Meditations on the Poor Souls in Purgatory – November 20th

The Happiness of Purgatory

ladyofmountcarmel

The happiness of Purgatory is a happiness of prospect, not of actual enjoyment. It is in spe and not in re; hoped for, not already possessed. But the hope is something more than hope, it is a certain expectation which the Holy Souls know cannot be disappointed. This is their support and strength, their joy and consolation, amid their unspeakable anguish. They can look forward to the long years of eternal bliss when they will repose in the bosom of God. O happy prospect, to us always uncertain, so certain to those Holy Souls!
Happiness consists in union with God. If the soul is united to God by supernatural charity, beneath every kind of sorrow and misery there is an underlying joy. Now the Holy Souls are perfect in their charity. They have made an act of fervent charity at their judgment, and the habit of charity is in them as strong as ever. Hence, in spite of all their sufferings they are intensely happy, and cry out, “I know that my Redeemer liveth.”
Happiness is not incompatible with intense suffering. A man may be lighthearted while he is shrieking with physical pain; he may be lighthearted even when separated from one whom he loves better than all else in the world. He is happy by reason of his internal dispositions, and in spite of the bitterness of the separation or the fierceness of the physical pain. So it is with most Holy Souls. Their dispositions are perfect, their will is God’s. They are full of hope and love, how then can they fail to be happy?
Pray for an unceasing union with God by charity.

Sorrowful floral strip

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

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