By Savanna Kearney
“How do we as Catholics get to Heaven?” asked Jesse Romero in the last talk of the general track at the Florida Eucharistic Congress.
As a full-time bilingual lay Catholic evangelist and speaker, Jesse Romero gives talks on subjects ranging from evangelization and apologetics to spiritual warfare, which is what the focus of his talk was on Saturday.
Romero began by making the distinction between two states: a state of mortal sin and state of grace. If you die in a state of mortal sin, “you’ve lost,” said Romero. But living in a state of grace means that God lives in your soul. The Bible says that being in a state grace means being God’s friend.
“If you die as a friend of God, you’re going to heaven,” he said, quoting Hebrews chapter 11.
Romero then made the distinction between mortal sin and venial sin. Venial sin wounds the soul and wounds your relationship with God, while mortal sin is deadly and destroys your relationship with God. He quoted Jesus in saying “many are called, few are chosen.”
But how does one live in a state of grace? According to Romero we need sanctifying grace to get to Heaven, and sanctifying grace comes from the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church.
“As Catholics, we have an advantage,” he said. “That’s why in Catholicism we say we have the ‘fullness of truth,’ and it’s true. Because we have everything necessary that God has already provided for us to get to Heaven.”
Despite the tools that God has given us, there are obstacles. Lucifer and his demons constantly try to divert our path with temptation. But thanks to free will, we can always resist and repent. In fact, even in bodily possession, the soul can never be possessed thanks to free will.
“Job 7:1 says ‘life on earth is warfare,’” said Romero. “Pope Leo XXIII said, ‘Christians were made for combat.’”
As a retired Los Angeles Deputy Sheriff and former boxing trainer, Romero used many combat analogies to explain how to wage in spiritual battle. He began by telling the audience that he would teach them “MMA training”: Mother Mary’s Army.
He also named items every Catholics should hold in their “Catholic war bag,” including praying the St. Michael the Archangel prayer every day, wearing sacramentals such as blessed scapulars and medals and more.
“A lot of people think an exorcism is the most powerful thing in the Catholic Church. Wrong. You know what’s more powerful than an exorcism?” asked Romero. “The sacrament of Confession.”
According to Romero, Confession and Communion are the two most important aspects of our salvation.
“How do you conquer the devil? They conquered him by the blood of the lamb? Where do you get the blood of the lamb? The one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church at the holy sacrifice of the Mass with holy sacrifice of the Eucharist.” said Romero. “That is how people will get to Heaven.”