Since these Easter days lead up to Mercy Sunday, I read a little from Divine Mercy in My Soul, St. Faustina’s diary. Here’s what got my attention. It has to do with purgatory.
1185 July 9.1937. This evening, one of the deceased sisters came and asked me for one day of fasting and to offer all my [spiritual] exercises on that day for her. I answered that I would.
1186 From early morning on the following day, I offered everything for her intention. During Holy Mass, I had a brief experience of her torment, I experienced such intense hunger for God that I seemed to be dying of the desire to become united with Him. This lasted only a short time, but I understood what the longing of the souls in purgatory was like.
Praying for the souls in purgatory is, of course, a good work and a good habit, but sometimes I lose track of who they actually are. They can seem a homogenous mass of unknown people, like the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” on our Statue of Liberty. Who are they to me personally. For me, they are my mother and father, my husband’s mother and father, sister and brother, my aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who have preceded me in death, intimate loved ones awaiting my prayers. Somehow it makes a difference to how I pray and that I pray.