Tag: souls in Purgatory

A Soul In Purgatory Leaves Proof Of Purgatory As She Request For Prayers.

A Soul In Purgatory Leaves Proof Of Purgatory As She Request For Prayers.

The burnt print of the right hand of Sister Teresa Gesta

A Religious sister in Purgatory appears to another sister asking for prayers and leaves a proof of Purgatory.

Fr. Shouppe relates in his book on Purgatory that Teresa Gesta, a religious of the Franciscan Sisters in Foligno, Italy, who had served many years as a mistress of novices and was a model of fervor and charity, died suddenly on November 4, 1859, of a stroke of apoplexy. Twelve days later, the soul of Teresa appeared to Sister Anna Felicia in the sacristy of the same Convent. Sister Felicia described it:

“Then the room was filled with a thick smoke, and the spirit of Sister Teresa appeared, moving towards the door and gliding along by the wall. Having reached the door, she cried aloud, ‘Behold a proof of the mercy of God.’ 

“Saying these words, she struck the upper panel of the door and there left the print of her right hand, burnt in the wood as with a red-hot iron. She, then, disappeared.” 

Because of this apparition, Teresa Gesta’s body was exhumed, and the hand of the deceased, remarkable for its especially small size, fit perfectly into the impression mark. All of this is well documented. If one were to visit that Convent’s chapel today, he would find that very handprint on the upper panel of the door. 

Such a demonstration should help alleviate the skepticism of those who find such stories to be “fantastic” or even “fanatical” and, therefore, not worthy of belief. 

Since this apparition, as well as other visitations of suffering souls, took place in the 19th century, this should counter the tendency to view these stories as “medieval” or something out of the so called “dark” ages. 

God sends us such proofs of His justice to counter the skepticism that leads, not just those outside the Church but even otherwise good Catholics within, to consider these divine manifestations unpalatable to modern ears. Our Lord could rightly say of these people what was stated earlier concerning what Our Lady related to Sister Lucy sometime after the Fatima apparitions, “Both the good and the bad ignore my message.” 

Why did the deceased  Sister Gesta speak about the mercy of God in her great suffering, demonstrated by the vivid and terrifying burn mark left on the door by her hand? I believe that the sign she left behind was, in fact, a mercy, a warning to us of what awaits those of us who are not prepared at death to enter directly into the presence of God. 

As Fr. Schouppe observed, “In giving us a warning of this kind, God shows us a great mercy. He urges us, in the most efficacious manner, to assist the poor suffering souls, and to be vigilant in our regard.” This example is not unique. Fr. Schouppe reports many such incidents.

For persons who are afraid of the justice of God and can become disheartened rather than encouraged by these examples, I believe they could learn something from the example of the three children at Fatima who were shown Hell “where the souls of poor sinners go.” Far from being discouraged at what they saw, they redoubled their efforts to make sacrifices so that sinners could obtain the grace of perfect contrition before death and avoid both the eternal flames of Hell and the transitory flames of Purgatory.

Incidentally, Sister Lucy revealed that the souls that she, Francisco and Jacinta saw in Hell were burning from flames that seemed to come from within them. If such is what the three children saw concerning the souls in Hell who are as yet without their bodies, then it should be no problem to accept that the same can be said for the souls in Purgatory. 

While these stories of Purgatory may not impress us as strongly as did the actual apparition of Hell that Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco saw, it can still inspire us to do more for the Poor Souls to relieve them from the fiery torment and help them leave it as quickly as possible. 

We should not become discouraged, thinking, “Well, if that is the case with that holy Sister, then there is no hope for the likes of me.” We must not read these stories making too close a connection with ourselves. When reading accounts of the deceased, it is prudent to recall that, no matter the similarities to our lives in the details of why this soul or that soul is in Purgatory, we are only getting part of the story. 

It is the whole life of the person that is the subject of one’s Particular Judgment, which includes not just virtues and vices, but circumstances of upbringing, education and any number of other factors that have played a part in making someone what he is at the Judgment. 

Therefore, it is important that we take from these stories what they are meant to instill: an increase in charity and devotion towards the Suffering Souls, and not a morbid curiosity or exact idea of what our own particular judgments will be.

How The Sufferings Of The Souls In Purgatory Are Coupled With Joy – St. Catherine Of Genoa. 

How The Sufferings Of The Souls In Purgatory Are Coupled With Joy – St. Catherine Of Genoa. 

How suffering in Purgatory is coupled with joy.

Know that what man deems perfection in himself is in God’s sight faulty, for all the things a man does which he sees or feels or means or wills or remembers to have a perfect life are wholly fouled and sullied unless he acknowledge them to be from God.

If a work is to be perfect, it must be correctly and carefully done in us but not chiefly by us, for God’s works must be done in Him and not done chiefly by man. Such works are those last work in us by God of His pure and clean love, by Him alone without merit of ours, and so penetrating are the and such fire do the kindle in the soul, that the body which wraps it seems to be consumed as in a furnace never to be quenched until death.

It is true that love for God which fills the soul to overflowing, gives it, so I see it, a happiness beyond what can be told, but this happiness takes not one pang from the pain of the souls in Purgatory. Rather the love of these souls, finding itself hindered, causes their pain; and the more perfect is the love of which God has made them capable, the greater is their pain.

So that the souls in Purgatory enjoy the greatest happiness and endure the greatest pain. The one does not hinder the other.

How God Uses Purgatory To Make The Holy Souls Pure And The Desire Of These Souls To Be Wholly Cleansed Of The Stains Of Their Sins – St. Catherine Of Genoa.

How God Uses Purgatory To Make The Holy Souls Pure And The Desire Of These Souls To Be Wholly Cleansed Of The Stains Of Their Sins – St. Catherine Of Genoa.


How God uses Purgatory to make the soul wholly pure.

The soul acquires in Purgatory a purity so great that were it well for it still to stay there after it had been purged of sin, it would no longer suffer.

I see, too, certain rays and shafts of light which go out from that divine love towards the soul and are penetrating and strong enough to seem as though they must destroy not only the body but the soul too, were that possible. Two works are wrought by these rays, the first purification and the second destruction.

Look at gold: the more you melt it, the better it becomes. You could melt it until you had destroyed in it every imperfection. Thus does fire work on material things. The soul cannot be destroyed in so far as it is in God, but in so far as it is in itself it can be destroyed. The more it is purified, the more is self destroyed within it, until at last it is pure in God.

When gold has been purified up to twenty-four carats, it can no longer be consumed by any fire. Not gold itself but only dross can be burnt away.

Thus the divine fire works in the soul. God holds the soul in the fire until its every imperfection is burnt away and it is brought to perfection, as it were to the purity of twenty-four carats, each soul however according to its own degree.

When the soul has been purified it stays wholly in God, having nothing of self in it; its being is in God who has led this cleansed soul to Himself. It can suffer no more for nothing is left in it to be burnt away were it held in the fire when it has thus been cleansed, it would feel no pain. Rather the fire of divine love would be to it like eternal life and in no way contrary to it.

Of the desire of souls in Purgatory to be wholly cleansed of the stains of their sins.

The wisdom of God who suddenly hides their faults from these souls created this souls, as well as conditioned it as capable for reaching perfection if it live as God has ordained and do not foul itself with any stain of sin. But having fouled itself by original sin, it loses its gifts and graces and lies dead, nor can it rise again save by God’s means. And when God, by baptism, has raised it from the dead, it is still prone to evil, inclining and being led to actual sin unless it resist. And thus it dies again.

Then God by another special grace raises it again, yet it stays so sullied and so turned to self that all the divine workings of which we have spoken are needed to recall it to its first state in which God created it, without them it could never get back. And when the soul finds itself on the road back to its first state, its need to be transformed in God kindles in it a fire so great that this is its Purgatory. Not that it can look upon this as Purgatory, but its instinct to God, aflame and thwarted, makes Purgatory.

A last act of love is done by God without help from man. So many hidden imperfections are in the soul that, did it see them, it would live in despair. But in the state of which we have spoken they are all burnt away, and only when they have gone does God show them to the soul, so that it may see that divine working which kindles the fire of love in which its imperfections have been burnt away.

What Is The Highest Punishment Of Purgatory? And How Does It Differ From Hell? 

What Is The Highest Punishment Of Purgatory? And How Does It Differ From Hell? 

Separation From God Is The Chief Punishment Of Purgatory.

How Purgatory differs from Hell.

All the pains of Purgatory arise from original or actual sin. God created the soul pure, simple and clean of all stain of sin, with a certain beatific instinct towards Himself whence original sin, which the soul finds in itself, draws it away, and when actual sin is added to original sin, the soul is drawn yet further away. The further it departs from its beatific instinct, the more malignant it becomes because it corresponds less to God.

There can be no good save by participation in God, who meets the needs of irrational creatures as He wills and has ordained, never failing them, and answers to a rational soul in the measure in which He finds it cleansed of sin’s hindrance. When therefore a soul has come near to the pure and clear state in which it was created, its beatific instinct discovers itself and grows unceasingly, so impetuously and with such fierce charity (drawing it to its last end) that any hindrance seems to this soul a thing past bearing. The more it sees, the more extreme is its pain. Because the souls in Purgatory are without the guilt of sin, there is no hindrance between them and God except their pain, which holds them back so that they cannot reach perfection.

Clearly they see the grievousness of every least hindrance in their way, and see too that their instinct is hindered by a necessity of justice: thence is born a raging fire, like that of Hell save that guilt is lacking to it. Guilt it is which makes the will of the damned in Hell malignant, on whom God does not bestow His goodness and who remain therefore in desperate ill will, opposed to the will of God.

Source:

Treatise Of Purgatory By St. Catherine of Genoa.

%d bloggers like this: