I thought Father Dietzen’s column on salvation (CR, June 4) clearly covered not only the chasm between God and man, but also God’s generous gifts to us. In response, Elaine Ireland (CR, June 18) states “if our focus is on our own salvation and our reason for doing for others is to gain that salvation, the life we present to our father in heaven will be tainted by selfishness.”
I can only thank God for his church, that taught me years ago that “contrition,” sorrow for sin because it offends almighty God is our goal, but that “attrition,” sorrow for sin because of the fear of hell, is sufficient for forgiveness in the sacrament of reconciliation. In this 21st century, when have we heard St. Paul’s words to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” – even from the pulpit? Seems to me we could use a little more “selfish” concern about the state of our souls and our eternal future.
Our lord was asked what was the greatest commandment. His response was that first, we should love the lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our mind, and then second to that, to love our neighbor. But many forget the ending of the second was “as yourself.” In those words, our lord tells us that loving ourselves – as he loves – is appropriate.