Testimony called: No Infused Grace
Quotes with my answers and follow up questions:
"As with so many other sects within Christendom, I was taught that my salvation was not contingent upon the work of the Savior, but dependent upon my obedience to the ten Commandments. Actually, the work of the Savior was unknown to me. Every 'good Friday' we would make the 'stations of the cross' reflecting on the torture and death of Jesus. But what was the significance of it? Basically, my theology was, 'look what those mean people are doing to Jesus. This is just TERRRIBLE!.' "
OK, two questions:
1) were you ever taught that Christ's work for your salvation was handed to your personally profiting from it in Holy Mass?
2) were you ever taught to adress Christ on the Cross with the words "tantus labor non sit cassus" = may such a great work not be invalid/unprofitable (for myself) - or were you not?
"But the removal of venial sins was much more complex. Confession absolved you of your sins, but you still faced Purgatory. So I never quite understood what advantageous confession held for venial sins. The only real advantage I could see was that, if some sin were “right on the line” between mortal and venial, it was probably best to confess it and get it erased."
Confessing a venial sin that you do not regret is dangerous, and if you only confess that one without real regret, your confession is worse than worthless, it is a sacrilege. Therefore, when confessing a venial sin you may also search for a sin in the past that you CERTAINLY regret, and your confession will not be a sacrilege. A venial sin can be erased by confession, by communion, by prayer, by anything done out of love for God, since its essence is laxness about the love of God.
A mortal sin is what the Bible calls "crucifying Jesus all over again".
The thing with venial sins is that though they must be erased before one enters heaven, they need not be erased before death. A mortal sin kept in the hour of death on your conscience is persisting in betraying your Lord. Is that too complex for you?
(And yes, previous paragraph means that everyone in Purgatory is headed for Heaven. Nobody in Hell is headed for Heaven, unless God raises him from the dead so once again alive he can repent before dying again. Which has happened a few times.)
"Receiving communion was supposed to 'infuse grace' into me. This mystical substance called 'grace' was supposed to empower me to live a good life, so I would sin less, and consequently, spend less time in purgatory (or—God forbid—hell!)."
Infused grace mean the life of God himself, the Holy Spirit, infused into your soul. It is not just a question of being a good boy, though dead souls will not even be able to do that in the long run.
"There was also a complex system of different kinds of graces. I can only remember two of them now, 'actual grace' and 'sanctifying grace.'"
The "complex system" is precisely those two. The actual graces are what enable you to be a good boy (whether you consciously receive them as graces from God or not), and the sanctifying or infused grace is the life of God becoming life of your soul. Obviously if you die without it, you go where the dead souls go, to the place of eternal death.
Oh, as for Indulgence Prayers, are you sure that Gloria Patri was Fifteen Years and Memorare was Forty-five? I am not quite sure about that. But even if it were true - I suspect it is not, either you lie or your memory fools you but I could be wrong - it could be explained by the fact that Gloria Patri should be prayed daily. There is actually no theological reason why you should not still pray it daily, unless your dissatisfaction with the "Sacramental System" has worn off to be a mistrust in Holy Trinity too.
"I raised my hand in class, and said, 'Sister Ruth Marie, some people won’t have to go to Purgatory when they die, right?' Without hesitation, she responded, 'No, everyone has to go to Purgatory.' "
She might either not have heard your question included the words "when they die" or she might even more probably have been replaced for teaching you wrong. Some people are said to have had all of their purgatory on earth. The Holy Martyrs, or St Thérèse of Lisieux who made in part Tuberculosis her martyrdom (contracted, I think while she was tending to the sick) and in part every little annoyance she could offer up to God by bearing it with a smile to the annoying person.
Your mental calculus about how many years you were spending in purgatory was pretty much misapplied mathematics, due to your superfluous question of where you were standing about avoiding Purgatory. Now, Luther in a dark moment, and he was condemned by Pope Leo X for saying it, stated that the souls in Purgatory love God so much they would hate to leave Purgatory without effecting all the penances, and therefore dislike having indulgences applied to them. That is wrong, they are of course satisfied if God lets them off earlier than supposed. But if you had instead of asking how much Purgatory you were escaping by ten minutes of Gloria Patri tried to use the ten minutes to Glorify actually the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, you might have made it to Heaven, after some stumbles, with pretty good ease (not meaning you would have died already, but meaning you would have already been secure of going to Heaven and not too afraid of going to Purgatory first).
"Still, I recognized that, within me lay the passions that could damn my eternal soul to hell!"
It is not the passions, it is consenting to them, outside the hallowed ground of marriage, which would do that.
Have you not read "who looketh on his neighbours wife with carnal desire has already committed adultery with her in his heart" or "adulterers ... will not enter the Kingdom of God"?
What you needed (and what I for one need too) was marriage. Ask your wife if she wouldn't like to get along back to the Catholic Church with you, that is saving your soul.
"I needed to cloak my question in some measure of piety."
Ouch, pretty much the kind of mistake I used to do pretty often when confessing in certain years after my conversion. Pretty certain attitude to ruin confession for you.
"And in choosing Christ, I needed to 'prove' to myself that I had trusted Christ alone, and not 'Christ plus works.' And this is consistent with Matthew 3:5-9. I not only needed to repent of my dead works, I needed to 'bring forth fruit of my repentance.' I needed to live my life in a way that confirmed I was trusting Christ alone."
What exactly were you trying to do?
Going to Holy Mass is not doing a dead work, it is visiting Christ on Calvary, where he died for you. If you cannot go back in a time machine to the first Good Friday and see Him bleed for you, and if you cannot go to Narnia and be present at the stone table, you can go to Holy Mass. What is "dead works of the law" about that?
"I need no other argument. I need no other plea. It is ENOUGH that Jesus died, and that he died for me."
Did he die for Hitler and Stalin and were Stalin and Hitler saved? Or did Hitler and Stalin miss out on something they had to do, like not committing mortal sins that crucified Christ again and like visiting Christ in Holy Mass to renew their love for him? Are you saying that Hell is empty?
Oh, sorry: I saw you are single. But I also saw you with children on photos from a Christmas. Are you actually divorced?
Sorry again, I saw you are married to Ch. R., you will have to correct info on the directory:
"I recited the "Glory Be" for ten minutes straight. . . keeping a tally, of course, for the number of prayers I recited. I realized God could keep track of such things, and I had full confidence in his omniscience. But I also needed to know where I stood."
If you had been told how to pray the Rosary - which can give you plenary indulgence (no time at all in Purgatory for sins committed and forgiven before it was gained), how come you did not try to use knots on a string or even rosary beads for the tally, so you could get your mind off keeping the tally?
Did they never teach you the Rosary?
I mean, testimonies like this look a bit like wilful forgetfulness about your Catholic past. Or, just possibly, with Chick Tract like "honesty" close to Avro Manhattan and Phelps, a lie.
If it were true, I would very much like to know who your bishop was back then, so his sinful negligence in catechism can be duly punished by the Roman Catholic Church.
[He posted his testimony on a FB Group that is Catholic and Sedisvacantist. I was added to it and posted quotes with my answers there first./HGL]
Oh, double sorry, I just saw that Mr R. is not at all the Ronald Shea that the testimony is about.
[So A posted testimony of B, and I confused them, apologioes made on group./HGL]