It’s embarrassing when you go to an event, and a friend introduces you to someone new by saying, “You need to check out her blog!” – and I haven’t posted in a couple weeks. Thanks, Chris. 😉
Lots going on. I quit my job at the store, two weeks ago, In some ways, it was overdue, but I didn’t want to bail just at Christmas time; and in other ways I’m angry that I was not allowed to succeed in the work, which I loved – and surprisingly quite good at.
Still, these are the Purgatorial events that help us to learn to detach from this world and allow us to refocus our sights on Heaven.
Because I don’t really believe that Purgatory is all about punishment. No! Purgatory is a word from which we also get “purge” – it’s a cleansing, a purifying. It’s the refiner’s fire, burning away the junk so the pure metal can be revealed.
Purgatory’s purpose is to detach us from this world and its inappropriate affections – including self-love and egotism – and to attach us to Heaven.
The old saints speak of the Purgative Way, of learning to be detached from the things of this world. Then there’s the Illuminative Way, in which our affections become more perfectly attached to God. And finally there’s the Unitive Way – in which we experience a sublime union with our Lord. The three are in some respects sequential, but they can also occur simultaneously, since the lines aren’t as boldly drawn as (I) might wish they were.
For Lent, this year, I’m going to be joining some friends in reading Ralph Martin’s Fulfillment of All Desire, which examines these ideas more fully, drawing heavily from the writings of major saints – John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Therese of Lisieux, Francis de Sales…
I feel it’s what I need right now, to find my balance and to regain some focus.
What are you going to do?