Praying for the Conversion of the World
#1
Every so often, I end up having these strange theological debates pop into my head.  It probably springs from scrupulosity, but I figure it's best to have an answer to them.

Why do Catholics pray for the conversion and salvation of the world?  Don't people criticize von Balthasaar for having the "empty hell" idea?  If his idea is problematic, then why isn't it also a problem to basically pray that this circumstance happens?

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#2
StabatMater Wrote:Every so often, I end up having these strange theological debates pop into my head.  It probably springs from scrupulosity, but I figure it's best to have an answer to them.

Why do Catholics pray for the conversion and salvation of the world?  Don't people criticize von Balthasaar for having the "empty hell" idea?  If his idea is problematic, then why isn't it also a problem to basically pray that this circumstance happens?

I do not see any problem with that situation.

As to why Catholics pray for the conversion of sinners, it is Biblically mandated and something that we should do if we love God. I do not know how one can ask why.
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#3
StabatMater Wrote:Why do Catholics pray for the conversion and salvation of the world? 

I Timothy 2:4 says, God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” So to pray for the conversion of mankind is a good prayer because it is echoing God's own desire. How many of us have come to salvation and the knowledge of truth because others have prayed for us? 
 
- Lisa

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#4
Our Lord died for the whole world even though not everyone may come to salvation. He still loved all men and sought their ultimate good, even though a great many may end up rejecting it.

Similarly, we love all of humanity by praying that God send them His grace for their good, even if some may reject it. Just because our love may not produce the result we hope for in each case, does not mean we should choose not to love.

As St. Pius X said, "God prepares His rewards not for the results of toil but for the good will shown in it."

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#5
Not entire mankind will come to salvation, but even if one man is granted extra grace by the Almighty Father in heaven because of your well-intended prayer, it is worth it.

"Entire mankind" should be intended to be symbolic. But of course we all desire all men will accept God and do penance before Him. At the same time, we know, that our hope cannot be entirely perfectly be fulfilled. About Judas Iskariot, the Lord Jesus sadly foretold he would go to hell. "Better he be not born."

Lord have mercy on us, and save us by Thy almighty grace.
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