Pope Benedict’s “deep double crisis”, titled “If a former pope says non-Catholics can go to heaven, why be Catholic?”
Perhaps, the point to be a Christian is not just for salvation, but for us to be adopted as children of God who are happy to follow Christ. Through Him we learn God’s love and how to live with all the tensions of life, guided by that love.
When I wrote the blog in January “How to Evangelize?” the second step in the plan was to show God is love. God sent his Son to us as the solution to the powers of evil. The stone that the builders rejected then became the corner stone of the Church. The Church gathers us and unites us. “Through Baptism we are formed in the likeness of Christ… partaking of the body of the Lord in the breaking of the Eucharistic bread, we are taken in communion with Him and with one another.” (Lumen Gentium, paragraph 7.) This family, this Body of Christ, this Church, has sacraments where God communicates with us and helps us discover the hidden treasures of His grace and love. Love is the answer for our human struggles. Evangelization then becomes spreading the message that the Church has the answer for us to better deal with the tensions of life.
We may convince others that by being part of the Catholic family, we learn from the Way, the Truth and the Life of Christ which helps us with our struggles in life. The sacraments and our Church teachings are doors to get to know God, who has the power to salvation to all mankind. When one is part of this family, conversion is bound to happen; especially when one receives the gifts of the Holy Spirit from Baptism and Confirmation, and the nourishment from Holy Communion. If people love the idea of salvation, they ought to love God who makes that possible. If they love God enough, they will be willing to be his instruments to spread that love and being part of the Catholic community with all the sacraments that will help them in their endeavours.