IN ONE of his writings that I stumbled upon only recently, my late friend, writer Ram Mercado, gave the impression he saw me as a mystic, even a Marian seer. Thanks much, Ram, but you thought too highly of me. I am neither. I am just an ordinary researcher on things Marian. Just to set the record fine.
And with prayers for dear Ram, I veer away from Marian topics and, having survived another Undas, dwell on Purgatory, rather, about one my favorite books ever, a historical (as officially described by the Church) booklet titled “An Unpublished Manuscript on Purgatory” which used to be copiously published by St. Paul’s bookstore but has disappeared from the store’s shelves in recent years.
I wrote about it years ago, but the new thing is that from reducing the names of the two nuns involved (one then living on earth, the other already in Purgatory) in the initial publications, their names have been disclosed in the new copies available only online on Kindle.
The then living nun has been named as Sister Mary of the Cross and the soul from Purgatory as Sister Mary Gabriel. The booklet is a compilation of the former’s conversations with Sister Gabriel over the years, as God had permitted, until the latter finally was delivered into Heaven. It was a conversation put on record and pronounced by the Church as being historical and without conflict with Catholic doctrines.
I take special interest in Purgatory, as revealed in the booklet, because Our Blessed Mother has said that most pass through Purgatory, unless the destination is eternal hell.
So, I am wont to share information about the, uh, place, so no one would be taken too much by surprise or shock upon landing there.
Here are some interesting excerpts:
”The justice of God keeps us in Purgatory, and we deserve it, but His mercy and His fatherly Heart does not leave us here bereft of all consolation. We ardently desire complete union with Jesus, but He desires it almost as much as we do. On earth, He sometimes communicates Himself to certain souls in a most intimate manner (to few, because, so few will listen to Him) and He delights in revealing His secrets to them. The souls that receive these favors are those that seek to please Him in all their conduct and who live and breathe only for Jesus and try to please Him.
“There are in Purgatory very culpable souls but they are repentant, and notwithstanding the sins they have to expiate, they are confirmed in grace and can no longer sin. They are perfected as the soul is purified by degrees in this place of expiation. The soul understands God better, without, however, the soul seeing God, because then there would no longer be any Purgatory. If in Purgatory, we did not know God better than He is known on earth, our suffering would not be so keen and our martyrdom so cruel. Our main torment is the absence of Him who is the sole object of our long-endured desires. The three friends of V. P.—have been in Heaven for a long time. Sister Mary of the Cross: Then what happened to the prayers Father P—said for them?
Sister Mary of the Cross then asks the spirit: Then what happened to the prayers Father P— said for them?
Answer: “Those in Heaven for whom prayers are said on earth can apply those prayers to the souls they wish to benefit. It is a very consoling thought for those in the other world to know that their relatives and friends on earth do not forget them, even though they have no further need of prayers. In return, they are not ungrateful. The judgments of God are very different from those of the world. He takes into account the temperament and character of each and what is done by carelessness or pure malice. To Him who knows the most secret recesses of the heart, it is not difficult to see what goes on there. Jesus is very good, but He is also most just.”
Sister Mary of the Cross asks yet another interesting question: What is the distance between Purgatory and the earth we inhabit?
Answer: “Purgatory is in the center of the globe. Sister Mary of the Cross: Is not the earth itself a Purgatory? Amongst the people who dwell there some, by voluntary or accepted penance, do their Purgatory on earth because it is truly a place of suffering, but these souls, not having sufficient generosity, go to the real Purgatory to finish what was begun on earth.
Another question from Sister Mary of the Cross: Are sudden and unprepared deaths acts of God’s justice or of His mercy?
Answer: “Such deaths are sometimes an act of justice, sometimes one of mercy. When a soul is timid and God knows it is well prepared to appear before Him, He takes it out of this world suddenly to spare it the terrors it might experience at the last moment. Sometimes, also, God takes souls in His justice. They are not for this reason eternally lost, but their Purgatory is much more severe and prolonged than it would otherwise have been, since they were either deprived of the Last Sacraments or received them hastily and so were unprepared for their passage into eternity. Others having filled up the measure of their crimes and having remained deaf to all inspirations of Divine Grace are taken by God out of this world so that they may not excite His vengeance still more.”