Catholic Q&A

I can believe in the existence of God and transcendental beings, but why does it have to be Jesus Christ? We have other traditional religions in Japan. Is not salvation possible outside Christianity?

I most certainly do not say that salvation does not exist outside Christianity. God created all mankind, and since he desires the salvation of all human beings, I believe anyone who earnestly searches for God is moving towards him, and will find him. This is like the water that flows down a mountain. Despite the fact that it passes through numerous rivers, it will eventually however enter the same ocean.

Nevertheless though, the relationship between Christianity and other religions is rather complex, and explaining this relationship is not something easily done. So, rather than tackle the issue as to whether there is a salvation in religions other than Christianity or not, I think it is more vital for us to see what it is we can learn from Christianity, and whether we can really find what we are looking for in Christianity. Those who became Christians did not accept Christianity because they had solved all such problems. Rather, they perhaps came to know about Christianity by chance, and received their faith due to some event that occurred, or due to some persons whom they had met.

For example, let us say you go to a place where they happen to have a bargain sale, and something great is being sold there at a very low cost. On seeing the object, if you start wondering as to whether this is really the best or whether are there similar bargains in other stores, you may lose the chance of getting it. If you really think the object suits you, then what most people would do is to seize the opportunity to get it.

Or, let’s say you wish to climb a mountain. Of course, you have to choose in advance the path whereby you wish to proceed. If you remain pondering over the issue as to whether a particular road would be the best or not, and you are in no mood to begin until all your doubts are cleared, the result would be that you will never budge from the place in which you are standing.

Rather, you should begin walking, and if you enjoy the feeling of the road, then you should keep on moving forward.

In the same way, if you happen to have an interest in Christianity and receive a chance to know something about it, I think you should first learn of the wonderful things that Christianity possesses. Doing so will enable you to experience a deepfelt joy, the profound desires of your heart will attain fulfilment, you will sense changes within yourself and experience a feeling of having grown more vibrant. You will gain the conviction that this is no longer an issue for reasoning, but the only way for you.

I have a magnificent treasure in the Gospel of Christ that reacts to the deepest aspirations of the human heart. I am convinced that it is something so exceptional, that for its sake I would be prepared to discard everything else.

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