Thought for the Day – 2 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Purgatory is the masterpiece of God’s justice and mercy.
St John tells us in the Apocalypse, that nothing defiled can enter into the Heavenly Jerusalem (Apoc 21:27).
There are very few, however, who are privileged to arrive at the supreme moment of death, still wearing their Baptismal robe of innocence.
Even the just man falls very often as the Holy Spirit warns us (Prov 24:16).
We all possess many failings and have been guilty of many sins, either mortal or venial.
It is true, that we can obtain forgiveness by penance and by receiving the Sacraments but, there still remains the temporal punishment due to our sins.
Neither the small penances imposed by the confessor, nor our own tiny acts of voluntary mortification, are sufficient to satisfy our debt.
We cannot be certain, moreover, that we shall be able, at the hour of our death, to cleanse ourselves of all our sins, by means of one good Confession.
Even if we appear before the judgement seat of God without any grave faults, there will still, unfortunately, be many debts to be paid and many imperfections to be purified.
What then will happen to us?
The justice of God cannot admit us, imperfect and defiled as we are, into the everlasting happiness of the Beatific Vision.
Will He reject us, therefore, even as He rejects those who die in mortal sin and are condemned to eternal punishment?
This is unthinkable, for the mercy of God is as infinite as His justice.
And so, there is Purgatory, where the souls of those who have died in the state of grace but, still scarred with imperfections and burdened with debts to be paid, can find a way of purifying themselves and, of making themselves worthy of an everlasting reward.
Let us thank God for this gift, the last link in the chain of His mercies, which enables us to prepare ourselves for our entry into the Beatific Vision.”