Meditations on the Poor Souls in Purgatory – November 13th

The Sorrows of Purgatory


What is it that will cause the chief sorrows of Purgatory? Above all and before all, the Holy Souls will sorrow at the thought of their having ventured to offend that God whom they love with every power of their soul, and whose Love eclipses all other love. “How could we have dared to offend a God so holy, a God so loving, a God of infinite power, glory, and majesty?” They will hate and loathe themselves at the thought, and would gladly endure their physical pain multiplied a thousand-fold, if only they could be rid of the gnawing pain at the thought of their having sinned against God.

They will also sorrow at the thought of the happiness they have lost to all eternity. They will appreciate the immeasurable loss that they will suffer through all eternity for each venial sin, for each deliberate neglect of grace. On earth they never appreciated, as they do now, how it would have been better to accept any temporal anguish rather than lose one single degree of glory in Heaven; but now they are cut to the heart at thinking how they have thrown away, not one degree alone, but countless degrees of the happiness after which they long; all this thrown away irreparably and for ever!

This sorrow swallows up their present suffering, or rather they would willingly endure their present suffering for ten thousand years more, if only they could regain the degree of happiness they have forfeited. What is any temporal pain compared with an eternal loss? and a loss, too, which means a certain loss of God and loss of Heaven– and that for ever. Pray for greater sorrow now, and a sorrow that may avert the sorrow of Purgatory.

Sorrowful floral strip

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

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