DETROIT (The Daily Knight) - After a life of dedication and service to the Republic, the United States of America, it is natural for the public and media to celebrate United States Senator John McCain's life. I'm absolutely thrilled, as a fellow serviceman and Academy Grad (West Point, not Annapolis like McCain), to see that he will be viewed in the Arizona and United States capitol buildings. In my opinion, McCain deserves it.
Unfortunately, for McCain's soul, the celebrations won't save his eternal soul from damnation or purgatory. In truth, only McCain had the power to do that. For his sake, I pray that he died in a state of sanctifying grace and repented for his sins. In knowing that McCain was not a member of the Mystical Body of Christ and His Church, the chances are slim that he died in such a state; but, that knowledge can be only held between him and God.
We must pray for McCain, saved or damned. That is how Catholics, the Church Militant, remember the dead. The souls in purgatory, making reparations for their sins, need prayers for they lack the free will to pray for themselves and others. For those souls, their state and will are set at death, unchangeable without the will of God and the influence of the prayers by the Church Militant and Church Triumphant. If a soul is damned and cast from the Mystical Body, our prayers will have no effect, as no help can be rendered to those in Hell. Nevertheless, pray for the mercy of all souls.
What if McCain is in heaven?
Not likely. I can say that by not judging him, for I know not his virtues, but by knowing the difficulty of reaching heaven.
The deck is stacked against us. All humans. Most of us will not be saved and spend eternity in the kingdom of heaven. Most souls will be cast into the eternal fire with the wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Let's hear what the Church Triumphant have to say about our chances to be saved.
"Not all, nor even a majority, are saved."
And: "Beyond a doubt the elect are few." St. Augustine
“The number of the saved is as few as the number of grapes left after the vinepickers have passed.” St. Jean Vianney
"Meditate on the horrors of Hell which will last for eternity because of one easily committed mortal sin. Try hard to be among the few who are chosen. Think of the eternal flames of Hell, and how few there are that are saved." St. Benedict Joseph Labre
"The greater part of men choose to be damned rather than to love Almighty God."
And, "The saved are few, but we must live with the few if we would be saved with the few. O God, too few indeed they are: yet amongst those few I wish to be!"
And, "All persons desire to be saved, but the greater part, because they will not adopt the means of being saved, fall into sin and are lost. ... In fact, the Elect are much fewer than the damned, for the reprobate are much more numerous than the Elect." St. Alphonsus Liguori
"A multitude of souls fall into the depths of Hell, and it is of the faith that all who die in mortal sin are condemned for ever and ever. According to statistics, approximately 80,000 persons die every day. How many of these will die in mortal sin, and how many will be condemned! For, as their lives have been, so also will be their end." St. Anthony Mary Claret
"The number of the elect is so small, so small, that were we to know how small it is, we should faint away with grief. The number of the elect is so small that were God to assemble them together, He would cry to them, as He did of old, by the mouth of His prophet, 'Gather yourselves together, one by one' — one from this province, one from that kingdom." St. Louis Marie de Montfort
"What I am about to tell you is very terrible, yet I will not conceal it from you. Out of this thickly populated city with its thousands of inhabitants not one hundred people will be saved. I even doubt whether there will be as many as that!" St. John Chrysostom
"If you would be quite sure of your salvation, strive to be among the fewest of the few. Do not follow the majority of mankind, but follow those who renounce the world and never relax their efforts day or night so that they may attain everlasting blessedness." St. Anselm of Canterbury
"With the exception of those who die in childhood, most men will be damned." St. Regimius of Rheims
"Ah, how many souls lose Heaven and are cast into Hell!" St. Francis Xavier
"Christ's flock is called 'little' in comparison with the greater number of the reprobates." St. Bede the Venerable
"It must necessarily happen that, on account of this certainly culpable ignorance in which most men live, an enormous number will come to be damned, because no sin is pardoned which is not detested, and it is impossible to detest sin properly if it is not known as such." St. Joseph Cafasso
"There are many who arrive at the faith, but few that are led into the heavenly kingdom." Pope St. Gregory the Great
"How few the Elect are may be understood from the multitude being cast out." St. Hilary of Poitiers
"The greater part of men will set no value on the blood of Christ, and will go on offending Him." St. Isidore of Seville
"Many religious go strait to Hell because they do not keep their vows!" St. Vincent Ferrer
"So many people are going to die, and almost all of them are going to Hell! So many people falling into Hell!" Bd. Jacinta of Fatima
"Notwithstanding assurances that God did not create any man for Hell, and that He wishes all men to be saved, it remains equally true that only few will be saved; that only few will go to Heaven; and that the greater part of mankind will be lost forever." St. John Neumann
"So vast a number of miserable souls perish, and so comparatively few are saved!" St. Philip Neri
Sold? Pray for all souls; unborn, living, dying, dead, and in purgatory.
Not sold? Just know, someone is praying for you.