The pain of sense and the pain of loss have
each of them an almost indefinite number of degrees.
The pain of sense varies in proportion to the
indulgence of the senses on earth, and the knowledge
possessed of the sinfulness of this indulgence.
All the advantages and graces that they have received will
but add to their punishment, in as far as they
have wilfully thrown away those golden opportunities
The pain of loss, too, will vary according to
the degree of holiness which was within their reach.
All will experience their greatest suffering from the
loss of God, but with some the loss, however great
in itself, will be felt far less sensibly. It is those
who were called to a high sanctity, to whom God
revealed Himself with a special intimacy of love
on earth, who will appreciate most intensely the
misery of separation from Him. What reason then
I have to tremble!
Each of these two kinds of pain will gradually
be assuaged as time goes on. They will be worst
at first, and will diminish little by little as the
debt to be paid becomes lighter. This mitigation
will be hastened on by the prayers and good works
offered for the Holy Souls on earth, by the supplications
of the Church, and above all, by the Sacrifice
of the Mass. How much we may do for those
who are suffering for their sins! Pray that you may
earn a speedy relief.