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CHAPTER XIII

The souls in purgatory are not in a state to merit.—How they regard the suffrages offered for them in this world.

“If by repentance the souls in purgatory could purify themselves, a moment would suffice to cancel their whole debt, so overwhelming would be the force of the contrition produced by the clear vision they have of the magnitude of every obstacle which hinders them from God, their love and their final end.

“And, know for certain that not one farthing of their debt is remitted to these souls. This is the decree of divine justice; it is thus that God wills. But, on the other hand, these souls have no longer any will apart from that of God, and can neither see nor desire aught but by his appointment.

“And if pious offerings be made for them by persons in this world, they cannot now note them with satisfaction, unless, indeed, in reference to the will of God and the balance of his justice, leaving to him the ordering of the whole, who repays himself as best pleases his infinite goodness. Could they regard these alms apart from the divine will concerning them, this would be a return to self, which would shut from their view the will of God, and that would be to them like hell. Therefore they are unmoved by whatever God gives them, whether it be pleasure or pain, nor can they ever again revert to self.

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