Salvation potential is not measured in off-shore bank accounts, Ph.D's, or Herculean physiques. Salvation potential has more to do with receptivity to God's merciful grace. Receptivity, moreover, which usually comes after hitting rock bottom--after realizing we are not 'the way, the truth, and the life'--opens us up to the possibility that someone greater is. Someone greater, that is, than the human weakness which is the foundation of what truly ails all human persons.
"Neither man nor beast, neither cattle nor sheep, shall taste anything; they shall not eat, nor shall they drink water. Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth and call loudly to God; every man shall turn from his evil way and from the violence he has in hand." Jonah 3:1-10
Though God alone can judge the individual persons responsibility (culpability) when they sin, it is still our personal choice that leads us to offend such a merciful God. Though repentance is 99% grace, the measly 1% we put in is vital to our salvation. Yet this 1% effort we work out 'with fear and trembling' must not become a dramatic affair. Fasting, rather than starvation, can be detachment from small creature comforts such as an hour on the computer, replaced with prayer. Sackcloth, can be purposefully parking in the back of the lot so as to allow someone else the comfort of a close and convenient parking spot. Ashes, can be sitting a half hour (or even fifteen minutes) a day, meditating on the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, and the suffering our Lord endured to pay for, and save us from, our sins.
Sacramental Confession, and reception of the Eucharist, gloriously crown this manifestation of 1% sweat, and 99% grace.
"Let Israel wait for the LORD, For with the LORD is kindness and with him is plenteous redemption; And he will redeem Israel from all their iniquities." Psalm 130:1-4, 7-8
Sometimes 1% can become 100% in the mind of the great American worker! The Pelagian heresy (of antiquity) is never completely out of fashion--that which sought to build a stairway to heaven with good old fashioned sweat--and is alive today in the temptation from the 'father of lies' to be our own savior. The lie tells us that God is stern and judgmental and expects perfection from us. It continues in saying that when we sin, God sends down curses on us, which can only be remitted in perfect and strenuous effort. First, God doesn't and, by nature, cannot do evil. 'God is Love.' Yet God allows evil to bring out a greater good--such as a caring parent allowing their child to suffer the consequences of their actions so that they may learn a valuable lesson about doing evil. Second, God doesn't send anyone to hell. Hell is a personal choice made by those so hellbent as to want to deny God, and His Mercy, to the point of eternal death. Thirdly, Love IS, and evil is a lack; salvation, therefore, comes from the fullness of God, filling our lack in sin.
God IS the 99% always there for us...waiting patiently, and lovingly, for his little one...and their little 1%.
"Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” Luke 10:38-42
In the end, our 1% needs only be focused on One...Jesus Christ.
What is your take? firstname.lastname@example.org