Plinio Corręa de Oliveira
Place of expiation for the faithful after death
“Britain needs Fatima Members’ Newsletter”, Issue 57, June 2013 (*)
St. Anthony of Lisbon (or Padua) helps the souls in Purgatory (Sanctuary of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Genazzano, Italy)
Purgatory is the place for expiation par excellence. Those souls who need to be purified of some fault go there before seeing God in His essence in Heaven.
Saint Catherine of Genoa (author of a treatise on Purgatory) describes that the soul of a good person who dies has a preliminary glimpse of the infinite purity of the essence of God and how this contrasts with his own sinfulness.
Thus while the soul has a glimpse of what it is to possess God and of the unfathomable happiness to possess Him for all eternity in Heaven and feels attracted to Him, this infinite purity makes the soul realise that it is not in condition to present itself to God.
The soul then has two movements: one full of joy and the other full of regret. The movement full of joy leads it to desire to unite itself to God. The movement of regret comes from the contrast between the stains it sees in itself and the infinite purity of God. Because of this, while desiring union with Him, it also desires to be purified.
According to St Catherine of Genoa, the soul is so full of God that it would endure one thousand Hells to be able to be united to Him. For this reason it throws itself into the flames of Purgatory with a passion to be purified so it may be eventually united to the Creator.
In purgatory the soul suffers, but it is a delightful torment because it sees itself being purified of everything that separates it from God. In this way the soul gets closer to God, producing both joy and sadness.
(*) “Britain needs Fatima Members’ Newsletter” is a publication of the Tradition, Family, Property Bureau for the United Kingdom. Enquiries: Britain needs Fatima, P.O. Box 2713, Glasgow G62 6YJ; email: editor @ tfpuk.org.uk