Monday, November 05, 2007

Sins Against Charity Are Severly Punished in Purgatory

True Charity is humble and indulgent towards others, respecting them as though they were their superiors. Her words are always friendly, and full of consideration for others, having nothing of bitterness nor coldness, nothing savoring of contempt, because she is born of a heart that is meek and humble like that of Jesus. She also takes every means, makes every sacrifice to effect a reconciliation, according to the words of our Divine Master, If thou offer thy gift at the altar, and there thou remember that thy brother hath anything against thee,leave there thy offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to thy brother, and then coming thou shalt offer thy gift. (Matt. 5:23)
A Religious having wounded Charity in regard to St. Louis Bertrand, received a terrible chastisement after death. He was plunged into the fire of Purgatory, which he had to endure until he had made satisfaction to Divine Justice; nay, more, he could not be admitted into the abode of the elect until he had accomplished an act of exterior reparation, which should serve as an example to the living.
When St. Louis Bertrand, of the Order of St. Dominic, resided at the convent of Valencia, there was a young Religious in the community who attached too much importance to profane science. Doubtless letters and erudition have their value, but, as the Holy Ghost declares, they should yield to the fear of God and the science of the saints. Non super timenten Dominum--There is non above him that feareth the Lord (Ecclus. 25:13)
This science of the saints, which Eternal Wisdom came to teach us, consists in Humility and Charity. The young Religious of whom we speak, while but little advanced in Divine science, allowed himself to reproach Father Bertrand with his little knowledge, and said to him "One can see, Father, that you are not very learned!" "Brother," replied the saint with meek firmness, "Lucifer was very learned, and yet he was damned."
The brother who had committed this fault did not think of repairing it. Nevertheless, he was not a bad Religious, and some time after, falling dangerously sick, he received the last Sacrament in very good dispositions, and expired peacefully in the Lord. A considerable time elapsed, and meanwhile Louis was nominated Prior. One day, having remained in choir after Matins, the deceased appeared to him enveloped in flames, and prostrating humbly before him said "Father, pardon me the offensive words which I formerly addressed to you. God will not permit me to see His face until you shall have pardoned my fault and offered Holy Mass for me." The saint willingly forgave him, and the next morning celebrated Mass for the repose of his soul. The following night, being again in choir, he saw the deceased brother reappear, but radiant with glory and going up to Heaven (Acta Sanctor., Oct.10)

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