Happiness in Purgatory

Happiness in Purgatory

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Happiness in Purgatory by Anonymous

Published:

1897

Pages:

19

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982

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Happiness in Purgatory

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Book Excerpt

Travellers from earth, covered with the mud and dust of its long road, could never wish to enter the banquet-room of eternity in their travel-stained garments. "Take me away!" cried Gerontius to his angel. It was a cry of anguish as well as desire, for Gerontius, blessed soul though he is, could not face heaven just as earth had left him. He has the true instinct of the traveller at his journey's end. Dust, rust, and the moth have marked their presence, and even the oddities and eccentricities of earthly pilgrimage must be obliterated before the home of eternity can be entered. De mortuis nil nisi bonum is interpreted, nothing short of heaven for those who have crossed the bourne. But, if the heavenly gates are thrown open to the travellers all weary and footsore, "not having on a nuptial garment," no heterogeneous meeting here on earth could compete with the gathering of disembodied spirits from its four quarters. It is human ignorance alone which canonizes all the departed, and insists on a direct passage from time to heaven. The canonization is not ratified in heaven, because heaven would not exist if it took place. The Beatific Vision is incompatible with the shadow of imperfection. To act as if it were belongs to the same order of things as rending the garment of Christian unity.

Purgatory makes heaven, in the sense that heaven would not be possible for men without it. As well might we try to reach a far-off planet, which is absolutely removed from our sphere, an unknown quantity, though a fact scienc

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