At least thrice (all decades ago) have I been graced with some vision of eternity, and the ecstasy so extreme I grew fearful despite its beauty: experiencing the awe of awesome and awful at once. Before rising this morning, in lucid reverie and prayer, I asked for yet another. No such gift arrived, but this whisper: “If you want to see me, come to the feast.” I will go to Mass.
Of Mass? A simple song demonstrating the communion of saints, Sanctus brings me into prayer with our lost child. Death changes life so unlike Life changed death. So many join in this unending hymn, I for a moment, they for eternity. Angels, saints, some from earthly time lived long and well, others from bodies destroyed and time foreshortened, born and unborn, and She, the very Queen of Heaven, with us. A short and simple song we share.
Purgatorio. Alighieri’s excellent work aside, imagine a place of eternal awareness of God. Here is Truth, Beauty, Goodness, Love, Peace in radiant purity. The Son and Father gaze outward, their Holy Spirit extending to all. About them a throng faces inward. Among the uncountable, saints gaze upon the beatific vision. Beside the saints, heads of many poor souls are bowed in contrition for an impure life; memories perfect, consequences understood, pain real amid ethereal: purgation on-going until — experiencing the endless direct fullness of Love Himself — each slowly raises her gaze to His, as a bride unveiled. Alleluia