The Chief Suffering in Purgatory
by Father William G. Most
"Who shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord? Or who shall Stand in His Holy Place?" (Psalm 24:3).
"Who can Stand when He Appears? For He is like a Refiner's Fire" (Malachi 3:2).
The Inspired Writers of the Old Testament had a Great Perception of the Majesty, the
Awful Holiness of God. They knew that nothing
Defiled can Stand-before Him. Yet we Know from Saint Paul (1Corinthians 13:12 )
that in Heaven, the Soul has a
Vision of God, sees Him Face-to-face. That of course is
Metaphorical Language, but yet it Conveys Awesome Truth.
A Soul has no Eyes, nor does
God have a Face. But it does mean, the Soul
will Know God Directly.
How could that be? When we See someone on this Earth, we take into our
Eyes and Brain an Image of him. That works well-enough, for although any Image
is Finite or Limited, so is the Person. But what Image could make God Known? None of course.
So the Soul must Know God without an Image.
This can be only, if God Himself, Directly-joins Himself
to that Soul, to do what an Image would do in Seeing Others.
What then Needs to-be the Absolute Purity of a Soul,
to which He, Who is like a
Refiner's Fire joins Himself! Surely, God
will not Join Himself to anything Defiled.
(A Unity (1) of Body and
Five (5) Senses/
The Major Suffering in Purgatory is the
Temporary Loss of God. That is Hard for us to
Picture now - when we so easily do without Thinking of Him. But then, there will be Distractions
from our Five (5) Senses, which are Gone, when we
Die. More important, with Death, the
Lights go on. We mean this. Our Intelligence
has Two (2) Components:
the Material Brain in our Heads,
the Natural Power of the Spiritual Intellect to Know.
The Power of a Spirit to Know is Wonderfully Great. But at present, the
Two (2) are tied-together, so that One does
not Function without the Other. The Material
Brain therefore Holds-down our Present Ability to Know
God. Therefore, even if the Material Brain in a given Person is of Highest
Quality, yet it is a Poor Thing compared-to the Power of the Spiritual Soul to Know. But
with Death, with the Connection Broken, the Natural
Power of our Spirit to Know, Asserts-itself. Then we Understand the Information about
God we took Across-the-Line with us, even without yet seeing
Him Directly. Then we will Intensely Desire Him - but if the Sentence is
Purgatory, we must do without Him for
Is there Fire in Purgatory?. The Eastern
Segment of the Catholic Church has no such Tradition; the Western does, and
reports Numerous Apparitions of Souls from Purgatory.
In any event, it is most Important to Get our Bills Paid Now, as it were. If we
Pay Them Now, we get at the same Time an Increase in the Power of the
Soul to Eventually see God. But Paying them Later, in
Purgatory, brings no such Increase; it is just Paying old Bills.