From the article linked above by Dr. Remi Amelunxen:
St. Margaret Mary, tells us about the time she beheld the apparition of one of her sisters in religion, recently deceased. That sister implored her prayers and suffrages; she was suffering cruelly in Purgatory. “See,” she said to St. Margaret, “the bed I lie on, where I am enduring intolerable pains.” I saw that bed, writes the saint, and it still makes me shudder; it was bristling with sharp and fiery spikes which entered the flesh. The deceased added that she was suffering this torture for her sloth and negligence in observing the rule. “This is not all,” she said again; “My heart is torn in my bosom to punish my murmurs against my superiors; my tongue is eaten by worms for my words contrary to charity and my breaches of silence. But all this is a small matter in comparison with another pain which God made me experience; although it did not last long, it was more painful to me than all my sufferings.” The saint, having desired to know what this dire pain was, she replied, “God showed me one of my near female relatives who had died in a state of mortal sin sentenced by the Supreme Judge and dashed into Hell. That sight caused me a fright, horror, pain that no tongue could communicate.”
As we enter Passiontide, our focus turns especially to the strengthening of our virtues in keeping with the commemoration of Our Lord’s Sacrifice for all mankind. For today’s reflection, I have focused on this vision of St. Margaret Mary as a reminder of how God punishes even those small sins that we might not regard as all that serious. Indeed, the faults mentioned in the apparition can be found quite commonly even among good Catholics. Let us consider them both and strive to eliminate them from our lives so that we might escape the nourishing but terrible fires of Purgatory!
The first sin mentioned is “sloth and negligence in observing the rule”. This is not simply limited to a strict rule to be followed by Religious, but is rather a question of whether we performed our daily duty. The common example given is the father who spends his money on alcohol and consequently robs his family of basic necessities. This is certainly true, but there are other ways of not fulfilling our daily duty that we might barely consider. Are the parents taking the children to Mass when possible and ensuring that they recite their Rosary and evening prayers? Are efforts taken to enroll the children in a good Catholic school, whether it be a traditional Catholic school or (in necessity today) homeschooling? Are we leaving our duties to the side because of hours on social media or the television? There are countless examples for every state of life and it is our duty to examine ourselves so that we might do our best, with Our Lord’s loving help.
The second sin concerns slight rebellion against superiors and other sins of the tongue, particularly gossip. In this revolutionary age where disregarding one’s superiors is encouraged, it can be very easy for us to fall into this sin. The beast of the World Wide Web also encourages by its nature slanderous remarks about anyone or anything under the cover of anonymity. We must remember that the faults of our neighbor must not be discussed except in exceptional circumstances. It is our duty always for us to see good first and not to trust petty rumors or “buzz” floating around. Oh, the countless stories to tell of parishes, both conciliar and Traditional, that have had to endure hardships because a few people couldn’t hold their tongue!! Unfortunately, the Internet makes it simple for disgruntled souls to voice calumnies, resulting in much dissension. These souls use the principles of the Revolution even if they claim to be against it. We should thank God that the great number of Traditionalists are still united considering the decadence of our society. Let us not contribute to it!
Our next post will hopefully be of much assistance to our readers in preparing for Palm Sunday.
~ Steven C.