When writing about Purgatory and the absolute probability that most of us will end there, the whys and wherefores always raise questions. If we would take just a slight pause from the busy commerce life presents to us and listen to the whisper that Elijah felt on Mt. Horeb. The voice of God is always speaking, yet not too many are listening. Throughout the Old Testament God sent prophets to teach how much He wanted the chosen people to render thanks and obedience to Him. As we see, it took His only Begotten Son to suffer, die, and rise to forgive and redeem each soul for His Father.
Is anyone still listening? Have we heard the words of the prophets written on subway walls or experienced the onslaught of careless living and still do not understand the call that God sent throughout many centuries for our salvation?
The very term suffering has more meaning than to grit our teeth and bear a little discomfort as each day may present us with an opportunity to redeem our sins. Yes, Jesus Christ went to Calvary, was nailed the the Cross, and shed every drop of His Precious Blood for our sins. But there is reparation that is required by every one of us, even after we die. Those sins, forgiven at Calvary, must be expiated to appease Almighty God for the very intent each of us committed.
Purgatory is the final existence that awaits each one to be expiated or cleansed for our sins. However, have you wondered how much so many are not willing to go through some of that now, especially when trials enter our lives and we do everything to side-step them, if possible.
Many saints have sought out at times excruciating pain for the expiation of the sins of other souls, both here on earth and in Purgatory. It may not seem the most intelligent way to assist those who have died, but for those who do choose to do this will be reaching into the most holy realm of becoming saints.
To appease God by acts of suffering for those they don’t even know does not make God sadistic, but opens the way for many who have no one to pray for them. Becoming one who takes on the role of suffering for others is the most perfect way of sharing the sufferings of Christ. (See Col. 1: 24) “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church.”
Take time to read the lives of some of the most ardent saints who suffered willingly and who by their very extraordinary tribulations made a path for others because of the very love they had in presenting to God themselves by being nailed with Christ on the Cross. Yes, with all the sacrifice each one offers to God the sufferings of Christ are diminished in a way that shows the many who choose to change places with the Crucified Christ.
This is what expiation for the sins of so many who are alone in Purgatory and can not alleviate the sins on their own soul are now relieved by some of the time they must endure from the absence of the Beatific Vision with their Father in Heaven.
From one who prays rosaries consistently for poor souls in Purgatory, I have realized that is not enough. This is my personal opinion for me and realize there is always more I can do. Without listing any maladies that may be part of my own life, it us apparent that suffering, even in the smallest way, reaches our Father if we offer it up for the expiation of souls who can not help themselves. It may be the easiest, even if painful, to give back to God what He gave us through the Paschal Mystery and His most Precious Son’s Sacrifice.
We are in a period of great sadness that our Father has allowed his creatures to go on and on without reparation that he seeks from us. This is not an appeal for more prayers, although that is always essential. This comes as a warning, not from me, but through so many chosen and willing angels of the earth that know and cry out because of the silence that screams for Grace and falls without ever reaching God’s lonely and helpless souls.
Ralph B. Hathaway November 2018