In November 1873 Sister Marie de la Croix hear the groans of a nun she knew, Sister Marie?Gabrielle, who had died two years previously. In February 1874 the nun began speaking to her of Purgatory, where she was for infidelities in her vocation as a religious Sister Marie de la Croix never saw her suffering fellow Sister, but what she was told was of great benefit to her and to us. Here are two extracts from the conversations Sister Marie de la Croix recorded in her diary.
The great sinners and those who remained almost all their lives far from God through indifference, as well as the religious who were not what they should have been are in the great Purgatory; and whilst they are there, the prayers that are made for these souls are not applied to them. They were indifferent towards God during their lives. In His turn He is indifferent to them and He leaves them in a kind of abandonment, so that they can make reparation for their lives that were worthless.
Ah! You cannot imagine nor conceive, since you are still on earth, what God is. But us, we know Him understand Him, for our soul is freed from all the bonds that held it back and prevented it from understanding the holiness, the majesty, of God, His great mercy. We are martyrs, we are fainting with love, so to speak. An irresistible force is pushing us towards God as to our centre and. at the same time, another force is pushing us back to the place of our expiation. We are, in this state, oppressed by the impossibility of satisfying our desires. Oh! what suffering! .But we deserve it and there is no murmuring here. We want what God wants. Only, no?one can understand on earth what we endure.
Yes! I am much better. I am no longer in the fire. All I have now is the insatiable desire to see God, which is still a cruel torment! .But I can feel that I am near the end of my exile, and near the place I long for with all my heart. I can see it very well. I feel myself being freed little by little; but I cannot tell you when, or which day. God alone knows it. Perhaps I will have to long for Heaven for many years yet. Keep on praying always, and I will make it up to you later, although I pray a good deal for you already.
We see Saint Michael in the way one sees angels; he does not have a body. He comes to Purgatory to look for all the souls that are purified, for it is he who leads them to Heaven. Yes, it is true; he is among the Seraphim, like Monseigneur said. He is the first angel of Heaven. Our guardian angels also come to see us, but Saint Michael is much more beautiful than them! As for the Blessed Virgin, we see her with her body. She comes to Purgatory on her feast-days and she goes back to Heaven with many souls. Whilst she is with us, we do not suffer; Saint Michael accompanies her, but when he is alone, we suffer as usual.
When I spoke to you about the great and the second Purgatory, it was to make you understand I meant by that that there are different degrees in Purgatory. Thus. I call great Purgatory the place where the most culpable souls are, and I was there for two years without being able to give any sign of my torments, and then for a year when you heard me groaning; you know that I was still there when I began to speak to you.
In the second Purgatory,
which is still Purgatory but different from the first, one suffers much,
but less than in the first Purgatory. Finally; there is the third place,
the Purgatory of desire. There is no fire there. The souls there are those
who did not desire Heaven enough, who did not love God enough. I am there
at this moment; and in these three Purgatories there are many degrees.
In the measure that the soul is purified, it no longer suffers the same
torments. Everything is in proportion to the faults it has to expiate.