[quote="Nabooru, post:1, topic:288444"]
When I was a child I used to ask my mother what happened to people who weren't Christians when they died. She always said, "That's between them and God." I understand this as meaning that while I am assured of my own salvation, being faithful to Jesus Christ, if I extend that offer of blessing to others and they refuse it, they're on their own. When they stand in front of God at the end of their lives, perhaps He will have mercy on them, perhaps He won't. The difference is that while we are promised our eternal life in heaven, they are not and we can't know with any certainty what will happen to them.
It's sort of like this. Imagine a bullet-proof vest. If you get shot in the chest while wearing your vest, you will not die; the vest will protect you (assuming it's the world's most perfect vest). You recommend to others to wear the vest as well, and those that refuse get shot in the chest as well. Will they survive? Will they not? We don't know, but we know that we are safe.
Is this what the Catholic Church is referring to when it speaks of salvation?
Every catholic knows or should know, that they must die in sanctifying grace if they are to go to heaven. And if they stay in this grace in this life, then when they die they will go to heaven.
Or if they lose this grace thru serious sin, they may recover this grace in God thru the sacrament of mercy, confession.
What happens to others, we don't know. We do know that Jesus wishes us to teach and baptise others so they too will be in sanctifying grace which is God living in the soul.
So I suppose to die in sanctifying grace is to be "saved" in catholic terms.
In the Hail Mary of the Rosary this is exactly the prayer we say, "...holy Mary, Mother of
God, pray for us sinners now, and at the HOUR of our death." Our love of God and sorrow for sin is very important at the time we die. God's mercy is unlimited in this world and any and all sins may be forgiven, but especially at that moment of death. But we need to pray for that blessing.
Even so, usually we notice that the way a person lives, so a person dies. Tho not absolutely so. Jesus indicated this in some way when he said, "Peter put up your sword, for as a man lives by the sword, he will die by the sword."
So catholics know they should always be ready to die at any moment because Jesus said, "you know not the day or the hour ...". To be ready means to be in sanctifying grace, or
that God is living withiin us. It is also indicated when Jesus gave the parable of the virgins, some having let their lights go out and were not ready when the bridegroom came. Catholics see in the lights going out as life of God going out in the soul, or sanctifying grace.
Just a catholic thought.