The Anger of the Lord
"The breath of the Lord is as a torrent of brimstone." - Isaiah 30:33
Can we not say that this breath of the Lord which is terrible as a torrent of brimstone is the Holy Ghost? For, since He is the personified love of the Father and Son, and great love causes great liatred, and great hatred great revenge, it is He who gives the punishment for sin, and, as He is God, He exercises vengeance as a God. So that all men together, with creatures and demons combined, could not give to the fire which burns souls the amount of strength it has to torment them, for this requires the alm.ighty power of God. Let us cry, then, with the prophet Isaias: "Behold the name of the Lord Cometh from afar, His wrath burneth and is heavy to bear; His lips are filled with indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire." "Alas! Lord," said the prophet-king, "Thy arrows are fastened in me, and Thy hand hath been heavy upon me."
Saint Bernard descended in spirit into this burning gulf of Purgatory, and after having seen what he called a great vision, exclaimed, "Woe to us if we do not accomplish all our penance on earth, and that we should be obliged to accomplish it in this insupportable fire, more cruel and more ardent than anything imaginable!"
A Moment in Purgatory
Turlot relates that a sick man suffering great pains during a year finally asked God to let him die. The choice of three days in Purgatory or of another year of suffering on earth was offered to him through an angel. The invalid chose the three days in Purgatory. Scarcely had he found himself there than, visited anew by the angel, he complained of suffering many years, in place of the three days which had been offered to him. "Why," replied the angel, "you have only been here a moment; your body is still warm, and you speak of many years!" This soul earnestly asked to return to the earth and suffer again the same pains for a year. His request having been granted, the invalid incited all who came to see him to accept readily the pains of this world, rather than expose themselves to those of the other.
Devote some minutes to spiritual reading. Happy are they who make this a daily practice!
Most powerful Lord, God of Israel, the souls of those who love Thee cry to Thee in the grief which oppresses them, and in the violence of the desire which consumes them. As a thirsty stag pants after a spring of living water, so they sigh after Thee; they burn with an ardent thirst to enjoy Thee Who art the living God. They say unceasingly, "When shall it be given to me to appear in the presence of God?" They nourish themselves with the bread of tears, because they have not yet had the happiness of possessing Thee. Deign, holy Father, to hear their desires; listen to the voice of the blood of Thy Son which pleads in their behalf; do not longer conceal Thy face from them; pronounce their deliverance, and, remembering Thy mercies, delay not to receive them into Thy eternal tabernacles.
For this purpose, deign to apply to them the indulgences of the following prayer:
Hail Mary, full of sorrows, the Crucified is with thee; tearful art thou amongst women, and tearful is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of the Crucified, grant tears to us, crucifiers of thy Son, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
- text taken from by Father Celestin Cloquet, translated by a Sister of Mercy, with the Imprimatur of Archbishop Michael Augustine Corrigan, Archdiocese of New York, 18 October 1886