November 2, 2006

All Souls Day

Last Sunday after the early Mass I was sitting having coffee with some of the brothers, and they were teasing one another. The one was telling the other that he was earning more and more time in purgatory for his teasing.

As if purgatory is a bad thing! In fact, it is a teaching about the outrageous kindness and mercy of God. Even if we haven't finished - or hardly begun - getting ourselves ready for the full vision of God upon our earthly death, God has provided this manner, this time, this place - who knows what it is really - to complete our purification.

Sometimes I hear people say that this world is a test, and they're right in a way. But it's not like a final exam or a drug test. Yes, we have a choice whether to accept or reject the revelation of God the Father in Jesus Christ. But God is so good that the odds are stacked way in our favor. Even if we don't finish the "test" in this life, God has provided a way for us to be further purified after our death.

To wake up one day in purgatory is a great joy! Because there is only one exit from purgatory: the presence of God.

God wants nothing more than to save the world from it's insistence on its own misery, and bring us into the perfect peace and joy that is God himself. In fact, God is literally just dying to save us.


Kelly Joyce Neff said...

The outrageous kindness and mercy of God... thank you for that beautiful phrase! I hope we always remember that the declaration of intention prayer before Mass calls them 'the holy souls in purgatory'

Chris Dickson, F.L.A. said...

Purgation is never easy, but it is a "necessary evil" if we are to come face-to-face with God.

It's interesting to me that we can experience purgatory here on earth or after death. Either way, it's a very dark night...but "there's light at the end of the tunnel!"