Meditations on the Poor Souls in Purgatory – November 9th


The Punishments of Purgatory
Holy Souls 8

Every punishment that God sends in this life upon sin has a double object: to satisfy His justice, and to bring about the reformation of the offenders. God always has in view the salutary effects of the punishment on him who suffers it, and, for this purpose He gives a grace to enable him to use it aright. Through the Divine mercy, the very punishment of our sins may thus promote our happiness here and our glory in Heaven.It is not so with the punishment of Purgatory. It is purely a poena vindicative, a penalty which has for its object the reparation, as far as may be, of the outrage offered to the majesty of God by sin. It is this which gives it its character of awful severity. The sinner has no opportunity of making good use of it to learn a lesson for the future. He has not the consolation of knowing he can turn it into a source of heavenly joy. It must simply be endured as long as God shall please, and at the end will have produced no fruit of additional glory in Heaven for ourselves.

The punishment of Purgatory, moreover, does not, for the most part, follow close on the offences of which it is the penalty. God wails, and this always means a heavier and more terrible penalty. In the days of the Flood, He waited one hundred and twenty years: so God waits to see whether the sinner will expiate in this life the sins for which temporal punishment still remains. He gives him the graces necessary, and if these are neglected, God takes into His own hands the vindication of His majesty. What reason have I to fear God’s terrible wrath for my sins?

Ask for the privilege of atoning for your sins in this life.

Sorrowful floral strip

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

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