To understand the Catholic take on this question, we have to understand what the Church is and is not thinking about when it comes to sacramentality. The Church does not propose sacraments to deny God's universal love and will to save. It does not hold that unbaptized people of good will (like the good thief crucified with Christ) are necessarily denied salvation simply because they missed out on the "magic spell" of baptism. Indeed, both the universal redemption of Christ and the possibility of salvation for each person is forcefully maintained by the Church against various Christian sects who assert that Christ has only redeemed a few or that God actively desires the damnation of certain people. Against such thinking the Church has repeatedly spoken with great force to sternly condemn any doctrine which would limit the scope of God's redemption to anything less than every last soul God has created.
Yet, lest this be taken in turn as a license for Universalism (the belief that all will necessarily be saved) the Church is also careful to point out that salvation is essentially a relationship and a relationship requires at least two to tango. Thus, if a human being will notenter into the universal redemption Christ has won... why then, that soul shall get its will. God may flood the earth with the midsummer sunlight of grace, but if a soul chooses to shut its eyes then, as Jesus observed, those darkened eyes shall make the darkness within great indeed. God will to save, but honors our freedom, even if we choose Hell.
Very well then, the question at issue with sacraments is not: "Is God's will to save universal in scope?" The Church plainly agrees that it is. But once we have answer that question, another one arises: namely, "How does God reveal and give to each individual human being his universally offered grace?" And to answer this question, the Church refers us to the primal Sacrament of Sacraments, the Incarnate Son of God. For as we shall see, all the Church's sacraments are simply extensions of his power and work in the world.
Great piece and there's much more including a G. K. Chesterton quote well worth the link click.
Go now and read the rest.