St. John Eudes was a 17th century French saint. He made some interesting statements on the necessity of the Catholic faith for salvation in his work Man’s Contract With God In Baptism. He stated:
St. John Eudes, Man’s Contract With God In Baptism: “… that you may have a true faith in those things which God has revealed, it is necessary that you should believe in the Catholic Church, in which alone you can learn with certainty what God has revealed… Certainly those who do not believe in the Catholic Church cannot have divine faith in the mysteries which they believe, but only natural and human faith… Thank God for having given you the precious gift of faith, and having made you a child of the holy Catholic Church, which is the faithful repository of the truths of salvation, and which all Christians are obliged to acknowledge as the true Church.
… The holy Catholic Church… her faith is the same in all times… You should be most desirous to preserve the faith in all its purity, since without it, it is impossible to do anything which merits Heaven. ‘Without faith it is impossible to please God.’ Those who do not possess it may practice all the moral virtues, justice, sobriety, chastity, alms-deeds, prayers, mortification… When, therefore, you observe that those who believe not in the Church, practice some good works, offer many prayers, and lead an austere life, do not believe that they are on this account on the way of salvation, unless they have true faith; you commit an enormous sin if you believe that they can be saved outside of the Church; that they can have faith without believing in her, or that they can be saved without the faith.”
St. John Eudes describes the denial of the necessity of the Catholic faith for salvation as “an enormous sin.” Sadly, this sin is committed by countless people today who claim to be Catholic (and even traditional Catholics) but actually aren’t, because they reject what the Church has dogmatically defined on this topic. The failure to believe and adhere to this truth was in fact one of the main reasons that the Great Apostasy occurred. It is also a reason that countless people who call themselves Catholics (but actually aren’t) don’t come to know God and aren’t effective in evangelization.
In his work St. John Eudes also makes some interesting statements on baptism.
St. John Eudes, Man’s Contract With God In Baptism: “What were you before Baptism but the unhappy slave of Satan, and subject like him to eternal punishment? But by Baptism you have been delivered from this unhappy subjection… which procures for you the enjoyment of eternal happiness, if you observe all its conditions.”
St. John Eudes, Man’s Contract With God In Baptism: “Yes, dear reader, before your Baptism you were a member of Satan, and now you are a member of Jesus Christ; you were the child of the Devil, and now you are the child of God.”
St. John Eudes, Man’s Contract With God In Baptism: “… When you had been presented to the church to receive Baptism, you were treated as a person in the possession of the Devil, for the priest pronounced over you the exorcism of the Church, commanding the wicked spirit to depart from you, and to give place to the Holy Ghost.”
St. John Eudes, Man’s Contract With God In Baptism: “… Baptism imprints on your soul a spiritual character… This character is a proof that from this time you do not belong to yourself, but that you are the property of Jesus Christ, who has purchased you by the infinite price of His blood and of His death.”
St. John Eudes, Man’s Contract With God In Baptism: “… Baptism enables you to enter the society of Jesus Christ, and of all the faithful who compose the house or family of God… By this ceremony you are likewise taught that, in order to be united to Jesus Christ, and to have eternal life, it is necessary to be a member of the Church, and to persevere therein to the end, believing all that she teaches, obeying all that she commands.”
He also says the following about those who violate their baptismal promises and put themselves under Satan through mortal sin:
St. John Eudes, Man’s Contract With God In Baptism: “They fall under the dominion of Satan, who is the most cruel of all tyrants, the hardest of masters, the most implacable of enemies, and the most barbarous of all persecutors. He entertains for them a mortal hatred; he seeks only their destruction and their ruin. If he promises them any good, it is only to render them miserable; if he permits them to taste of momentary pleasure, it is only to plunge them into eternal grief. He hurries them from one disorder into another, with the hope of deriving some gratification from it; but they no sooner taste of the poisoned cup of pleasure than he makes them feel its bitterness. Impieties, injustices, wrath, impurities, avarice, ambition, are the things to which Satan solicits, without ceasing, those who return to him; and, in order to obtain their desires, what pains, what uneasiness must they not undergo. Their heart is continually agitated with fears, with suspicions, with jealousies, and despair; they feel neither peace nor repose, and after he has rendered them miserable in this life, he renders them more unhappy for eternity. What a sad state!”