16 Aug

So great is God’s mercy

“So great is God’s mercy that he continues to permit this to happen on the other side of death, when I have finally been faced with the limits of my own resources and the disordered affections that I have harboured in order to prevent God possessing me all in all.

The very love my deepest heart was longing for

How painful must that longing be, which knows for the asking I could have had the very love my deepest heart was longing for, and that in my fear, timidity, stupidity or selfishness, my clinging to things that pass, I have deformed myself and made myself unready for heaven.

Clinging to things that pass

The suffering of purgatory I imagine to be a very bittersweet thing. The bitterness will be of my own making. It will be like the childish sorrow when some long-anticipated, beautiful, pristine gift is damaged to the extent that I feel totally different about possessing it or even having wanted it: a disillusionment with the false self I created by my need to attach myself to things less durable than my soul, which is the form of my person.

Everything everlasting

I will have to live with that disillusionment until God knows the point at which I have learnt my lesson, the lesson being what, or rather whom I mistook them for. Hope is what will sweeten the disillusionment: the hope that the giver of the broken gift wants me to lay it aside to receive what he first intended to give me – everything he has and is that does not die.”

– Pastor Iuventus, Diary of a City Priest (Redemptorist Press); in the Catholic Herald newspaper, issue November 7 2014. For subscriptions please visit (external link)


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