Continuing from the previous letter to Fr. Powell on purgatory:
Bootle, December 19th 1880
In reference to what I stated concerning a person not dying in unconsciousness I mean that after the senses of the body are incapable of action the powers of the soul are quite collected, and in that final moment she sees represented to her her true condition before God and also what is revealed of God, so that she is capable of making for the last time in this transitory world an act of faith, hope, charity and contrition. Every soul certainly has not the same amount of grace, but in many the indulgence and prayers of the Church, and more especially the Sacraments, supply for defectiveness in this respect; and then as all things are present with God He accepts in anticipation the act of charity and detestation of sin and the patient endurance of suffering, etc., which she will undergo in purgatory to atone for sin (through the infinite merits of Jesus Christ) for no guilt of sin is remitted in purgatory.
If the will is found to detest sin at the moment of death she is worthy of love, but if there exists an affection for sin, or in other words, if the will is opposed to the holy will of God at death, they are found worthy of hate, and for them there is no remission of sin, and such souls go to hell by God's appointment. And if it were otherwise they would be forced to endure a hell as infinite in pain as it is in duration, but as it is, through the Death and bitter Passion and infinite merits of the Redeemer of man, Jesus Christ, the divine mercy is felt even in hell itself. The reason I say much and yet so little about this point is because I feel it is do difficult to express what I mean. I repeat again that when time is over with us, merit is impossible, and no guilt of sin is remitted after death, for then the will is fixed for eternity.
You will perhaps ask me: if God accepts the act of charity in anticipation, how is it that the soul is not freed at once from the punishment as well as the guilt of sin? And it is this: it is an imperfection in the soul not to have made that act while it had the power of will to do so, I mean it should have paid the debt which was demanded by humbly craving pardon for the love of God alone, and it neglected to do so, and the shadow which passes over the soul in consequence leaves its trace behind...