For umpteen centuries Christians thought that God loved only them: much like most Muslims think everyone needs to follow only Islam and Allah. Today, most people can see through such arrogance, even if subconsciously held. For Christians though, it has been a slow revealing that while there certainly is salvation within the church, there is also salvation outside the church! The doctrine of no salvation outside the church (Extra ecclesia nulla salas) has thankfully been totally reformed!
Pope Pius IX, otherwise known as Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, adopted the IN RE (actual church membership) and IN VOTO (in Spirit) theological stance. And then Vatican II(until and unless Pope Benedict XVI changes it again) came forth with these startling statements (and I am herein quoting):
>Jewish people remain most dear to God
>Muslims along with us adore the one and most merciful God
>God is not distant from those who in the shadows and images seek the unknown God
>Those who reject a belief in God divine Providence does not deny the help necessary for salvation.
Those are powerful statements and unfortunately are theological beliefs that much of the Protestant church both deny and hide. Then there is all of what goes on after death to bring us to God- ALL of us, not some. Purgatory is both interesting and partial, but in some ways I think Catholicism had a better view of things than Christians.
Purgatory or “the final purification of the elect”, is the process by which, according to Catholic doctrine, “all who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.”
Bottom line: You’ll spend eternity with ALL of your loved ones!
Better yet: all those earthly enemies will now be your friends.