Purgatory Explained, Part 2, Chapter 2

Saint Catherine of GenoaArticle

Confidence – Mercy of God towards Souls – He Consoles them – Saint Catherine of Genoa – The Brother of Saint Magdalen de Pazzi

It is true that all have not attained this high degree of Charity, but there is no one that cannot have confidence in the Divine Mercy. This Mercy is infinite, it imparts peace to all souls that keep it constantly before their eyes and confide therein. Now the Mercy of God is exercised with regard to Purgatory in a threefold manner:

1) in consoling the souls;

2) in mitigating their sufferings;

3) in giving to ourselves a thousand means of avoiding those penal fires.

In the first place, God consoles the souls in Purgatory; He Himself consoles them; He also consoles them through the Blessed Virgin and through the holy angels. He consoles the souls by inspiring them with a high degree of faith, hope, and Divine love – virtues which produce in them conformity to the Divine Will, resignation, and the most perfect patience. “God,” says Saint Catherine of Genoa, “inspires the soul in Purgatory with so ardent a movement of devoted love, that it would be sufficient to annihilate her were she not immortal. Illumined and inflamed by that pure charity, the more she loves God, the more she detests the least stain that displeases Him, the least hindrance that prevents her union with Him. Thus, if she could find another Purgatory more terrible than the one to which she is condemned, that soul would plunge herself therein, impelled by the impetuosity of the love which exists between God and herself, in order that she might be the sooner delivered from all that separates her from her Sovereign God.”

“These souls,” says again the same saint, “are intimately united to the Will of God, and so completely transformed into it, that they are always satisfied with its holy ordinances. The souls in Purgatory have no choice of their own; they can no longer will anything other than what God wills. They receive with perfect submission all that God gives them; and neither pleasure, nor contentment, nor pain can ever again make them think of themselves.”

Saint Magdalen de Pazzi, after the death of one of her brothers, having gone to the choir to offer prayers for him, saw his soul a prey to intense suffering. Touched with compassion, she melted into tears and cried out in a piteous voice, “Brother, miserable and blessed at the same time! O soul afflicted and yet contented! these pains are intolerable and yet they are endured. Why are they not understood by those here below, who have not the courage to carry their cross? Whilst you were in this world, my dear brother, you would not listen to my advice, and now you desire ardently that I should hear you. O God, equally just and merciful, comfort this brother, who has served You from his infancy. Have regard to Your clemency, I beseech You, and make use of Your great mercy in his behalf. O God most just, if he has not always been attentive to please You, at least he has not despised those who made profession of serving You with fidelity.”

The day on which she had that wonderful ecstasy, during which she visited the different prisons of Purgatory, seeing again the soul of her brother, she said to him, “Poor soul, how you suffer! and nevertheless you rejoice. You burn and you are satisfied, because you know well that these sufferings must lead you to a great and unspeakable felicity. How happy shall I be, should I never have to endure greater suffering! Remain here, my dear brother, and complete your purification in peace.”

MLA Citation