Number of saved
I’ve been a traditional catholic all my life, and thought I’d post my question here. From what I know the church teachers that more people are damned then saved. I know of course nobody knows the actual number, but is they any guesses or anything from pre Vatican two theologians ect. about a rough number such as ten percent ect? Also, is there any pre Vatican two theologian, saint ect. That holds the oposite position, that many are saved? I know this is naive or whatnot, but I always wanted to believe that in the end most everybody makes it too heaven. I do not know if this is official teaching, but I heard somewhere that when people die, saint Michaels gives them one last chance before they are truly dead, I appreciate anybody’s thoughts on the matter!
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  • XavierSem
I'm not aware of any pre-Vatican II saints or theologians who gave an estimate or anything like that.  Even if they did, it is just a guess, nothing more.  What I've read seems to indicate, rather strongly, that most will not be saved.  That said, I'm not sure it'd be heresy or erroneous to hope that a majority will be saved.  I'd caution against Bishop Robert Barron's "we can hope that all will be saved" mentality, though.  The Scriptures seem clear enough that such will not be the case and I think most traditional Catholic theologians would agree with that.  But to hope for a larger than expected number of souls in Heaven doesn't seem problematic to me (just keep in mind I know very little, in the end).  As for the question about St. Michael, I, too, have heard some statements to the effect that he visits a dying soul and gives them one last chance to repent.  I've never found any authoritative source that mentions, that, though.  I'd caution against putting too much stock into the idea, but nothing about it seems heretical, either.  We don't really know what happens in the final moments of life.  We can't even say when the moment of death actually occurs.  About a hundred or so years ago, when you stopped breathing, you were "dead."  Today, we know that one can sometimes be revived after their breathing and heart stops.  Who knows how far that can be pushed by future advances in medical science and technology.  Maybe there is a window of time during all this that something like the St. Michael visit happens.  I will mention that St. Faustina reports this in her diary:

Quote:God’s mercy sometimes touches the sinner at the last moment in a wondrous and mysterious way. Outwardly, it seems as if everything were lost, but it is not so. The soul, illumined by a ray of God’s powerful final grace, turns to God in the last moment with such a power of love that, in an instant, it receives from God forgiveness of sin and punishment, while outwardly it shows no sign either of repentance or of contrition, because souls [at that stage] no longer react to external things. Oh, how beyond comprehension is God’s mercy!

Of course, St. Faustina is controversial in traditionalist circles, so this might or might not mean anything to you.  I'm sorry I can't be of more help.  I'm not sure there is a clear, definitive answer to your question.
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Yes, imo, it is pious to believe many people can be saved in the Hour of Death, by the Prayers of the Church on their behalf, both Priests who offer the Holy Sacrifice for dying sinners, as well as all the Faithful who are called to offer their Rosaries, Divine Mercy Chaplets, other Prayers and Sacrifices for the same end. We are all called to pray very much for the dying every day. 100s of thousands of people die every day. 100s of thousands of Catholics must consider it their duty to pray for and help save at least one soul every day. Saying one decade of the Rosary for all who are going to die that day, that at least one of them, may be saved, is a pious exercise we can all practice. We can also say many Eternal Father prayers for them, any of those taught by Our Lord to St. Bridget, St. Faustina, St. Gertrude, St. Margaret Mary etc etc. In this way, we can increase the number of the saved, from what it would otherwise have been. God wills and has willed that so many things still depend upon and are contingent on our freely willed response to His Grace. Are we going to heed His invitation to pray and sacrifice more to save more sinners - as also Our Lady of Fatima counselled so often; that so many go to hell because there is no one to pray and sacrifice for them; and that God wishes to save them from going there, and that therefore He sent Her to establish in the world the Devotion to Her Immaculate Heart - from going to hell or are we going to be indifferent to it? So, it's up to us and we can save souls. I also agree and hope that it is true that good St. Michael, the Archangel, our most powerful patron, may deliver some souls near their death. But then it is very foolish for anyone to delay his conversion, either to Faith or to Holiness, as someone who delays his conversion is likely to be one who ends up lost. For our part, in the Church, we are called to pray, pray, pray and never cease to pray, that souls may be saved.

The Church exists for the salvation of souls. It is Her raison d'etre and Her Supreme Law. Suprema Lex Salus Animarum. She is the Ark of Noah, called to save souls and secure their salvation. She prays for all always, as St. Augustine says; though She knows, some will keep refusing Her call and thus perish through their own fault, nevertheless She never ceases to pray for all, that they may come to contrition and repentance, and to Christ and to holiness of life. She will surely be heard for at least some of the dying.
TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING: My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices, and the sufferings of my entire life for ...
We don't even have to turn to theologians to answer this, Our Lord says it very plainly.

"For many are called, but few are chosen." - Matt. 22:14
"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

'Vanity of vanities, said Ecclesiastes: vanity of vanities, and all is vanity.' - Ecclesiastes 1:2
(02-09-2020, 02:14 PM)Augustinian Wrote: We don't even have to turn to theologians to answer this, Our Lord says it very plainly.

"For many are called, but few are chosen." - Matt. 22:14

Yes, but Our Lord also plainly says, "Amen, amen, I say to thee unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter in the Kingdom of God" (John 3:5) and also "Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day" (John 6:54-55).  In neither of those two cases does the Church teach, contra the Feeneyites, that salvation without water baptism is impossible or, contra no one I've ever heard of, that you must have at least your first communion for salvation.  I'd be interested in hearing whether the Church has, traditionally (pre-Vatican II) tolerated opinions that don't consign the vast majority of the human race to eternal damnation.  I'm not interested because I think most will be saved.  I'm not that concerned with the final tally, really.  But the question seems to pop up from time to time, even in traditionalist circles.  Having a definitive answer to offer, if one exists, would be nice.
This topic is a big ol can o worms that I think we should be hesitant getting into, and I've always been against trying to quantify salvation. But it's never sat right with me that the majority of people are damned, I feel like God in his providence wouldn't arrange such a dire outcome.
"If your heart comes to feel a natural hatred for sin, it has defeated the causes of sin and freed itself from them. Keep hell’s torments in mind; but know that your Helper is at hand. Do nothing that will grieve Him, but say to Him with tears: ‘Be merciful and deliver me, O Lord, for without Thy help I cannot escape from the hands of my enemies.’ Be attentive to your heart, and He will guard you from all evil."

- St. Isaias the Solitary

"Constant action overcomes cold; being still overcomes heat. Purity
and stillness give the correct law to all under heaven."

- Tao Te Ching 45
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(02-09-2020, 02:55 PM)Florus Wrote: This topic is a big ol can o worms that I think we should be hesitant getting into, and I've always been against trying to quantify salvation. But it's never sat right with me that the majority of people are damned, I feel like God in his providence wouldn't arrange such a dire outcome.
Totally agree.  I hardly even think of this topic anymore, if ever.  I pray as much as I can throughout the day for God's mercy to and light to shine on all without trying to nail down the details. 

 I'm not really a universalist but neither am I a rigorist. God knows who belongs to Him; that's not for us to know this side of eternity.  There's certainly more peace of soul when you're not obsessing over questions that one can never really know the answer to.
Walk before God in simplicity, and not in subtleties of the mind. Simplicity brings faith; but subtle and intricate speculations bring conceit; and conceit brings withdrawal from God. -Saint Isaac of Syria, Directions on Spiritual Training

"It is impossible in human terms to exaggerate the importance of being in a church or chapel before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. I very seldom repeat what I say. Let me repeat this sentence. It is impossible in human language to exaggerate the importance of being in a chapel or church before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. That sentence is the talisman of the highest sanctity. "Father John Hardon
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The Church, Herself, has no specific teaching defining either the number of the saved or the fewness of the saved. So we are not required to accept any particular view on those number.

Sadly, that's why Modernists can get away with saying stupid things like "we can hope that Hell is empty," and not outright deny the Faith. They effectively do, since Our Lord clearly indicates the existence of Hell, and the difficulty of salvation.

What we do have are many Saints and theologians who write about the fewness of the saved. They can only do in general terms, because there are no hard-and-fast numbers.

A survey of them would suggest that the the majority of men will not be saved. That does not mean 50% will be damned, nor does it mean 99.999% will be damned. It means that less than half of all men of all time will likely be saved.

Those who make a distinction suggest that the majority of Christians will be saved, but again, that does not mean 51% will be, nor that 99% will be. Just that, given the Sacraments and graces, it is more likely that a Christian will save his soul than will not.

Obviously that also does not take account of the different time periods. Clearly today, with the rampant heresy in the Catholic Church, and the encouragement by the Pope Himself of objectively sinful things, this is going to greatly impede the salvation of most today, even if it is still possible.
(02-09-2020, 02:14 PM)Augustinian Wrote: We don't even have to turn to theologians to answer this, Our Lord says it very plainly.

"For many are called, but few are chosen." - Matt. 22:14
Just read this note about this passage in my St Andrew's Missal at Mass today regarding Septuagesima Sunday--after "many" (Jews) is added as parenthetical explanation. I admit I never thought of this statement in those terms before, rather than one of dooming so many billions to Gehenna.
The deeds you do may be the only sermon some people may hear today (Francis of Assisi); Win an argument, lose a soul (Fulton Sheen)
I have been influenced by David Bentley Hart, so in my acts of contrition I pray the Our Fatima prayer, earnestly praying the Lord to save us all. us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls into heaven, especially those who are in most need of thy mercy!

I truly pray and hope for universal salvation. I know this makes me odd to some. But it is my true hope.

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