The following excerpts are taken from a booklet entitled “An Unpublished Manuscript on Purgatory.” 6 This booklet consists of a collection of conversations of a certain Sr. M. de L. C. with a soul in Purgatory which took place in the late 1800’s:
When the soul leaves the body it is as if it were lost in or, if I may say so, surrounded by God. It finds itself in such a bewildering light that in the twinkling of an eye it sees its whole life spread out, and at this sight, it sees what it deserves, and this same light pronounces its sentence. The soul does not see God but is annihilated in His presence. If the soul is guilty as I was and, therefore, deserves to go to Purgatory, it is so crushed by the weight of the faults that still remain to be blotted out, that it hurls itself into Purgatory. (p.30)
Each day thousands of souls come to Purgatory and most of them remain thirty to forty years, some for longer periods, others for shorter. I tell you all this in terms of earthly calculations because here it is quite different. Oh, if people only knew and understood what Purgatory is and what it means to know that we are here through our own fault. I have been here eight years and it seems to me like ten thousand. Oh my God! (p.26)
the fire of Purgatory is a purification prescribed by God’s justice and that [fire] of the earth is very mild compared to that of Purgatory. It is a shadow compared to the furnace of Divine Justice. (p.29)
Yes, I suffer very much, but my greatest torment is not seeing God. It is a continuous martyrdom. It makes me suffer more than does the fire of Purgatory. (p.3)
While you are on earth, it is impossible to understand what God demands of a soul expiating its sins in Purgatory. You are under the impression that many prayers, well said, will place a soul almost at once in possession of eternal happiness. It is nothing of the kind. Who can fathom the judgments of God? Who can understand how pure a soul must be before He admits it to share His eternal happiness? Alas, if people only knew, it they would only consider it while still on earth, what different lives they would lead!
Seriously reflect how many venial sins one who is careless about her eternal salvation commits in one day. How many minutes does she offer up to God? Does she think of Him seriously at all? Well, there are 365 days in one year, and if there are many such years, that person dies charged with a multitude of venial sins which have not been blotted out because she has not even thought of them.When such a soul appears before God to be judged there is scarcely a spark of love left in that soul when she comes to render an account of her life to Him who demands it back from her. Such all but sterile lives have to be begun all over again, when they reach this place of expiation. Lives lived without love for God will have to be atoned for here in Purgatory with intense sufferings. Whilst on earth, they did not profit by the mercy of God, but lived merely for the sake of the body. Now to regain their first splendor, they have to make satisfaction to the last farthing. That is what happens to indifferent souls. For souls of greater guilt, it is far worse.
Try to love God now so much that you will not have to come here in order to learn how to love Him through sufferings which are without merit. The sufferings and trials on earth are meritorious, therefore, do not lose one of them — but above all, love. Love wipes out many faults and makes one avoid them so as not to give pain to the One we love. That is why a soul that really loves Jesus is constantly on its guard to avoid everything that would grieve His Divine Heart. There are many souls in Purgatory depending on you to deliver them from this place of suffering. Pray with all your heart for them.
To be a friend of Jesus on earth entails suffering of body and soul.
The more He loves a soul, the more He shares with it the sorrow He endured for us. Happy is the soul thus privileged. What an opportunity for merit! That is the short cut to Heaven. So do not shun suffering, rather welcome it, since it unites you more intimately with Him, whom you truly love. Have I not told you before that love makes everything sweet? Sorrows appear bitter because you do not love enough. The infallible means of arriving quickly at close union with Jesus is love, but love united to suffering. You have had up to this time many crosses and yet you do not love them as Jesus wants you to. (p.54-55)
As for plenary indulgences, I may as well tell you that few, very few people gain them entirely. There has to be such a wonderful disposition of heart and will that it is rare, much rarer than you think it is, to have the entire remission of one’s faults. (p.43)