Thoughts on the Patient Endurance of Sorrows and Sufferings
A SUBSTITUTE FOR PURGATORY [continued]
1. Cultivate an ardent love of God and an abiding sorrow for all the sins of your life. For this purpose accustom yourself to make frequent acts of the love of God and of contrition.
2. Accept all your afflictions with the sentiments of profound humility, in the spirit of penance, and with the conviction that, only for the great mercy of God, you might even now be condemned to the endless pains of hell.
3. Unite yourself continually with Our Lord dying on the cross for love of you, and beg Him to accept your sufferings in union with His as an atonement for all your sins.
The more fervently you cultivate these dispositions, the more quickly will you cancel your debt of temporal punishment. In this way you can do more in one short hour now, than might be possible in purgatory in an entire century. It all depends on the fervor of your love and the depth of your sorrow for sin.
Whatever you endure in this life, besides its power to atone for your sins, has great efficacy for making you rich in grace and glory. Moment by moment, day by day, and year by year, you are at one and the same time canceling your debt and amassing additional claims to greater happiness in heaven; and the more numerous and painful your sufferings, the more abundant and varied will be your merits.
Considered in this light, tell me, is it not a great privilege and a precious grace to have your purgatory here on earth? Picture to yourself how greatly a soul in purgatory would rejoice if God permitted her to return to earth and take up your life with its pains and labors and griefs and sorrows. How she would welcome every form of suffering and embrace it gladly and try to make the most of it for atonement and for merit. But the opportunity will never be granted.
See, then, how unreasonable it is for you to complain and murmur against Divine Providence when trial and afflictions are sent to you. Revive your faith, and you will soon learn how to bless and thank God amidst even the greatest agonies of pain; you will clearly understand that it is His infinite love for you and your eternal glory that makes Him lay these crosses on your shoulders.
Compiled and Edited by Rev. F. X. Lasance
Author of "My Prayerbook," etc.
1937, Benziger Brothers
Printers to the Holy Apostolic See