Life May Seem Bitter And Short, But How Great Is Reward For Those 'Well Tested'
[adapted from Michael H. Brown's After Life]
In purgatory there are levels and at the topmost levels -- at least, the saints and mystics have said -- is the final purging of bad habits and faulty ways and attachments of the world.
The soul is refined like polished silver.
When a soul is ready for release such is often conducted by the Virgin and Archangel Michael.
"She comes to purgatory on her feasts and she goes back to Heaven with many souls," a nun we have called "Sister O" (see wanted anonymity) said in a famous revelation. "St. Michael accompanies her. 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. Those who have forgotten the holy souls are forgotten in their turn. When God allows it, we can communicate directly with St. Michael in the way that spirits communicate. We see 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 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 body.”
Except for our relation with Jesus, Who we should go to directly, nothing is of more solace than the relation with Mary. The Blessed Mother is there to assist souls and those souls dedicated to her throughout their lives are specially visited as they are waiting their exit.
When a mystic named Sister Paola di Santa Teresa was in ecstasy one day, she was taken to a purgatory where she saw the Virgin surrounded by a countless retinue of angels who were with her to free the souls.
There is also the role of plenary indulgences. They are not to be despised or neglected. They do work. But to entirely gain them the soul must have the right disposition of will and heart. God permits indulgences according to our dispositions. We receive what God wants us to receive. When a soul is close to Heaven it may take only one well-gained indulgence to tip the balance.
I found it fascinating that both the nun of the purgatory revelation and the Virgin at Medjugorje both said it is not All Souls’ Day but Christmas when the most souls are freed from purgatory. “On All Souls’ Day many souls leave the place of expiation and go to Heaven,” said Sister O in the 19th century. “Also, by a 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."
Earth is a great gift from God but it absolutely pales compared with our true home, which is Heaven.
And to draw close to it we have to watch over our every thought and offer everything in perfect union with God. He and only He is our chief companion and witness. He is the one we should go to every day for instructions on what to do. We must not be overly attached to anything or anyone of this passing world.
How great is what awaits us! How short and bitter can be life -- but how glorious is the reward for those who are purged and well tested!
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