It came as a surprise to me that the Catholic Church believes we are saved by grace, through Jesus & through His work on the cross. It is a work finished. The proverbial paperwork is all drawn up & ready to go. We are all technically saved. But while Jesus already put His name down in blood, we still have to "sign" & abide by the requirements laid down for us. Its a covenant. And like any covenant God ever struck with humanity, He requires faithfulness on our part. If we don't consent, salvation can't possibly be ours.
We are also currently being saved as we await the fullness of our future salvation, which is eternal life. This being saved is our ongoing response to God. The active work of salvation reveals itself through the ways we choose to live out our lives in accordance with His covenant (& yes, the sacraments are part of this equation). But again, its not we who "work" for the grace to live out our salvation. Grace is the work of God, the gift of God & God's own response to us. Obedience that flows from a heart of thanksgiving & love is our response to Him & its how we participate in being saved.
And finally, we await the hope of salvation that is yet to come. We won't know the fullness of salvation until the final day. So we aren't saved yet- we're still waiting for His blessed appearing. Who hopes for what he already has? The idea that we are already saved, are being saved & await a future salvation coincides with God's intrinsic nature: He is "Who was & Is & is to come". There's nothing certain in this life (including our salvation) beyond that one chilling fact... that God "IS".
"What is man that You are mindful of him?" (Psalm 8:4) We've been given such an unfathomable gift. To think that the God of All would consent to join in a covenant relationship with you or me, that He gives us everything we need to hold up our end of things & all we have to do is be faithful to Him... its unheard of. But this is salvation, the gift of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. 2 Timothy 2:11-12