Meditations on the Poor Souls in Purgatory – November 10th

The Employments of Purgatory

holy souls 9

The one continual occupation of the Holy Souls in Purgatory will be to suffer. There will be the dull monotony of constant suffering. No light from Heaven to cheer them in their anguish, no pleasant sights to see, no sweet sounds to hear,. nothing but the passive endurance of unceasing pain. How tediously will the hours and days pass away! Nothing makes the time seem so long as the gnawing of ceaseless pain, the absence of all that cheers and makes existence bright.

Will the Holy Souls in Purgatory be able to pray? Yes, in so far as prayer is the expression of a longing desire for that which we have not. But they will not gain any merit from their prayers; there will be none of the consolations, nothing of the happiness of prayer. Their entreaties to be relieved will receive no answer from their God save that which is conveyed in Our Lord’s words: “I tell thee, thou canst not go out thence till thou hast paid the very last farthing.” How foolish shall I be if I neglect, prayer here, and so have to pray for long years the fruitless prayers of Purgatory!

Will the Holy Souls praise God? Yes; by the painful process of their suffering they will glorify the justice of God. But in this praise there will not be the element of joy that always enters into praise in Heaven and on earth. It will be the acknowledgment of God’s justice: “We have sinned, and done wickedly; therefore is this anguish come upon us.” If I am wise, I shall seek to anticipate this joyless praise by thanking God not only for the happiness of my life, but, also, for its sorrows. and chastisements. Learn to employ your time better in this life.

Sorrowful floral strip
The Devout Year by the Rev. R.F. Clarke, S.J.

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