Thursday, March 6, 2008

A Manuscript On Purgatory (1 of 5)

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What Is Purgatory?

Let us read what The Catechism Of The Catholic Church tells us regarding purgatory.


1030 All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.

1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.[604] The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:[605] As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.[606]

1032 This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: "Therefore Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin."[607] From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God.[608] The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead: Let us help and commemorate them. If Job's sons were purified by their father's sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.[609]

[604] Cf. Council of Florence (1439): DS 1304; Council of Trent (1563): DS 1820; (1547): 1580; see also Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336): DS 1000. [605] Cf. 1 Cor 3:15; 1 Pet 1:7. [606] St. Gregory the Great, Dial. 4, 39: PL 77, 396; cf. Mt 12:31. [607] 2 Macc 12:46. [608] Cf. Council of Lyons II (1274): DS 856. [609] St. John Chrysostom, Hom. in 1 Cor. 41, 5: PG 61, 361; cf. Job 1:5.

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During the 20 centuries of the history of the Church, God has many times allowed a suffering soul in purgatory to appear to holy people on earth to ask for prayers and help to be able to accomplish their purification in purgatory more quickly. The following is one of these accounts. The original text is in French (“Le Manuscrit du Purgatoire”) with the Imprimatur of the Most Rev. Joseph Palica, Archbishop Philippens, Vic. Gen., Rome.

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A Manuscript On Purgatory


At the expressed desire of the Directors of the Bulletin "Notre de la Bonne Mort"(Tinchebray - Orne - Francia), this pamphlet is published with all the reservations ordered by Holy Mother Church in the decree of Urban V111, and as a purely historical document. The text is a manuscript sent to that periodical by a zealous and devout missionary and is a pious document based on alleged conversations between a living nun and a soul in Purgatory.

No one can deny off-hand the possibility, or in fact, the reality of such apparitions of souls in Purgatory to persons still living. Such apparitions are not rare and there are many accounts of them. They are of frequent occurrence in the lives of the Saints. We will quote only one example from the life of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque[1].

"When I was praying before the Blessed Sacrament on the Feast of Corpus Christi, a person enveloped in fire suddenly stood before me. From the pitiable state the soul was in, I knew it was in Purgatory and I wept bitterly. This soul told me it was that of a Benedictine monk, who had once heard my confession and ordered me to go to Holy Communion. As a reward for this, God permitted him to ask me to help him in his sufferings. "He asked me to apply to him all I should do or suffer for a period of three months. Having obtained my superior's leave I did what he asked. He told me that the greatest cause of his sufferings was that in life he had preferred his own interests to those of God, in that he had been too attached to his good reputation. His second defect was lack of charity to his brethren. The third was his all too natural attachment to creatures.”

“It would be difficult for me to describe what I had to endure during those three months. He never left me and seeing him, as it were on fire and in such terrible pain, I could do nothing but groan and weep almost incessantly. My superior, being touched with compassion, told me to do hard penances, particularly to take the discipline..... After the three months I saw the soul radiant with happiness, joy, and glory. He was about to enjoy eternal happiness, and in thanking me he said he would protect me when with God."

The testimony of theologians and of historical documents are not less numerous or convincing, but let it suffice for us to mention Canon Ribet's Divine Mysticism, (Vol 11, Ch. VIII) and the other outstanding works of this matter of mystical theology.

God allows these apparitions and manifestations both for the relief of the souls in question who thus arouse our pity, and to instruct us by showing us the rigor of divine justice when it comes to faults which we often treat lightly. An account of several apparitions published by Msgr. Palafox y Mendosa Bishop of Osma in Spain, bears the significant title of “Light for the Living through the Experiences of the Dead”. We can hardly find better expression or vindications for such manifestations of divine providence with which the suffering souls in purgatory turn to the living to implore their piety and to ask for their intersession.[2] We must always remember that these accounts of manifestations have only a human authority. Our Holy Mother the Church has not made any pronouncement regarding them. They are treated only as historical documents.

The Manuscript

It’s authenticity

The manuscript contains very interesting statements about the life beyond the grave, particularly about Purgatory. The details are intermingled with much spiritual direction. Its authenticity is beyond doubt.

A confident of the religious sister in purgatory is Sister Mary of the Cross, whose name was Elisa Sofia Clementina Hébert, born in Néhou-St-Georges (diocese of Coutances) Dicember 1, 1840.

Her father died when she was six years old. At age eleven she received her First Communion and Confirmation in the Convent of the Augustinians at Volognes, where her aunt resided, Sr. Angela Quettier, who later became the Superior of the Convent giving all an edifying example.

At the age of 18 Elisa returned the Convent in Valognes as a novice. On May 15, 1861 she made her religious profession. In 1884 she was elected, almost unanimously, Assistant and the following year she became the Mother Prefect.

In 1904, due to the decree of expulsion of the religious from France, she was driven from her Convent. She found refuge with some cousins in the small village of Vauvicard, a suburb of Quettehou. She was 63 years old. A few years later she went to Cherbourg, where she lived together with another cousin. Here, Saint Pius X, of his own accord, conceded to her the privilege of a private oratory, with the faculty to keep the Blessed Sacrament. She died at Cherbourg in May of 1917. Her remains are found in a family tomb at Quettehou.

In 1871 a severe epidemic broke out in the Community of Valognes which claimed the lives of several victims including a thirty-six year old religious Sister, Sister Mary Gabriel. An older Sister, Geltrude, took care of Sister Mary Gabriel until she died in a very short time. Later Sister Mary Gabriel revealed that Sister Geltrude “merited eternal salvation by her selfless abnegation.”

This young Sister Mary Gabriel, in fact, had many faults … which caused Sister Mary of the Cross to reprimand her frequently. Reacting to these reprimands Sister Mary Gabriel once said: “Oh well, if I go to purgatory, you will pull me out of there.” She never thought that it would turn out just as she had expressed it.

November 1873. Sister Mary of the Cross is in her room. Suddenly, without warning she began to hear prolonged sighs beside her. She cried out, "Oh, who are you, you frightened me. Whatever you do, don't show yourself. Tell me who you are?" No answer was forth coming. Being disturbed more than ever, she speaks to her Superior (her aunt) who is not surprised at all and simply says: “It’s a soul in Purgatory, let us pray for this soul.”

Despite the prayers the groans continued, drawing closer and closer. Sr. Mary of the Cross was dismayed by this. She feared it to be a decoy of the devil; she did not like these extraordinary things. She wanted to be like the rest and attract no special attention. In her manuscript we find indications of these fears and doubts even up to 1880.

On the 15th of February 1874 she was subjected to the first colloquio… The suffering soul told her former companion, whose advice she had often despised, that she would come frequently in order to help her sanctify herself. The plan of God was that Sister Mary of the Cross, by her holy life, should relieve and ultimately deliver her, who in years past, had tried her patience so sorely. The answer did not lesson the fears of Sister Mary of the Cross, who requested her visitor to depart and never again return. But it was useless. She was told that she had only to bear it as long as God willed it. This was just what she dreaded. For several years the mysterious relation continued between the living nun and the departed religious. It was Sister Mary of the Cross, herself, who related these events from 1874 to 1890, in the precious manuscript which is here given to the public.

The Value of the Manuscript is derived from:

1 – The person herself, Sister Mary of the Cross.

This is a testimonial about Sister Mary of the Cross, herself. All those who knew her were unanimous in declaring that she practiced all the religious virtues, even heroically. As director of a boarding school, she exercised a really supernatural influence over her pupils, who spoke of her as a saint. They said that not only her words but all of her actions impressed them more than those of any priest of their acquaintance could have done. They still live under the influence of her inspiration. Let us add that all the witnesses of her life were agreed that Sister Mary of the Cross was endowed with a sound judgment, a keen and cultured intellect, and possessed of a great amount of common sense. In the spiritual life, she never sought the extraordinary. On the contrary, she avoided it.

The manuscript shows that to the very end she had doubts about what she was obligated to listen to. She often thought it was the work of the devil. It greatly annoyed her to depart from the common way of life. She wanted to be like the rest and attract no special attention. Though she was averse to the visits she received, she profited greatly by them for her own spiritual progress. Her notes of her retreats are a sufficient evidence of this. Those who saw her life and witnessed her actions are also convinced of this.

2 – The authority of the received attestations.

In the first place it is certain that Sister Mary of the Cross, kept her director well informed of all that happened. He was the Reverend Father Prevel of the Fathers of Pontingy, who later became General of his congregation. The Sister's own note book shows how well she profited by her interviews with her director. A letter from him, dated November 4, 1912, sent from Hitchen, England, after a long period of separation shows us that he was well informed on all the conversations of Sister Mary of the Cross with her former companion. He writes: "Tell me about your dear suffering one, who must now be long since enjoying the glory of her Beloved. Has she abandoned you? Or does she console you in your sorrows? Have you continued writing down what she says? For my part, I have kept most carefully your former notes and have re-read them many times." Clearly Father Prevel accepted the communications seriously, and we can rest assured that he had sufficient evidence for doing so.

Besides this important evidence of her director, we are fortunate in having the opinions of theologians of note, such as Canon Dubosq, superior of the Seminary of Bayeux and Promotor Fidei in the canonical process of the beatification and canonization of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, also Canon Gontier, diocesan Censor Librorum.[3]

After examining the Manuscript carefully, these prominent priests have declared without hesitation that it contains nothing contrary to Faith, nothing that is not in accord with the true principles of the spiritual life, rather matter that will edify devout souls. They testify that Sister Mary of the Cross, was endowed with sound judgment and common sense and thus was protected from going astray in vivid and harmful imaginations. They were pleased at the evidence that she had done all in her power to avoid the visits, and that she protested against them, even thinking them punishment sent from Heaven. She regarded the facts so strange that she did not know what to believe about them. Frequently she chided the visitor, so that she could not have imagined or invented the manifestations imposed upon her.

They were above all impressed by the great lesson of Christian charity which was manifest during the whole period of the apparitions. On the one hand Sister Mary Gabriel, in her earthly life at the convent had caused Sister Mary of the Cross, her spiritual guide, great suffering by her want of religious spirit and deportment. Yet it was to this very Sister that God ordered her to address herself after death, for deliverance from Purgatory. They noticed that the lights given to Sister Mary of the Cross, became clearer and more distinct in proportion to Sister Mary Gabriel's gradual purification. Finally they were impressed by the living Sister's great progress in the work of her sanctification. So remarkable was this that on reading the Manuscript Canon Dubosq said, "In publishing this Manuscript, as I heartily approve, you are anticipating a cause of beatification."

In a word all theologians who were consulted gave unanimous consent that Sister Mary of the Cross's manuscript portrayed in itself proof of its authenticity, and therefore, it was of value because of both content and origin.


The Manuscript of Sister Mary of the Cross, which we will call for the sake of brevity, "A Manuscript On Purgatory", from a merely historical and human point of view seems entirely genuine and creditable.

The Directors of the magazine 'Notre Dame de la Bonne Mori' are happy to be able to publish so edifying and impressive a work. A voice reaching out to us beyond the grave makes known to us the justice and mercy of Purgatory, together with the instructions of a more perfect life of union with God, and will be helpful to many souls on their journey to eternity.

It is our hope that the Light made known to the living by the experience of the dead may be helpful to those seeking to lead a better life. It may even be to many of our readers a preparation for a happy death. (...)

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In all that follows, the statements made are supposedly those of Sister Mary Gabriel (the suffering soul from Purgatory). At times she is questioned by Sister Mary of the Cross to whom she is talking. For the sake of simplicity quotation marks are omitted throughout. The questions of Sister Mary of the Cross when they occur will be indicated.

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The Text of the Manuscript

(Statements of Sister Mary Gabriel)

Our Mother Superior is in Heaven since the day of her death, thanks to her suffering and great charity.

If you were as perfect as God wishes you to be, He would be ready to bestow many graces upon you. God wants you to be holier than many others.

Father L____ is in Purgatory, because he was too fond of giving retreats and preaching in many places, instead of taking care of his parish.

If you make the intention, God will accept whatever you do, for all the souls in Purgatory, just as if applied to one particular soul.

I am the one who is suffering most at the present moment, since I was not true to my vocation.

Next to the Mass, the Way of the Cross is the best prayer.[4] Observe the strict silence well, because I often violated it. I suffer more than Sister ___ because she was faithful to her vocation. Suffering, however, caused her to complain, as she was badly directed spiritually. I am not able to give a visible sign. God does not permit it. I am not worthy. Because I have annoyed you so much, God wants you to pray for me. You may also tell this to Sister ____ to whom I was great source of trouble and also to Mother Superior, as I made her suffer much. Poor Reverend Mother, if only she would have some Masses offered up for me. Say a few rosaries for me and make your meditations well. I never made any. Say your divine office well. I was much distracted during mine. Observe strict religious modesty everywhere since I never kept my eyes from seeing what I should not have seen.... Be obedient to Reverend Mother whom I annoyed so much....

If you could only know what I suffer! Pray for me, please. I suffer intensely everywhere. My God, how merciful You are! No one can imagine what Purgatory is like. Be kind and take pity on he poor souls.... Do not neglect the Way of the Cross. While on earth you will frequently suffer in body and soul, and often in both together.

It is so beautiful in Heaven. There is great distance between Purgatory and Heaven. We are privileged at times to catch a glimpse of the joys of the blessed in Paradise, but it is almost a punishment. It makes us yearn to see God. In Heaven, it is a pure delight; in Purgatory, profound darkness.

God loves you more than many others. Has He not frequently make it known to you?

Mother E____ is in Heaven because she has a hidden and very spiritual soul.

No, indeed I am not the devil; I am Sister M. G. and I will pray for you. Yes, I can pray even now and will do every day. You will then realize that the souls in Purgatory are not ungrateful. Those who are very guilty do not see the Blessed Virgin. It gives great joy to God when anyone is the cause of freeing a soul from Purgatory.

All you have read on this subject is true.

On Easter Sunday, I shall obtain a little relief.

If you watch carefully over yourself, God will bestow on you graces which He has never yet given to anyone else. You can offer up your office for many souls at once, if before you start the recitation, you make the intention for each soul in particular. Thus each will benefit as if you had offered it for him alone.

Purgatory is terrible for those religious who have caused trouble to their superiors. For them a special punishment is reserved similar to that which I am enduring.

March 24, 1874. Tomorrow, visit the Blessed Sacrament as often as you can. I shall accompany you. I will have the happiness of being near Our Lord. Yes, that relieves me.

March 25, 1874. I am now in the second Purgatory. Since my death, I have been in the first, where one endures such great suffering. We also suffer in the second, but not nearly as much as in the first. Always try to be a help to your superior. Do not speak often. Wait until you are questioned before you answer.

May 1874. I have been in the second Purgatory since the Feast of the Annunciation. On that day I saw the Blessed Virgin for the first time.[5] In the first stage, we never saw her. The sight of her encourages us and this beloved Mother speaks to us of Heaven. While we see her, our sufferings are greatly diminished.

Oh, how I desire to go to Heaven! What a martyrdom we suffer once we have seen God!

What do I think? I think God permits this for your benefit and for my consolation. Listen well to what I am going to tell you. God has selected you for a special purpose. He wants you to save many souls by your advice and good example. If, by your conduct, you frustrate this, one day you will have to give an account for every soul that you could have saved. It is quite true that you are not worthy, but God permits it thus. He is the Master and distributes His graces to whomsoever He pleases.

You do well to pray to St. Michael and to urge others to do so. One is indeed happy at the hour of death when he has had confidence in some of the saints. They will be his protectors before God in that terrible moment.

Do not be afraid to recall to all of your young students the great truths of salvation. Often souls have need to be shaken, at the present moment more than ever!

God wants you to sacrifice yourself for Him without reserve. He loves you more than many others, hence He will give you many more graces.... Be careful not to lose any of the graces that He gives you. Live only for God. Try to procure His glory everywhere. What good you can do for souls! Do nothing except what pleases God. Before each action recollect yourself for a moment to be sure that what you are going to do will be pleasing to Him. All for Jesus. Love Him well.

Yes, I suffer very much, but my greatest torment is not seeing God. It is a continuous martyrdom. It makes me suffer more than does the fire of Purgatory. If later on you love God as He wants you to, you will experience a little of the pining, which makes one long to be united to the object of one's love, to Jesus.

Yes, we sometimes see St. Joseph, but not as often as we see the Blessed Virgin.

You must become indifferent to everything except what is for God. Thus you will reach the height of perfection to which Jesus calls you.

Mother I____ did not benefit by the Masses offered up.

Religious have no right to dispose of their goods. It is contrary to holy poverty.

If you say your prayers well, the souls confided to your care will be benefited by them. God never refuses graces which are asked of Him during prayers well said.

The Purgatory of religious is much longer and more rigorous than that of many people in the world, because religious abuse special graces. Many nuns are abandoned in Purgatory, by their own fault, of course, for nobody ever remembers them. Our deceased Reverend Mother has told me that God would be very pleased were the community to have a Mass said for them from time to time. Be sure to tell this to Mother Superior. God loves Reverend Mother very much. He gives her a heavy cross to prove His love for her.

No one can have a real understanding of the sufferings in Purgatory. No one thinks of them in the world. Even religious communities forget that they should pray for the poor souls and that they should inspire their pupils with this devotion. They in turn would bring this devotion to other people in the world.

Have no fear of fatigue when it is a question of serving God. Sacrifice everything for Him.

Obey Your Superior promptly. Let her turn and twist you as she wills. Be very humble. Abase yourself always even, if possible, down to the earth.

M____ is in Purgatory because by her underhand remarks she often nullified the good that the Superiors could have done.

Make it a practice to live in the presence of God with a pure intention. God seeks devoted souls who will love Him for His own sake. These are very few. He wants you to be one of His true friends. Many think they love God, but they love Him for their own sakes.

We do not see God in Purgatory. That would make it Heaven. When a soul seeks God, and out of pure love desires nothing else, He never lets that soul be deceived.

God often showers graces even where malice bounds. Why should you refuse them? Devote yourself to God. Sacrifice and immolate yourself for Him. You can never do enough for Him. It is only the overflow of our piety that we can pour out on others. Put aside all human respect, even with regard to older Sisters. Always say what is necessary if it be a case of upholding the Mother Superior. It is not His great friends that God uses to annoy and cause trouble and pain to others. Thank Him that you have not been doing this. It is better to be the anvil than the hammer. You must not grow lax in the matter of denying your body and soul, for as yet you have made but little reparation for your past. The contest for your crown is hardly begun.

June (1874). Note well, that whenever a storm rages against a soul, it quietly dies down again. The devil has his agents everywhere, even in convents.

No, I do not see God when He is exposed ( in the Holy Eucharist), yet I am conscious of His presence like you are with the eyes of faith. Our faith, however, is very different from yours. We know what God is. Always walk in the presence of God. Tell Him everything. Talk to Him as you would talk to a friend. Guard your interior life carefully.

In order to prepare well for Holy Communion, you must love God not only before and after receiving Him but always and at all times. God desires you to think only of Him. Mortify your mind, your eyes, your tongue; that will be far more agreeable to God than corporal penances. These (corporal penances) all too often proceed from one's own will. You must treat God as your Father, as a dear friend, as a beloved spouse. You must pour out all the tenderness of your heart on Jesus alone and on Him wholly and entirely. During all eternity you will sing of His infinite mercy in your regard. You must love Jesus so much that He may be able to find in your heart an agreeable resting place, where He may be able, as it were, to console Himself for the many offenses He receives everywhere. You must love Him for indifferent and cowardly souls but above all for yourself. In one word, you must Love Him so much at V____ that you will be a shining example. It is true that St. Theresa and M. Eust loved Him very much, but you have caused Him pain in the past, and you should love Him very much more in comparison to these innocent souls.

December 12, 1874. If you truly love God well He will refuse you nothing. He will give you whatever you ask.

God wishes you to concern yourself with Him alone, with His love and with the accomplishment of His holy will. When we are concerned with God, we must also of necessity think of souls. There would be but little merit in being saved alone. God expects a higher degree of perfection from you than He expects from many others.

February 1875. Watch carefully over your interior life. Keep all your small troubles for Jesus alone. He is well able to make up to you for whatever He takes from you. Your life must be one of unceasing interior acts of love and of mortification, but God alone must know of it. Do nothing extraordinary. Lead a very hidden life, yet one closely united to Jesus. Jesus wants you to love Him alone. If you put no obstacle in the way, he has extraordinary graces to bestow upon you, such as He has never yet given to anyone. He loves you in a special manner. Have you not yet noticed this? It is for us to adore His designs without seeking to fathom them. He is the Master, to do for souls whatever He wishes. Be always very humble. Lead a hidden life. Do not busy yourself with anyone. Attend to your own sanctification and affairs.

You must not have too much conversation with N____. She is too demonstrative and talkative. God does not want that of you.

It is not right of you to be thus distrustful of your Jesus. You have given Him all. be quite convinced that He has permitted all that has happened.

Love God very much. How happy are the souls that do this. They possess a treasure! The great penance of your life will be, not the absence of your Jesus but great sorrow for all the pain you have given Him, by your failure to love Him as you desire, in return for the overwhelming number of graces which He has showered upon you and which He will continue to shower upon you.

You may rise at 4:00 A.M. and go to bed at the same time as everyone else unless you are very ill. I assure you, you will be none the worse for this. Half an hour makes but little difference and it gives edification.

Do not complain about trifles, not even to the Superiors. Keep your little sufferings to yourself and tell Jesus, to whom you ought to tell everything. Do not be too preoccupied about your health. God will always give you sufficient strength to serve Him properly.

May 14, 1875. During your retreat, make up your mind to lose none of the graces which God will give you. Always be mindful of these graces, with a great spirit of faith and recollection. I have been telling you this for a long time. Try to be as recollected in your actions as you are during your thanksgiving after Holy Communion. Thank God for all he graces He has given you and for all those He gives you each day. Keep this in mind every morning at the end of your meditation. Also, pray for the intention I reminded you of yesterday.... Never do anything without first recollecting yourself for a moment and seeking advice from Jesus who is in your heart.... Yes, I love God very much, but as a soul becomes purified her love increases. Often think of the love Jesus has for you and be faithful o every inspiration of grace. Start each day as if you had as yet done nothing, but take care that you do not discourage yourself.

May 18, 1875. How small is the number of fervent religious who really have the spirit of their vocation - about one in fifty! You must at all costs be among the privileged ones. How great is the responsibility of a Superior, a Mistress of novices, a teacher! What an account they will have to render to God!

Little by little as I am being delivered, you will hear me more distinctly. When I am completely liberated, I will be a second Guardian Angel to you, but an angel that you can see.

Mother N____ is still in Purgatory, because she introduced several things into the community that were not in accord with our vocation, but which tended rather to relaxation. It is a great science to be to discern spirits. If more care were taken to receiving candidates to the religious life, there would be less trouble in communities.

June 20, 1875. God does not ask so much for strength. He would rather dwell more in our hearts. In order to obtain graces for yourself or for the community, you must renounce yourself from morning to night, seek self in nothing, let everything be hidden from the eyes of creatures. Let God alone know all your little daily sacrifices - Him alone; do you understand?

It is God who allows you to feel such distaste for many things, so that you may have more merit. Be careful to waste or lose nothing. Yes, it is true in one sense, that Jesus is more glorified when He is honored by one who was not always His friend. You are disturbed at sensing that God has chosen you to work out His designs despite your spiritual infirmities, for thus you must sacrifice and immolate yourself in return.

Do you know why God does not now grant you the graces you are asking of Him? It is because you have not enough confidence in Him. Likewise you forget the many and great graces that Jesus has given you. He pursues you from morning to night, and you avoid Him as much as you can. It is not proper for you to treat God thus, especially after He has been so kind to you. Try at every moment to look into yourself to see if you are pleasing God, examine yourself to learn if any of your acts cause Him pain. Such a constant disposition will put you more and more in favor with God. You must love God so much, that in a short time, He mat truly find in your heart a welcome place to make His abode. Jesus must be able to tell you all His sorrows, such as those the world inflicts upon Him daily, and your part, you must give Him the tender love that will console Him.

August 14, 1875. God does not want you to listen to self-love, you must trust in Him alone. I have told you this many times. Despite your faults, He can give you the necessary help to serve Him. Why do you distrust His power and goodness?

August 15, 1875. Yes, we have seen the Blessed Virgin, she has gone back to Heaven with many souls, but I am still here. You feel the heat? Alas! If you knew what the heat of Purgatory is compared to yours! A little prayer does us so much god. It is like a glass of water given to a thirsty person.

Love everyone, but do not put your trust entirely in anyone, because Jesus wants to be your great confidant. Everything for Him and for Him alone. Perform all your actions in the presence of God as I have so often told you. Consult Him before all you do or say. Let your life be one of faith and love.... Do nothing to distinguish yourself. Without offending anyone, avoid the company of those who are too unreserved and those who are uncharitable. As for yourself, be busy about your own affairs. Keep your opinions to yourself and never express them unless obliged to do so. Be preoccupied with only that one subject, the main sprig of your life, Jesus. Yes, Jesus from morning to night and from night to morning.

August 20, 1875 (Retreat). Alas, I suffer more than usual in punishment for abusing many graces during my life. Perform all your deeds in the presence of God, without seeking to please anyone else. He will not leave you in peace until you have reached such a state of detachment from all created things that you will give Him your entire attention. You must be a living example for the rest of your community. Each one, on seeing your life, must be able to say, "This is the Rule." More is required of you. You must be, as it were, another Jesus. That is to say, in far as possible, you must reproduce in your conduct the life of Jesus Himself.

September 7, 1875. Great though He is, Almighty God does not hesitate to lower Himself to the soul which loves Him. He treats such a soul even on the smallest details that concern her. How good God is to us. Are there not secrets in our souls that God alone understands and of which we can speak to Him alone?

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[1] Her autobiography, 98, edition 1920.
[2] (1) “The Purgatory”, review of the Association of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to promote the help of the souls in the Purgatorio, founded in Rome by the Reverend Father Victor Jouet, has published, from 1900 to 1912, the report of numerous apparitions of souls in Purgatory with the historical documents that guarantee their undeniable authenticity. The Rev. Fr. Victor Jouet also had constituted, in via Lungotevere Prati, 12, Rome, a museum of the afterworld or museum of the souls in Purgatory, composed from evidential memories and documents that render the truth of the facts tangible and evident the proven facts. The museum is now in a church in Rome of gothic style in via Lungotevere Prati. We have visited this museum, the only one of its type, and we have seen with our own eyes and have held in our own hands, with a deep impression, the prints of fingers and of burnt hands left on the dresses, on sterling and on the objects touched during various apparitions. The explanations of the Reverend Father Jouet, with an impressive documentation therefore, always stimulated, in the pilgrims of this small tour about purgatory, an unrestrainable emotion: they had under their eyes the obvious proof of the existence of purgatory and the irrefutable test of the correcting fire which purifies the souls from the remains of sin. The exhibit of Rev. Fr. Jouet was exposed the 4th of August, 1905, in one the halls of the Vatican, and introduced by His Eminence, Cardinal Vivès y Tuto to S. S. Pio X, who visited it with the greatest interest and felt a great satisfaction.
[3] The beautiful works of one of these eminent masters of mystical Theology merited this devout praise of Pius X: "The illuminate men render a just homage to your science and to your experience." "(Letter of 13 December 1908.)"
[4] Perhaps this means the “best” for the souls in purgatory.
[5] Many saints and theologians affirm that, by a divine favor, the Holy Virgin at times shows herself to the souls in Purgatory, for their relief and consolation, especially on her feast days.

A Manuscript On Purgatory (2 of 5)

September 8, 1875. God permits some souls to attain a remarkable degree of tenderness in their love, whereas others do not experience great emotion. All this is part of His wise designs. In the case of those who are more capable of loving Him, He has reserved a special place for Himself in their hearts, so that they pour out their love into His adorable Heart. He is indeed the Master, giving to each one what He wills. You are one of the souls whom He has especially favored.

I suffer all night while you rest. Although I experience the pains of Purgatory at all times, still when I have permission during the day to accompany you everywhere, I suffer a little less. All this virtue of special dispensation of God.

November 7, 1875. Ponder well what I am going to say to you. Watch most carefully over everything you do. Ask yourself each hour if God be pleased with you, because you are to become a saint quickly. Yes, that is true, but with Divine Grace, you can accomplish everything. Acknowledge with gratitude that you are utterly unworthy of all these graces, but nevertheless, go forward.

December 8, 1875. Love God intensely. Do not fear your own suffering. Trust in Him, never in yourself. Die to yourself from morning to night.... Do not breathe or live except for Jesus Christ. God must be your only confidant. Complain to no one except for Him. Be quite hidden from the eyes of everyone else. Sometimes you will be ill, very ill, but you will appear quite well, because God wishes to be the only witness of what passes in you. You will learn that you and your loving God will understand each other very well. If you do as God wants, namely, watch carefully over yourself so as not to lose any of His graces, He will communicate Himself to you in a special manner.

You grieve God when you do not think of Him. The union between you is like between friends, often one is preferred to all others. One understands us better and from Him we keep no secret. If that friend noticed that we paid no attention to him, did not speak to him, or even cast a glance his way to show him that he is still our special friend, he would feel intense pain. Thus it is with God as far as you are concerned. He certainly has a great love for many of His friends, but I have told you many times, that even though you are not deserving of it as are so many others, yet He loves you in a special way. For this reason your indifference causes Him all the more pain. He awaits only your return of your inner love of heart, so that He may fill it with graces. All that you do affects Him most intimately. He loves you for thinking of Him. Despite your many occupations, He must be first in your thoughts. Whenever you have to speak to people on business, you should first glance towards Him He has a right to this. He is the Master and may act as He pleases.

December 12, 1875. You should practice perpetual adoration in your heart at all times, not only when you go to the chapel. You must also accustom yourself to make frequent spiritual communions. You will derive abundant and most salutary fruits from this, provided that you dispose yourself properly.

December 30, 1875. Never ask for anything regarding your own health. Yet do not refuse what is offered to you. We must not appear singular in anything.

January 1876. Whenever you have something to say to the Superior do not be in a hurry about it unless it be something that cannot be postponed. Let what you have to say wait and thus moderate and mortify yourself.

You must prepare a dwelling place for Jesus in your heart so that later, as I have told you, He may come and rest there. You must also prepare, as well as possible, for Holy Communion. Try and think about it the evening before but especially when you awake in the morning. You must not only prepare an abode for Jesus, but also invite Him to stay with you. There would be no point in preparing a beautiful room for a guest, were you not to invite him to enter. So invite Jesus often by your desires, and above all, by your love for Him. You should become so recollected that you do not lose sight of the presence of Jesus, even when otherwise most occupied. To achieve this, watch constantly over your interior life.

About the Grotto: God will help you and supply all that you lack. I you want to please Him, do nothing about it on Sunday except pray as much as you can. That is all that is required. God desires later on to make you His helper and your heart His sanctuary.

February. In Heaven God receives infinite adoration, but as it is on earth that He is offended, He wills that also on earth, proper reparation should be made to Him, by your loving Him and consoling Him for the neglect that is heaped upon Him everywhere.

Feast of the Annunciation. When God wishes a soul to be entirely His, He begins by crushing it, very much as apples are crushed in the press - to extract its passions, its self-seeking, in a word, all its defects. When a soul is sufficiently broken, He reshapes it according to His will. If it is faithful, it is soon transformed. Only then does Jesus load it with His choicest graces and inundate it with His love.

July 16th. The Holy Eucharist must be a magnet for you, drawing you always more and more powerfully. This Sacrament must be the main object of your life.

August 28th. Have no other desire than to love God always more and more. Try to be ever more closely united to Him. Endeavor to lead each day a more interior life, a life more closely united to your Jesus. This interior union with Jesus is brought about by your sufferings of body and soul, but above all by your longing love for Him. May you indeed conform to God's plan by this interior life. He insists on it so pleadingly. I cannot tell you now the degree of sanctity and union with Himself to which He will lead you or what graces He has in store for you. I have, of course, spoken of some of these graces. The others are unknown to me. Guard well your actions, your very presence must inspire devotion.

August 30th. The retreat, of course, will be for all in general, but God will arrange that the sermons shall be entirely for you. Pay great attention to them. This retreat must make you a saint. God has made your heart for Himself alone. Abandon yourself entirely into our Lord's hands. Look neither forward nor backwards. Throw yourself entirely into His divine arms, upon His Sacred Heart, and there fear nothing. Every morning say a little prayer to our Lord and adore Him in all those churches where He is most neglected. Go there in spirit and tell Him how much you love Him and want to make up to Him for the way in which He is forsaken. You will give great pleasure to Jesus if you renew this intention several times during the day. God wishes you to think always of Him, to pray and work always under His Divine Eyes. He wants you, in far as possible, never to lose sight of Him. All this must be done quietly, without affectation. No one must ever suspect it. Let Jesus alone know what passes between you. Keep your eyes always cast down unless when it is your duty to look after things. Then do so as modestly as possible. Do not give way to human respect. Be very humble. Make God loved as much as you can. Let everything go its own way and do you go yours in the crowd, silently. If you are obliged to come forward, do it simply and refer all to God, without disturbing yourself as to whether the affair succeeds or not. When you have done all to please Him, have no other desire but that of always loving Him more and more.

Resolve at the end of your retreat to think often of what I am going to say now. God alone, my God and my all. Every material thing passes away, and that quickly. The Tabernacle is my place of rest, the Holy Eucharist is my life, the Cross is my portion, Mary is my Mother, Heaven is my hope.... Yes, it would please God if you took no butter on your bread in the morning.

November 30th. You must never judge or examine the conduct of your Sisters; you will not have to give an account of their lives. Neither must you use their conduct as your model. God does not ask the same perfection from all. Mortify yourself, and do not seek to find out if others are doing all you do. God does not require it of them. You will never believe all I am telling you. This morning you witnessed what God wants you to do, as He granted you the sign you asked for. Jesus wants you to deal with Him, as with an intimate friend, without any fear whatsoever. It is true that His Majesty is frightening and that you are not worthy to have such intimate converse with your Jesus, but is He not the Master that enriches whomsoever He wills? Ask Jesus to make you rich in every virtue, as He wishes you to be, but in the meantime, shape your life in accordance with His inspirations. Enlarge your heart because what Jesus desires above all things is to see in it His love. What wonderful graces you will receive if you are faithful, graces you have never even thought of?

Christmas 1876. When you are suffering you must not go telling everyone. It does not console you. In the first place, you should tell it to Jesus, but most often it is to Him you tell it last.

I am greatly refreshed and I think the end of my exile is not far off. Oh, if you knew how I long to see God! Admist all these supernatural events, you must be so natural that no one will notice that anything is happening. It is the same with everything else, lead a hidden life as much as possible, but without neglecting any of your duties. Let everything be perfectly simple. God desires that He alone should know what is going on in your soul.

January 1877. Rest peacefully on the adorable Heart of your Jesus, tell Him all your sufferings as you would tell a friend. He will understand. What I have told you about the little corner of His Heart will be revealed to you only when you are far more spiritual than you are at present. Do not worry yourself over all the troubles in your class. I pray everyday for you that you may not lose patience.

February 13th. Before the Blessed Sacrament. See how Jesus is left alone. At this moment, if He wished, He could have many adorers, if they only had a little more good will! But what indifference is there even amongst religious! Our Lord is very much hurt by it. At any rate, you are to love Him for those Indifferent souls and Jesus will be consoled for their neglect.

May 12th. Mortify yourself corporally, but more especially spiritually. Forget yourself. Deny yourself in everything. Never look at what others are doing. God does not demand the same perfection from everyone. All are not enlightened in the same way, but you, whom Jesus Himself enlightens, look only to Him, let Him be your aim and object in everything.

Before every action, no matter how trivial, ask yourself if what you are about to do will please Him. That is all that matters as far as you are concerned. Any act of indifference or want of regard on your part wounds Him, whereas a continual remembrance of His Holy presence, a little inspiration to Him, a look, any little attention to give Him pleasure is noticed by Him. Guard your interior life well that you may lose none of His graces. Take no notice of your body. Forget yourself. Place yourself in the arms of Jesus and He will never let you be found wanting, only have unlimited confidence in His goodness. If you but realize His power, you would not put limits to His ability. What can He not do for a soul He loves!

December 13th. Never seek to please anyone by your actions, but God only. It is for Him that you must do everything. Let there be no human respect, or ever growing weary.... He will grant anything you request of Him. Yes, it is true that you are very miserable. Humble yourself and know that Jesus does not always give His graces to the most holy.

Prepare yourself with great care for Holy Communion, Confession and the Divine Office, in a word, for anything that tends to unite you more closely to Our Lord. Many others must find it more difficult than you to see Jesus always present in their heart. After all the graces He has given you, you should have no difficulty in being recollected. I have already told you that God is searching the world over for souls that love Him with childlike affection, full of tender respect, truthfully and from the heart. He finds few such souls, fewer than you would suspect. Souls belittle the Heart of God. They look upon Jesus as too difficult to approach and thus their love for Him remains cold. Their respect for Him has degenerated into a kind of indifference. I know that souls are not capable of understanding this love which Our Lord yearns for. Jesus has made Himself better known to you and wants you to make up for this indifference and coldness in others. Ask Him to enlarge your heart that it may be capable of greater love. By the love and respectful familiarity with which Jesus allows you to treat Him, you can make up for that which is not granted all to understand. Do this but, above all, love much. Never grow weary in your work. Begin each day as if you had so far done nothing. This continual renouncement of one's will and comfort and one's own opinions is a long martyrdom, but it is most pleasing to God. God wants you to be something special, not as regards your exterior, but in your inner soul. He asks of you a union with Himself, so great that you never lose sight of Him, even amidst your absorbing occupations.

Retreat in August 1878.Great sinners who were indifferent towards God, and religious who were not what they should have been are in the lowest stage of Purgatory. While they are there, the prayers offered up for them are not applied to them. Because they have ignored God during their life, He now in His turn leaves them abandoned in order that they may repair their neglectful and worthless lives. While on earth one truly cannot picture or imagine what God really is, but we (in Purgatory) know and understand Him for what He is, because our souls are freed from all the ties that fettered them and prevented them from realizing the holiness and majesty of God, and His great mercy. We are martyrs, consumed as it were by love. An irresistible force draws us towards God who is our center, but at the same time another force thrusts us back to our place of expiation.

We are in the state of being unable to satisfy our longings. Oh, what a suffering that is, but we desire it and there is no murmuring against God here. We desire only what God wants. You on earth, however, cannot possibly understand what we have to endure. I am much relieved as I am no longer in the fire. I have now only the insatiable desire to see God, a suffering cruel enough indeed, but I feel that the end of my exile is at hand and that I am soon to leave this place where I long for God with all my heart. I know it well, I feel more at ease, but I cannot tell you the day or they hour of my release. God alone knows that. It may be that I have still many years of longing for Heaven. Continue to pray; I will repay you later on, though I do pray a great deal for you now.

Oh, how great is the mercy of God in your regard! Who can understand it? Why does Jesus act thus towards you? Why does He love you more than many others? Why has He still many greater graces to bestow on you? Is it because you deserve them? No, you even deserve them less than many others, but it is His will to act thus towards you and He is the Master of His rewards. Be very grateful. Remain always in spirit at His Divine feet and let Him act as He will. Watch well over your interior. Be very exact in finding what pleases your Jesus. Have neither eyes nor heart, nor love except for Him. Always consult Him before your smallest act. Abandon yourself wholly to His good pleasure and then be at peace. All that I have told you will be accomplished. Do not put any obstacles in the way. It is Jesus who wishes it thus.

Those who are lost are lost because they willed it, because to arrive at damnation they must have refused thousands of graces and good inspirations that God gave them, hence it is their own fault.

In answer to a question of Sister Mary of the Cross

When I am there I will tell you, but I think the great festivals of Heaven are celebrated with an increase of ecstasy, admiration, and thanksgiving, but above all love. To be worthy of what I am telling you now, you must have arrived at so close a union with God that nothing disturbs you, neither sufferings, joys, success, failure, good or bad repute; nothing of any of these must influence you in any way. Jesus must be Lord of all your being and you must keep the eye of your soul constantly fixed on Him to anticipate His slightest wishes. What has Jesus not done for you and what will He not do? Let your exterior be well regulated, and let your interior be even more so. Be occupied only with what concerns yourself. Keep your eyes always lowered, speak little and in a low voice, but above all converse with Jesus always. No, you do not tire Him. This is what He expects from you. Be very kind to the children. Do not be rough with them. Be ingenious in mortifying yourself and in breaking your own will. Be especially nice to those who are less agreeable to you than to others, no matter what wrong they may have done to you. This means renouncing yourself and pleasing Jesus. Nothing else matters. It is on these occasions that you must silence the human will, but you must do it because Jesus wills it. Do not allow self-love to get the upper hand, but do all blindly to please Jesus alone.

Sister Mary of the Cross: “Why is it that I pray for you with less fervor than I pray for others and that I forget to recommend you?”

Do not trouble yourself about that. It is a punishment for me. Even if you prayed more I should not be any the more relieved. God wills it thus. If He wants you to pray more He will inspire you to do so. I repeat again, do not be worried about me. You will never see me in my sufferings. Later on, when your soul is stronger, you will see souls in Purgatory and very awful ones, but let this not frighten you. God will then give you the necessary courage and all that you need to accomplish His holy will.

Sister Mary of the Cross: “Is this not a punishment?”

No, certainly not, I am here for my relief and for your sanctification. If you would but pay a little more attention to what I say.

Sister Mary of the Cross: “That is true but these happenings are so extraordinary that I do not know what to make of them; it is not an ordinary thing to hear you this way.”

I quite understand your difficulty and I am aware of your sufferings on this account. However, if God wishes it and it relieves me, you will have pity on me, will you not? When I am released you will see that I will do far more for you than you have ever done for me. I already pray much for you.

Sister Mary of the Cross: “Where is Sister ____?”

In the lowest Purgatory, where she receives no benefit from anyone's prayers. God is often displeased, if one may speak thus, when many religious come to die, because He has called these souls to Himself that they might serve Him faithfully on earth and go straight to Heaven the moment of death, but because of their infidelity, they have to stay long in Purgatory - far longer than people in the world who have not had so many graces.

1879, Retreat in August. We see St. Michael as we see the angels. He has no body. He comes to get the souls that have finished their purification. It is he who conducts them to Heaven. He is among the Seraphim as Monsignor said. He is the highest angel in Heaven. Our own Guardian Angels come to see us but St. Michael is far more beautiful than they are. As to the Blessed Virgin, we see her in the body. She comes to Purgatory on her feasts and she goes back to Heaven with many souls. While she is with us we do not suffer. St. Michael accompanies her. When he comes alone, we suffer as usual. When I spoke to you of the great and the second Purgatory, it was to try and make you understand that there are different stages in Purgatory. Thus I call that stage of Purgatory great or worst where the most guilty souls are, and where I stayed for two years without being able to give a sign of the torments I was suffering. The year you heard me groaning, when I began to speak to you, I was still in the same place.

In the second Purgatory, which is still Purgatory but very different from the first, one suffers a great deal, but less than in the great place of expiation. Then there is the third stage, which is the Purgatory of desire, where their is no fire. The souls who did not desire Heaven ardently enough, who did not love God sufficiently are there. It is there that I am at this moment. Further, in these three parts of purgatory, there are many degrees of variation. Little by little, as the soul becomes purified, her sufferings are changed.

Now are you really going to begin to rouse yourself and give yourself to God? How long have I tormented you on this subject! The retreat has been a good one and will bear fruit. The devil is not pleased.

God greatly loves the Father who gave the retreat. Tell him I thank him very much for the mementoes he promised to make for me at Holy Mass. On my part I will not be ungrateful and I will ask God to give him the graces of which he stands in need. You did well to tell him this evening all I have told you. The community has profited by his coming, but it was for you especially that he was sent. St. Michael, who has loved and protected you for so long a time, wishes that one of his missionary priests should know all that I have told you. God has his own designs in all this and you will know them later. Later on you may be able to give him more precise information about St. Michael.

You asked me if Father ___ is pleasing to God? This is what you are to say to him. If he continues to act as he has done up to this time, he is agreeable in God's sight. What he loves most in him is his great purity of intention, his interior spirit and his goodness to souls. Tell him if he continues to unite himself more and more to the Heart of Jesus, the closer this union becomes, the more meritorious his actions and his entire life will be for eternity and the more profitable for souls. God does not expect ordinary perfection from him.

Tell him to be sure in his retreats and missions to recommend strongly the offering up to God of the actions of the day. This advice is not only to people in the world but also for religious communities. People do not always think enough of this and consequently many actions in themselves will receive no reward at the last day, because they were not first offered up to God. If the Father sees that his words do not always bear the fruit he would like, let him never lose courage. He should remember that God is pleased and satisfied with his efforts even if he has succeeded in putting into the hearts of his hearers only a little love, and that only for a quarter of an hour. God has made all this known to me because the Father did not receive you badly the other day when you went to speak to him. Do all that he tells you and write down for him all that you have learned from me. Don't forget anything and profit from the advice he gives you on this subject. I tell you again that it is God who has sent him. God has great designs in your regard in all that He does in this matter. Be very faithful to all the graces that Jesus gives you. Later on, if as I hope, God makes known anything more for Father, I will tell you. Thank him again for his prayers and tell him I am not ungrateful. I will pray for him as much as I do for you at present.

Weigh well the idea that God wishes you to be a saint. You may say that this is nothing new because Jesus has pursued you for so long a time, and so have I, but now it is really time to begin to apply yourself seriously to this work. You saw this in a forceful manner during this retreat. Do not put any obstacles in the way of grace. Let God lead you as He wills, but above all, do not resist a single one of His inspirations. Put nature and self aside, then when you are rid of that burden, go forward without growing weary.

Pray well for me that I may soon be united to the object of my long-delayed and ardent desires. I shall be more useful to you in Heaven than I am here. That was a good thought of yours on the day the retreat closed, to invite me to come and adore Jesus present in your heart during your thanksgiving after Holy Communion. If you had done that sooner, I should have obtained much relief. Do so in the future and before all your prayers. Also offer a part of your work for me, as I have such an ardent longing to see God

Your little note books please God very much. It is the shortest way to great perfection and close union with Jesus. I have waited long for you to show a little more love in all your actions. The more a soul loves Jesus the more meritorious all its actions are in His sight. It is only love that will be rewarded in Heaven. All that is done for any other motive will count as nothing. Love Jesus truly, once and for all, as He wants you to. Then I also shall benefit in that I shall have great relief in all my sufferings.

Sister Mary of the Cross: “Is God not more pleased with me these last few days?”

Yes, He is more pleased because you are striving more to give Him pleasure. Have you noticed His goodness and special watchfulness over you? Has He not also given you much joy these days? He will always act like that towards you. The more you do for Him the more He will do for you. I am so happy to see that you are really beginning to love God, who is so good, and to work seriously at your perfection. If by remaining a little longer in Purgatory I could obtain that you should arrive at perfection God demands of you to accomplish His designs, I would willingly bear that suffering. Never look back to examine your conduct in the past. Leave it entirely in the hands of God and go steadily forward. Your life must be summed up in two words: Love and Sacrifice. Sacrifice from morning to night, but always with Love. If only you knew what God is, there is no sacrifice that you would not be willing to make, no suffering that you would not endure for Him. If you could see Him for but one minute you would be perfectly satisfied and consoled.... What then must it be to see Him for all eternity?

There is no middle course for you. Some souls might save themselves in other ways, but not you. You will either be great saint or a great sinner. The choice is yours. Do you remember how long time ago during one of your first retreats, you were much impressed by these words: There are some souls for whom there is no middle way, they will either be angels or devils? Apply that to yourself. You know that these words are meant for you.

August 13th. I have many things to say to you that only you and the Father will understand. Have you thought of thanking God for having sent him to you? Pray for him everyday.

Sister Mary of the Cross: “What is the best way of honoring St. Michael?”

The best and most efficacious way of glorifying him in Heaven and honoring him on earth is to spread devotion to the souls in Purgatory, and to make known the great mission he fulfills towards these suffering souls. It is he who is entrusted by God to lead the souls to the place of expiation and to bring them to their eternal home after purification. Each time a soul arrives to increase the number of the elect, God is glorified, and this glory in some way communicates itself also to the celestial minister. It is an honor for him to present Our Lord the souls that will sing their thanks and His mercies through all eternity. I could never make you understand the intense love which the Heavenly Archangel has for his Divine Master, and the love which God in His turn has for St. Michael. Neither can I convey to you a true idea of the love and pity St. Michael has for us. He encourages us in our sufferings by speaking to us of Heaven.

Tell the Father that if he wishes to please St. Michael, he will most earnestly recommend devotion to the souls in Purgatory. People in the world do not think of it. When they have lost their relatives or friends, they say a few prayers, weep for a few days and that is the end of it. The souls are henceforth abandoned. It is true that they merit this, for while they were on earth they neglected the dead. The Divine Judge deals with us in this world according to our actions in the former. Those who have forgotten the holy souls are forgotten in their turn. This is only fair. Perhaps if they had been reminded to pray for the dead and had been told a little about Purgatory, they might have acted differently. When God allows it, we can communicate directly with St. Michael in the way that spirits communicate.

Sister Mary of the Cross: “How do they celebrate the feast of St. Michael in Purgatory?”

On that day St. Michael comes to Purgatory and returns to Heaven with a great number of souls, especially with those who had been devout to him in life.

Sister Mary of the Cross: “What glory does St. Michael receive from his feast day on earth?”

When the feast of a saint is celebrated on earth, he receives an increase of accidental glory in Heaven, even if he is not actually remembered on earth. He receives a special recompense in memory of some particular act of heroic virtue, or of some increase of glory, which he procured for God at a given time. This reward consists in an increase of accidental glory joined to the happiness which the memory of his work on earth causes him. The accidental glory which the Archangel receives is far above that of other saints, because this glory is proportioned to the greatness of merit of the recipient and also to the value of the action which merits the reward.

Sister Mary of the Cross: “Do you know what happens on earth?”

I only know what happens in so far as God wills it. My knowledge is very limited. I have known a little about the community, but that is all. I know nothing about what goes on in the souls of other people, except in your case. That is because God allows this for your perfection. What I have sometimes told you about certain persons and what I will tell you, I only know from God at the moment. For example, I do not know what is God's will in regard to your Father's parents. Perhaps later on I may know. I will pray to God for them and recommend them to St. Michael.

I can tell you about the different degrees of Purgatory because I have passed through them. In the great Purgatory there are several stages. in the lowest and most painful, like a temporary hell, are the sinners who have committed terrible crimes during life and whose death surprised them in that state. It was almost a miracle that they were saved, and often by the prayers of holy parents or other pious persons. Sometimes they did not even have time to confess their sins and the world thought them lost, but God, whose mercy is infinite, gave them at the moment of death the contrition necessary for their salvation on account of one or more good actions which they performed during life. For such souls, Purgatory is terrible. It is a real hell with a difference, that in hell they curse God, whereas we bless Him and thank Him for having saved us.

Next to these come the souls, who who though they did not commit great crimes like the others, were indifferent to God. They did not fulfill their Easter duties and were also converted at the point of death. Perhaps they were unable to receive Holy Communion. They are in Purgatory for the long years of indifference. They suffer unheard of pains and are abandoned either without prayers or if they are said for them, they are not allowed to profit by them. There are in this stage of Purgatory religious of both sexes, who were tepid, neglectful of their duties, indifferent towards Jesus, also priests who did not exercise their sacred ministry with the reverence due to the Sovereign Majesty and who did not in still the love of God sufficiently into the souls confided to their care. I was in this stage of Purgatory.

In the second Purgatory are the souls of those who died with venial sins not fully expiated before death, or with mortal sins that have been forgiven but for which they have not made entire satisfaction to the Divine Justice. In this part of Purgatory, there are also different degrees according to the merits of each soul. Thus the Purgatory of the consecrated souls or of those who have received more abundant graces, is longer and far more painful than that of ordinary people of the world.

Lastly there is the Purgatory of desire which is called the Threshold. Very few escape this. To avoid it altogether, one must ardently desire Heaven and the vision of God. That is rare, rarer than people think, because even pious people is afraid of God and have not, therefore, a sufficiently strong desire of going to Heaven. This Purgatory has its very painful martyrdom like the others. The deprivation of the sight of our loving Jesus adds to the intense suffering.

Sister Mary of the Cross: “Do you know each other in Purgatory?”

Yes, in the manner in which souls know. There are no names in the other world. You cannot compare Purgatory and Earth. When the soul is free and released from its mortal shell, its name is buried in the grave with the body. I can only give you a small insight into the nature of Purgatory. My the light which God gives you, you are better able to understand it than others. But what is all that to the reality? Here we are lost in the will of God, whereas on earth, no matter how great the saint is, self-will always has a certain hold on him. As for us...we now have no more self-will at all, we know and realize only that which pleases God to let us know, nothing more.

Sister Mary of the Cross: “Do you speak to each other in Purgatory?”

Souls communicate with each other when God permits it, and after the manner of souls, but without words. Yes, it is true I speak to you, but are you spirit? Would you understand me if I did not pronounce words? But for myself, as God wills it so, I understand you without your pronouncing any words with your lips. There is communication between spirits and souls on earth. Thus when you have a good thought or a holy desire, they have been communicated to you by your Guardian Angel or by some saint, and sometimes by God Himself. That is the language of the souls.

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(Click on the photo of Joseph Dwight to go to the other blog sites.)

A Manuscript On Purgatory (3 of 5)

Sister Mary of the Cross: “Where is Purgatory situated?”

It is in the center of the earth, close to Hell, as you saw one day after Holy Communion. The large number of souls there are confined to a limited space. There are thousands and thousands of souls there. But then what space does a soul occupy? Each day thousands of souls come to Purgatory and most of them remain thirty to forty years, some for longer periods, others for shorter. I tell you this in terms of earthly calculations because here it is quite different. Oh, if people only knew and understood what Purgatory is and what it means to know that we are here through our own fault. I have been here for eight years and it seems to me like ten thousand. Oh my God! Tell all this to the Father, so that he may learn from me what this place of suffering is like and may make it better known in the future. He will be able to find out for himself how profitable it is to have a great devotion to the holy souls in Purgatory. God often accords more graces through the intercession of these suffering souls than through prayers of the saints. Let the Father, when he wishes to be sure of obtaining what he wants, ask the souls who have loved Our Lady most. These, in consequence, she wishes most of all to release. He will see whether his prayer is heard or not.

There are some souls who do not live continually in Purgatory itself.... For instance, I accompany you wherever you go, but while you rest during the night, I suffer more, because then I am actually in Purgatory.

The Father was very right when he told you never to seek anything but the holy will of God in all you do. To see His will in all that happens to you, whether in sorrow or in joy, will be for your happiness. Oh, be doubly good in order to give pleasure to God who is so good, who is so particularly good to you. Have the eyes of your souls always open to anticipate His least wishes. Be beforehand with Him, as it were, to give Him pleasure. The more you try to please Him, the more He will give you. He will never allow Himself to be outdone in generosity. On the contrary, He always gives more than is given to Him. Be unrelenting, therefore in devoting yourself to His love and glory.

The English woman, who was drowned at Mont Michael, went straight to Heaven. She had the necessary contrition at the moment of death and at the same time the baptism of desire. All this happened through the intervention of St. Michael. What a happy shipwreck!

About Father P___ who is retired, St. Michael is not pleased about that. But God leaves one free. He wishes to have in His service those who serve Him willingly without ever looking back. Tell Father P___ God wants him to continue with great courage to accomplish all that he has undertaken for His sake. Tell him to be prudent and not undertake more than his strength will allow. I am praying for all his intentions, and as I told you before, I pray for him as I do for you.

Pius IX went straight to Heaven. He had his Purgatory on earth.

Sister Mary of the Cross: “How do you know M. P.___ went straight to Heaven as you did not see her pass through Purgatory?”

God made this known to me. It is through His goodness that I know the things you ask me, when I have not seen or experienced them myself.

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 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 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?”

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: “What is the distance between Purgatory and the earth we inhabit?”

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.

Sister Mary of the Cross: “Are sudden and unprepared death acts of God's justice or of his mercy?”

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 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.

Sister Mary of the Cross: “Is the fire of Purgatory like that of earth?”

Yes, with this difference, that the fire of Purgatory is a purification prescribed by God's justice and that of earth is very mild compared to that of Purgatory. It is a shadow compared to the furnace of Divine Justice.

Sister Mary of the Cross: “How can a soul burn?”

By a just and express permission of God, the soul which is the real culprit (for the body only obeys the soul) suffers as if the body were suffering. Have you ever seen any evil committed by a dead body?

Sister Mary of the Cross: “Tell me what happens during the agony and after. Does the soul find itself in light or darkness? Under what form is the sentence pronounced?”

I had no agony as you know, but I can tell you this, that at the last decisive moment, the devil lets loose all his rage against the one that is dying. God permits souls to go through these last trials in order to increase their merits. Souls that are strong and generous, in order that they may have a more glorious place in Heaven, have often had, at the end of their lives and in the moment of death, terrible combats with the angel of darkness. You have been a witness to this. But they always come out victorious. God never allows a soul that has been devoted to Him during life to perish at the last moment. Those souls who have loved the Blessed Virgin and invoked her all their lives will receive from her many graces in their last struggles. It is the same for those who have been really devout to St. Joseph, to St. Michael, or to any of the saints. I have already said one is glad to have an intercessor with God in those dreadful moments. Some souls die quite tranquilly without experiencing any of those trials. God has His designs in everything. He does or permits all for the good of each particular soul.

How can I describe what happens after the agony? It is impossible really to understand it unless one has passed through it. When the soul leaves the body it is as if it were lost in or, if I may say so, surrounded by God. It finds itself in such bewildering light that in a twinkling of an eye it sees its whole life spread out, and at this sight, it sees what it deserves, and this same light pronounces its sentence. The soul does not see God but is annihilated in His presence. If the soul is guilty as I was and, therefore, deserves Purgatory, it is so crushed by the weight of the faults that still remain to be blotted out, that it hurls itself into Purgatory. It is only then that one understands God and His love for souls and what a terrible evil sin is in the eyes of the Divine Majesty. St. Michael is present when the soul leaves the body. I saw him only, and he is the only one that every soul sees. (Later ) I also saw my Guardian Angel. From this you can understand why it is said, "St. Michael conducts souls to Purgatory", for a soul is not taken, but he is there at the carrying out of each sentence. All that happens in this other world is a mystery for yours.

Sister Mary of the Cross: “What happens when a soul goes straight to Heaven?”

For that soul, its union with Jesus continues after death, that is Heaven, but the union in Heaven is much closer and more intimate than that of earth.

Why did you behave so badly towards God today? He is not pleased with your conduct and He is so good to you. It is real ingratitude on your part. Why do you bother about the conduct of others? Busy yourself with your own, that is enough. Everybody has not the same disposition, and if you were to have "lost your head" on account of all the frights I have given you these seven years past you would have lost it a long ago. It will be a long time before that takes place. Set your mind at rest, therefore, and do not begin to act as you did today.

You have good reason not like ecstasies. They must of necessity be accepted when God sends them, but He does not wish that anyone should desire them. Those are not the sort of things that lead one to Heaven. A humble and mortified life is much more to be desired and is much safer. It is true that many of the saints had relevations and ecstasies but they were a reward which God gave them after long combats and a life of self-abnegation, or else, because He wished to use those servants of His for great things to procure His glory. That was done without any notice or fuss, in silence and prayer, and if they became known, the souls were covered with confusion and only spoke of their experiences under obedience.

Almighty God has crushed you in the past, but you must be very patient and take courage, because He will annihilate you still more in the future.

Tell Mother Superior that if she meets persons of the temperament and character of Sister ____ to take no notice of them, and never listen to all they want to say to her.

Be quite easy as to what you told me. This is how you know if a grace is truly given by God. These graces come unexpectedly and fall on you like a gentle shower of rain, that takes you by surprise when the sky appears cloudless. There is no danger in this case to fear having to sought them, as you were not even thinking of such things. You have noticed this many times. It is quite different with graces that one thinks are given by Jesus, but are the effect of the imagination, which has worked hard to produce them. These should be feared because the devil often plays his part in them and takes advantage of a weak brain or a soft temperament, or a judgment not to sane. He then deceives the poor souls, who in reality do not sin, provided they follow the advice of those who guide them spiritually. I can tell you there are many in the world of this type. The devil acts in this way to make religion look ridiculous. Such souls seek themselves while they think they seek God and dream of sanctity is false.

Sister Mary of the Cross: “Tell me, in what does true sanctity consist?”

You know that very well, but as you wish it I shall repeat it to you, though I have already told it to you many times. True sanctity consists in renouncing oneself from morning to night, in being a living sacrifice, in constantly putting aside the human self, in allowing God to work in and with you as He pleases, to receive the graces He sends you with profound humility, recognizing yourself quite unworthy of them, to live as constantly as possible in the Divine Presence, to perform all your actions under the eye of God, wanting Him to be the only witness of your efforts and your only reward. This is the sanctity wished for and demanded by Jesus of all those who desire to be His only and to live His life. All the rest is pure illusion.

Some souls have their Purgatory on earth by suffering, others by love, for love is a true martyrdom. The soul that really tries to love Jesus finds that notwithstanding all its efforts it does not Love Him as much as it wants to, and that is for that soul a perpetual martyrdom caused by a love which is not without great suffering. It is, as I told you, rather like the state of a soul in Purgatory, who continually leaps up towards Him who is its only desire, and who at the same time hurled back because its expiation is not complete.

Ask Reverend Mother sometimes to allow you to read over what I tell you instead of your spiritual reading. Take one day a week, Thursday for instance, because what is the good of writing it down if you never read it over. You end by forgetting it, and it is not for that reason I tell it to you, but in order that you may profit by it.

Sister Mary of the Cross: “If I had never spoken to anyone of what you have told me, what would be the result? You know I had a strong inclination to keep it entirely to myself.”

You were quite at liberty to keep it all to yourself, but in that case, I should have advised you to speak, because God has never permitted that the perfecting of any soul should come directly from Heaven.

Since people live on earth, God wills that they work out their sanctification by the advice which He permits them to receive for this end. You did well to speak when it cost you so much to do so. Anyway there is nothing of all this your own, and God who directs all events for the good of those He loves, knows how to draw glory for Himself at the same time.

November 1879. The sister-in-law of N___ is in Purgatory where she is suffering much. The Reverend Father can help her by offering the holy sacrifice of the Mass for her.

The old sinner was saved through the mercy of God like so many others. He is in the great Purgatory.

Sister Mary of the Cross: “Does All Souls' Day and its octave bring great joy to Purgatory and many releases?”

On All Souls' Day many souls leave the place of expiation and go to Heaven. Also, by the special grace of God on that day only, all the suffering souls, without exception, have a share in the public prayers of the Church, even those who are in the great Purgatory. Still the relief of each soul is in proportion to its merits. Some receive more, some less, but all feel the benefit of this extraordinary grace. Many of the suffering souls receive this one help only in all the long years they pass here and this by the justice of God. It is not, however, on All Souls' Day that the most go to Heaven. It is on Christmas night.

There are many things that I could tell you but I am not allow to do so. It is you who must ask me, then I may answer.

I am very much relieved by the prayers of Good Father P___. Tell him I thank him very much for them, as also for those he has had the charity to get said for me. I always pray for him, as I told you, I know when he prays for me, and it is the same with the other souls in Purgatory.... Very few souls get any prayers, the majority are totally abandoned and no thought or prayers are given to them on earth.

About the time of our release we know nothing. If we only knew when the end of our sufferings would come it would be an intense relief, a joy for us, but no, it is not so. We know well that our sufferings decrease and our union with God becomes closer, but what day ( that is according to earthly calculations, because there are no days) we shall be united with God, of that we know nothing; it is a secret. The souls in Purgatory have no knowledge of the future except what God sometimes gives them. According to their merits, some souls have more of this knowledge than others, yet what do all these things matter to us, unless it is a question of the glory of God or of the good of souls? You need not be astonished that the devil or his agents sometimes foretell future events that really come to pass. The devil is a spirit and, in consequence, has many more wiles and ways of finding out things than any person on earth, except the few saints whom God enlightens in a special manner. He roams about everywhere trying to do harm. He sees what is going on all over the world and with his extraordinary sagacity foresees many things before they happen. That is the only explanation. Woe to those who make themselves his slaves by consulting him. This is a sin very displeasing to God.

Sister Mary of the Cross: “Can the souls ever be mistaken? Would God permit this?”

Yes, not about existing this but about the future. Yet there is no imperfection on their part in all this. Does not God Himself sometimes seem to change the order of His plans? For example, it may happen that God wishes to chastise a kingdom, a province, or person. That is the intention He seems to manifest. But by prayers or other means taken by that country, province or person to disarm God's anger, He may grant full forgiveness or a partial remission of His designs according to His infinite wisdom. Often He also allows events to be foretold, or He gives knowledge of them to some soul so that they may warn others and appease His vengeance. His mercy is so great that He only punishes in the very last extremity.

In the case of the person of whom you spoke to me the other day, I did not at that moment tell you the events as they turned out. However, it was thus that God made me see them, but because she changed her conduct somewhat, God only gave her half the punishment which He had in store for her if she had continued in her former dispositions. In this way we can often appear to be mistaken.

Sister Mary of the Cross: “Are many Protestants saved?”

By the mercy of God a certain number of Protestants are saved, but their Purgatory is for many long and rigorous. It is true they have not abused grace like many Catholics, but neither have they had the marvelous graces of the sacraments and the other helps of true religion, thus their expiation in Purgatory is prolonged.

I am speaking lower than usual, because for the last eight days you have been speaking in too low a voice to God in saying the Divine Office. When you begin to speak louder, I will do the same.

Sister Mary of the Cross: “Do you know in Purgatory about the persecution of the Church? Do you know when it will end?”

We know that the Church is being persecuted and we pray for her triumph, but when will this be, I do not know. Some of the souls may know, but I do not. In Purgatory the souls are not entirely occupied by their sufferings. They pray for all the interests of God and for those who shorten their sufferings. They pray and they thank God for infinite mercies in their regard, because the space between Purgatory and Hell for some of them was very narrow and they barely escaped falling into Hell. Judge then what the gratitude of those souls is who were barely rescued from Satan.

I cannot explain to you how it is that we no longer see the earth as you do. This can only be understood when the soul has left the body, because then the earth which it has left, leaving there its body, seems to it as a mere speck compared with the vast unending horizons of eternity which then open before it.

You must never take any notice of what will be said of you. The real merit of a person consists not in accepting with patience rebukes which she has merited more or less, but in accepting patiently those she has not merited, especially if she has done her utmost to do good and is then reproached for it.

I receive far more relief from one of your actions done in union with Jesus, than from a vocal prayer, because what is it that God hears? He hears all that is done with an interior spirit. The more closely a soul is united with God the more readily does He grant all it asks. A soul intimately united with Jesus is the mistress of His Heart. strive then after this union which Jesus has desired to have with you for so long. You want to please Him? Well, this is the only way. You approach closer to His Heart by great attention to the least manifestation of His holy will. He must be able to twist and turn you as He likes and He must never find any resistance on your part. When you have arrived at that point you will begin to se and understand His goodness. Be really in earnest about working for God alone. Never seek any witness but Him for any of your actions. Be very careful never to say to yourself, when performing any act no matter how trivial it may be, Such as "If I do things this way I shall please so and so. I will do this to please such a person." God does not like these human reasonings in anyone, still less than you. Direct your intentions always with the sole desire of pleasing Jesus, and Him only. If by so acting, you manage to please someone else, so much the better, and if the contrary happens, that cannot be helped. God will be pleased and that is all that ought to matter you.

December 8th - 2:00 o'clock - The Immaculate Conception - Alas, how many lives seem to be filled with good works and at the death are found empty. This is because all those actions that appeared to be good, all those showy works, all that conduct that seemed irreproachable - all these were not done for Jesus alone. Some will have their eyes opened when they come here to this life (in Purgatory). On earth they wanted to be made much of, to shine, to be thought very exact in religious observances, to be esteemed as perfect religious. This is the mainspring of so many lives. If you only knew how few people work for God and act for Him alone. Alas, at death, when they are no longer blinded, what regrets they will have. If only sometimes they would think of eternity. What is life compared to that day which will have no evening for the elect, or to that night which will have no dawning for the damned? On earth, people attach themselves to everything and everyone except to Him, who alone ought to have our love and to whom we refuse it. Jesus in the Tabernacle waits for souls to love Him and He finds none. Hardly one soul in a thousand loves Him as it should. You love Him and make up to Him for this guilty indifference which exists all over this world.

Sister Mary of the Cross: “But in Purgatory souls really love, do they not?”

Yes, but it is a love of reparation, and if on earth we had loved Him as we ought to have done, there would not be so many of us here in this place of expiation.

Sister Mary of the Cross: “Is Jesus well-loved in Heaven?”

In Heaven they love Him very much, there He is compensated. But Jesus wants more than that. He wants to loved on earth where He annihilates Himself in every Tabernacle, in order to be approached more easily and yet He is refused. People pass before a church with more indifference than they would before any public monument. If by chance, they go into the holy place, it is only to insult still more the Divine Captive who dwells there, namely, by their coldness and their irreverence. Their prayers are said hurriedly and without attention, instead of speaking to Him from their Hearts and saying words of friendship and gratitude for all His favors to them.

Tell Father P___ that God expects from Him this love which He so rarely meets with. He expects it from him who comes each day so close to Jesus, whom he receives into his heart. Oh, tell him that in those blessed moments he may repair by his tender love the indifference of so many ungrateful soul. His heart must melt with love for Jesus in the Host and intercede for those priests who enjoy the same privilege that he does, yet treat the sacred mysteries with a frozen heart which remains as cold as marble to Jesus. Everyday let his union with God become closer, in order to prepare himself worthily for the great graces which Jesus has in store for him.

I have told you there are some souls who do their Purgatory at the foot of the altar. They are not there for faults they have committed in the church, because those faults which attack Jesus directly, Jesus present in the Tabernacle, are punished with terrible severity in Purgatory. There souls that are there in adoration are there as a reward for their reverent behavior in the Sacred Presence. They suffer less than if they were in Purgatory itself, and Jesus, whom they contemplate with the eyes of their soul and of faith, softens their pains by His invisible Presence.

January 1880. On Christmas night, thousands of souls leave their place of expiation for Heaven, but many remain, and I am of their number. You sometimes say to me that the perfecting of a soul is a long process and you are also astonished that after so many prayers, I am so long deprived of the sight of God. Alas, the perfecting of a soul does not take any less time in Purgatory than upon earth. There are a number of souls, but they are very few, who have only a few venial sins to expiate. These do not stay long in Purgatory. A few well said prayers, a few sacrifices soon deliver them. But when there are souls like mine - and that is nearly all whose lives have been so empty and who paid little or no attention to their salvation - then their whole life has to be begun over again in this place of expiation. The soul has to perfect itself all over again, and love and desire Him, whom it did not love sufficiently on earth. This is the reason why the deliverance of some souls is delayed. God has given me a very great grace in allowing me to ask for prayers. I did not deserve it, but without this I would have remained like most of those here, for years and years more.

Sister Mary of the Cross: “Do religious and those of the same family communicate together?”

In Purgatory, as in Heaven, religious and those of the same family are not always together. Souls do not all merit the same punishment or the same reward. Still in Purgatory we do recognize others and if God permits it we may communicate with one another.

Sister Mary of the Cross: “Are you able to receive a prayer or a thought of friends who are dead, and let them know of the remembrance we have of them?”

Thoughts of earth can be made known here, but there is not much in all that, because I have already told you that the souls in Purgatory know those persons who interest themselves in their behalf on earth. God sometimes allows those on earth to receive a prayer, a warning or some information. All that I told you about St. Michael was from Himself and all that I said about your Father was from God.

All the commissions that you have so often given me for the other world, I have always done, but all these things are subordinate to the Divine Will.

Sister Mary of the Cross: “Does everyone in Purgatory know the faults of others as they will be known in the last judgment?”

In general we do not know about the faults of one another, except in some rare cases when God has particular designs with regard to certain souls, but it is to few that He acts this way.

Sister Mary of the Cross: “Have you a more perfect knowledge of God than we have?”

What a question! Of course we know Him far better and love Him far more. Indeed, it is just that which causes our greatest suffering. On earth you simply do not know what God is. There, each one of you has an idea of what you think God is, according to your very limited knowledge, but when we leave our covering of clay and when nothing impedes the liberty of our souls, we at last begin to know God, His goodness, His mercy, His love. After this, clearer view that the thirst for union, our souls yearn for God. This is our very life and we are forever repulsed because we are not sufficiently pure. This, in a word, is our worst suffering, the hardest, most bitter. Oh, if only we were allowed to come back to earth, after knowing what God really is, what a different life we would lead! But what useless regrets, and yet on earth you do not think of these things and live as if you were blind. Eternity is no account to you. The earth, which is only a journey and receives only the body which in itself turns to dust, is the sole object to which almost all of your desires tend and you do not even think of Heaven while Jesus and His love are entirely forgotten.

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(Click on the photo of Joseph Dwight to go to the other blog sites.)