Meditations on the Poor Souls in Purgatory – November 14th

The Fire of Purgatory


Every work of God is perfect in its kind, and that which He does immediately by the exercise of His Divine power has always a greater force than that which He does through the agency of Others. God Himself kindles the fire of Purgatory. “The breath of the Lord, like a flame of fire, doth kindle it.” Hence the fierceness of the torment it inflicts. It tortures the soul in Purgatory far more than the material fire of earth tortures the body. It reflects in some way the Infinite Majesty of God.According to St. Augustine, the fire of Purgatory is of the same kind as the fire of Hell. Venerable Bede narrates how one, who was conducted by an angel in a vision to Purgatory, thought that such a place could be none other than Hell. In Purgatory, it is true, there is none of the despair of Hell. The Holy Souls have Heaven in prospect, but nevertheless their physical sufferings are scarcely different in kind from the awful agony of the lake of fire. How should I dread Purgatory!The fire of Purgatory will search us through and through. It will be a penetrating fire; it will find out each fault still clinging to our soul at the hour of death; each stain not yet washed away by our tears of contrition will be burnt away before we can escape from our prison-house. When I think of the state of my soul before God, of my past sins and present defects, what reason I have to tremble at the thought of that crucible where the dross will be burnt from me. What a long process it will be! Pray that you may be more earnest in cleansing yourself from sin now.

Sorrowful floral strip

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

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