Monday, 29 October 2012

Teresa Higginson's experience of the fires of purgatory Part II

Bootle March 1883

First I must tell you that the fire of which I wrote seems to me to be purely spiritual, and I feel that without it I could not have withstood that which it pleased Our Blessed Lord to give to me, or in other words that the human soul must be purified in this flame before it can gaze so far into the infinities of God, and it would seem to me that eye hath not seen nor ear heard nor is it given to the mind of man to conceive this part of the dreadful bitter passion, for the soul finds itself launched out into the infinities of God and carried away in the torrent of His wrath, or pressed down beneath the weight of His judgements, and as the Precious Blood, the stream of life, trickles from the Sacred Heart, it sets the poor trembling soul on fire with desire and love, zeal and impatience, raising it from the earth earthly and pressing on it nearer and nearer, deeper and deeper down into those unfathomable  depths of the infinite attributes of God.

This knowledge is of greater value to the soul than any which God has given to me, and yet I see clearly that I do not know in any way how to express the depths into which I have been plunged by God.  All that it has pleased Him for me to endure in His name (other years) is but a little stream from a scalding torrent He has now deluged my whole being in and saturated me through and through.  The dreadful tortures and awful sufferings which I have been able to write of other years were within the scope of human feeling or human intelligence to conceive, but the most terrible part of the Passion of Jesus was in the soul and in the intellectual faculties.  He had to atone to the all holy and infinitely pure Spirit of God (by His submission) for the sins of the great intelligences which rebelled against God and for whom hell was created.  He had to make full satisfaction for the sins of rational beings made to the image of the Triune God....

I think really without that fire (I don't know exactly but I think it is from God's awful purity) I could not possible have gone through half of that which it pleased our dear divine Lord to give to me, for in the first place I could not have seen things as they really are.  The understanding is wonderfully illuminated and the eye of the soul purified in this fire, and the flame of divine love seems to shoot up higher.  In it I saw man's ingratitude in a deeper dye and God's love for His own glory and for souls in a new and more glorious light than I had ever seen before...

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