LIBERA ME, Domine, Iesu Christe, ab omnibus iniquitatis meis et universis malis,
fac me tuis semper inhærere mandatis et a te numquam separari permittas. Amen.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Trying for a non-stop ticket to Heaven

S. Joseph Cafasso, in his Preparation for Death (which is basically the one I use each month) has one petition which some people find a little strange :

The sorrow which I experience, I Lord, for not having loved Thee, the desire which I feel to love Thee ever more, renders this life burdensome and distasteful, and makes me pray Thee to shorten my days on earth, and to pardon me my Purgatory in the next life, so that I soon may arrive at loving Thee in Paradise. I ask of Thee this grace, O Lord, not through fear of punishment . . . which I confess that I deserve a thousand times more . . . but from the sincere desire to love Thee much, to love Thee soon, and to love Thee face to face in Paradise. Let the anguish which I feel, O God, for not having loved Thee, and the danger which I am running of offending Thee and not loving Thee more, serve as my Purgatory !
‘What a peculiar request’, one may think : ‘what chance there is of God granting that ?’ . . . but the more I have thought about it, the more I have come to think that there is something in it : something on which we may very properly meditate, and for which we may very properly hunger.

Our way to Paradise, and the vision of God face-to-face, is barred by the need to atone fully for our sins – something which, of course, we are to do in Purgatory.

Surely, though, the more exactly we recognize our sins, the more deeply we suffer remorse for them, and thus the more we are going through in this life; and thus, by inference, the less we shall have to go through in Purgatory before we can join God in His Heaven.

We’re not, you see, asking to be forgiven Purgatory : what we’re asking is to love Our Lord so deeply in this life that we gain a true and sincere contrition for our sins, and are through that sorrow able to pay for our sins to such an extent that, when we come to the hour of our death, there is nothing left for which to atone in Purgatory, so that we can properly and justly go straight to Heaven.

Of course we’re only asking for it; and if we are realistic, we must accept that the chances of us ever being able to atone adequately in this life – beset as we are on every side by temptation and distraction – for all the sins we have committed is very small : but still, we can want to, and try to, and above all struggle at every moment of our lives to love Our Lord . . . and through His mercy and grace we just might end up with sufficient merit to avail us as an ‘entry ticket’ direct to Paradise.

OK : it’s not very likely . . . but we can still try; so perhaps we should.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for that. I've found St Joseph Cafasso's prayers of preparation for death, and will be using them this evening.