Thoughts on the Patient Endurance of Sorrows and Sufferings
A SUBSTITUTE FOR PURGATORY
Another reason why you are visited with suffering is this: God desires to preserve you from the extremely painful sufferings of purgatory.
If Thou, O God, wilt mark iniquities: Lord, who shall stand it?
-Ps. cxix. 3.
Remember my judgment; for thine also shall be so; yesterday for me, and to-day for thee.
-Ecclus. xxxviii, 23.
You may be under obligation of discharging a heavy debt of temporal punishment. Just how much atonement you must make, we have no means of knowing; but, considering the vast number of your sins and the various degrees of their guilt, you have every reason to believe that this debt is considerable.
But now you must know that your penalty must be canceled to the last penny before you can be admitted to the unveiled presence of the God of infinite holiness. To make the necessary payment of this debt, two ways are open to you. If you desire, you may make it in this life; if you neglect to make it in this life, you must make it in the next. There is no other alternative. But perhaps you have often thought, and even declared, that you are quite willing to wait until after death and then in purgatory make all the satisfaction required of you, but that you want to be excused from making it in this life.
If unconsciously, you have entertained such sentiments, you have displayed a woeful lack of knowledge as to the true nature of purgatory. You seem to be ignorant of the fact that the advantages of present sufferings over future ones are great beyond measure. Are you aware that in this life you can accomplish vastly more in a few hours than you could in purgatory perhaps in ever so many years? You need only attend to the following points:
Compiled and Edited by Rev. F. X. Lasance
Author of "My Prayerbook," etc.
1937, Benziger Brothers
Printers to the Holy Apostolic See