Now I begin indeed to be the disciple of Christ." "Oh, the happy stroke of a sword," might St. Paul well exclaim, "that no sooner cuts off my head, but it makes a breach for my soul to enter into heaven. Let it be far from me to glory in anything, but in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let all evils band against me, and let my body be never so overloaded with afflictions, the joy of my heart will be sure to have the mastery, and my soul will be still replenished with such heavenly consolations that no words, nor even thoughts, are able to express it."
You may imagine, then, that the souls, once unfettered from the body, may, together with their torments, be capable of great comforts and divine favours, and break forth into resolute, heroical and even supercelestial acts.The Holy Ghost tells us, that " the corruptible body is a load upon the soul, and the earthly habitation presseth down the mind that museth upon many things." (Wisdom IX:15) So that a soul, by the infirmities of the body, is violently kept from the free exercise of her functions; whereas, if the body were supple, pliable, and willing to follow the persuasions of a resolute and generous soul, or the inspirations with which she is plentifully supplied from above, what might we not be able to do, even in this life ? Now, that which is not done here,
but by very few, who are looked upon as so many miracles and prodigies of men, is easily performed by those separate holy souls, who are in the very porch of heaven, assured of their salvation.Lastly; would you have a most perfect exemplar and idea of this wonderful combination of joys and griefs in one single person ? You may clearly see it in the most sacred Person of our Blessed Saviour; who, in the midst of His bitter Passion, and in the very height of His Agony and extreme dereliction, when
He not only seemed to have been abandoned by His Eternal Father, but had even abandoned and forsaken Himself, by miraculously withholding the superior part of His blessed Soul from relieving and assisting the inferior,yet even then, had all the comforts of heaven, and saw God face to face, and consequently, was at the self-same time most happy, by the fruition of the beatifical vision : and yet so oppressed with griefs, that He cried out Himself, " My Soul is sorrowful unto death;" and again,
" O My God, alas ! why hast Thou thus forsaken Me !"Conceive something like unto this, of the souls in Purgatory, who are most miserably tormented, and yet replenished with heavenly comforts.
Link (here) to this portion of the book entitled, Purgatory Surveyed by Fr. W.H. Anderdon, S.J.