There is a place where souls mourn and love differently from us. Where the gaze no longer rests on the self but looks out in mercy towards others. It is a place where the yearning to be reunited with God permeates everything, lighting a terrible fire of suffering within all who reside here.
It is Purgatory. A place which knows a fire-lashed thirst for God that none on earth has ever known.
God first stirred my spirit to mercy more than twenty years ago through the sufferings of souls in Purgatory. From that old night when I first read of this place and its pain, nothing has been more powerful to take me away from the laments of personal needs and wants. However hard and broken life has been in the ensuing years, the slightest whisper from Purgatory had a power beyond words to make me forget myself in order to wet the parchedness of yearning in souls who can no longer help themselves.
It was time yesterday to begin my nine day novena to St Padre Pio, to be dressed right for his feast day on the 23rd of this month. But as I turned it over in my mind, it didn’t feel right to petition him for any earthly need of mine. I wondered what my Father Pio would most want of me as a gift for his feast day, woven from nine days of prayer.
Empty Purgatory, came his answer.