He speaks of our Lord as " blotting out the handwriting of the decree that was against us, which was contrary to us; and He hath taken the same out of the way, fastening it to His Gross, and despoiling the principalities and powers, He hath exposed them confidently in open show, triumphing over them in Himself"
His words remind us of the image which our Lord used on more than one occasion, of the " strong armed man," who keeps his court and his goods in peace, until a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, and takes away all his armour in which he trusted and distributes his spoils.t The intense pride and arrogance of the devils made it most difficult for them to understand how they were to be conquered and baulked by the humiliations of our Lord, and, in the same way, they are for ever being disappointed and spoiled of their prey in the case of Christian souls * Coloss. ii. 14, 15. t St. Luke xi. 21, 22. which are rescued from their very jaws by the grace which is the fruit of those humiliations. These victories tend immensely to the glory of God and of our Lord, and are perpetual occasions of fresh discomfitures to His enemies.
Thousands of souls, for instance, are saved from them by the last Sacraments duly received, even after a long course of sin; thousands more by interior graces, such as the power to make an act of contrition at the last moment, which are, no doubt, special favours on which no one could be so foolish as to reckon without almost certainly, by that very presumption, debarring himself from them, but which still are granted in a measure of which we have no knowledge to many sinners who would be lost without them, on account of the intercession of our Lady or the Saints, or in reward for some good work or service to God and the Church done long before, it may be, by the person or by some one to whom he belongs.
Again, it may be considered as certain that God takes the soul out of the world at a moment when He sees it to be merciful to do so, knowing that if it lives on it will not be better, or that if its life is not shortened it may be worse. For the moment of the death of each one of us is entirely in the hands of God. In these and in other ways the malice of the enemies of our souls is constantly defeated, to their great indignation and confusion and disappointment, and to the great glory of God. All this part of His Providence, in their own case, is clear to the Holy Souls of Purgatory.
Link (here) to the referenced portion book entitled, The Prisioners of the King, thoughts on the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory by Henry James Coleridge, S.J.