Are you saved? Perhaps you’ve been asked that question by a non-Catholic Christian. But do you know what it really means to be saved?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “All salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body.” Okay, so what does that mean?
“If we really believe that the Church is the Body of Christ, then that’s the place for salvation. That’s the place where we can find comfort and the activity of God and drawing near to His sacrifice on the cross. But I think what it doesn’t mean and what we have to avoid is those who don’t find themselves with ‘Sunday-Mass-going Catholic’ on their ID card are not hopeless,” spiritual director Fr. Bobby Blood explained on The Inner Life.
So is there salvation found outside the Church? Fr. Blood says, “If someone encounters salvation, it’s coming from Jesus and it’s coming from His Church. Now, could someone receive that grace and not be in a traditional sense ‘belonging’? Could be. The Lord works in beautiful ways! We find some safety and some confidence in the Church, knowing that this is the way, but realizing God not bound by His own institutions and His own sacraments can kind of move about in a way that He desires.”
When someone asks if you are saved or declares that they are born again, they might be looking to a moment when they ‘accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.’ But for Catholics, it looks a little different.
“When we use the phrase ‘born again’, it’s usually in accord with baptism. It’s with that sacrament where we’re being born again through water, washing away of our sins and being an adopted son or daughter of God,” says Fr. Blood. But it’s not a one and done moment.
“The Lord allows a certain level of renewal in our soul day in and day out through the other sacraments … even just moments of encounter,” he explained.
Outside of the Catholic Church, it may be thought of as a past tense reality, that I’ve had this conversion and I’m done. But we know that we are called to a continual and lifelong conversion.
We see in the saints an excellent example of the struggle towards holiness. For some of them, sanctity was a difficult journey with many obstacles. None of them presumed that they were good to go, but rather strove every single day to grow in heroic virtue and faith.
“God is calling us to that same heroic mission. Looks different and unique for each of us, but He has that particular plan and that way by which He wants to show the world that the glory of God is real.”
Show us, LORD, your mercy; grant us your salvation. – Psalm 85:8
Tune in to The Inner Life weekdays at 11am-noon CT only on Relevant Radio.