THE SOULS IN PURGATORY LOVE GOD… YET CANNOT SEE HIM.
The more one loves an object, the more one desires to see it. The souls in purgatory love God ardently, and therefore burn with an insatiable thirst to see Him.” Love,” says the Angelic Doctor,” is not satisfied with affection only, but of its own nature tends to union ; and hence it is that friends are not satisfied with wishing each other well, but endeavour and seek to see each other.” Who can set forth the pair that these souls suffer in finding themselves in purgatory, deprived of the sight of their God that they love? If Absalom, the son of David, protested, when in punishment for his sins, he was deprived of the sight of his father, that he would rather have suffered death than such a punishment; what must be the pain of these souls in purgatory, loosed from the snares of the body, deprived of senses, not wheedled by objects of sense, led by nature to seek their God, quick through grace and impelled to turn by love? What must their agony be? What tears, what groans, what sighs must they not send from their hearts while they belong entirely to God, and yet are bereft of God? And shall we not take their pangs to heart?
Ah, when shall those afflicted souls Their exile end, and see Thy face, That face they love, and dwell, my God, Within thy fatherly embrace?
Out of the depths I have cried to thee, O Lord: Lord, hear my voice. Let thy ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication. If thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities: Lord, who shall stand it. For with thee there is merciful forgiveness: and by reason of thy law, I have waited for thee, O Lord. My soul hath relied on his word: My soul hath hoped in the Lord. From the morning watch even until night, let Israel hope in the Lord. Because with the Lord there is mercy: and with him plentiful redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.
Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord; and. let perpetual light shine upon them.
St. Malachy, the Bishop of Ireland, will be the protector of this day. St. Bernard writes concerning him, that when he was but a deacon, he was very forward to perform the obsequies of the dead, and to bury them with his own hands. With his sacrifices he liberated from purgatory the soul of his sister, who was condemned to it for having rebuked him for these works of charity: he died upon the very day of All Souls. (St. Bernard, in the life of St. Malachy.)
On the second day of November, on which the Church makes a solemn commemoration of the faithful departed, (of which the institutor, or at all events most zealous promoter, is said to have been St. Odilo, Abbot of Cluny, who lived in the tenth century,) many Saints have been remarkable for praying for these souls. Blessed John of Alvernia, of the order of the Minors, used to celebrate on this day the holy Mass for the souls of the faithful departed with so much fervour, that it seemed as if he wished to melt his whole self into tears. One occasion, while elevating the most holy Body of the Lord, he offered it to the Eternal Father, praying Him, with the utmost fervour, that He would deign, for the merits of His only- begotten Son, to set the souls in purgatory free from such great pains, and admit them to His glory; he saw a great multitude mount to Paradise, in the form of a great number of sparks coming out of a furnace. Let us, then, endeavour, in imitation of the Saints, to distinguish ourselves particularly upon this day, by giving suffrages to these blessed souls. (Turlot de Purgat.)