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CHAPTER VII

Of the marvelous wisdom of God in the creation of purgatory and of hell.

“As the purified spirit finds no repose but in God, for whom it was created, so the soul in sin can rest nowhere but in hell, which by, reason of its sins, has become its end. Therefore, at that instant in which the soul separates from the body, it goes to its prescribed place, needing no other guide than the nature of the sin itself, if the soul has parted from the body in mortal sin. And if the soul were hindered from obeying that decree (proceeding from the justice of God), it would find itself in a yet deeper hell, for it would be outside of the divine order, in which mercy always finds place and prevents the full infliction of all the pains the soul has merited. Finding, therefore, no spot more fitting, nor any in which her pains would be so slight, she casts herself into her appointed place.

“The same thing is true of purgatory: the soul, leaving the body, and not finding in herself that purity in which she was created, and seeing also the hindrances which prevent her union with God, conscious also that purgatory only can remove them, casts herself quickly and willingly therein. And if she did not find the means ordained for her purification, she would instantly create for herself a hell worse than purgatory, seeing that by reason of this impediment she is hindered from approaching her end, which is God; and this is so great an ill that in comparison with it the soul esteems purgatory as nothing. True it is, as I have said, like hell; and yet, in comparison with the loss of God it is as nothing.

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