From the writings of Don Giuseppe Tomaselli (1902-1989).
In this life of moral wretchedness, to justify our weaknesses, we say: my passions are so strong that I can’t always resist them! Anyway, after sinning I rush back to Confession! Others say: I don’t commit serious sins! I fail constantly in certain small things, which are unavoidable! There are those instead who sin more than I do and much more gravely! When someone dies we are wont to exclaim:
What a holy person! He did so much good! For sure he went to Heaven! On headstones the most illusory and flattering inscriptions present the dear departed as models of noble virtue.
We are simply what we are before God.
Man judges from a human viewpoint and frequently falls into error. The judgements of God are perfectly exact and we need to ponder on their rigor, in order to live as holy life as possible and to come to the aid of those who have left this valley of tears, where they are paying in Purgatory for the wretched acts committed on this earth.
An almost eighty year old lady died on February 3rd 1944. My mother. I was able to gaze on her dead body in the Cemetery Chapel before the burial. As a Priest I thought to myself: You, woman, as far as I can judge, did not even once transgress gravely one of God’s commandments! And in my mind I went over her life.
In reality my mother was a great model and to a large extent I owe my priestly vocation to her. Every day she went to Mass, even in her old age – with the crown of her children. Her Holy Communion was daily. She never omitted the Rosary. She was so charitable that she even lost an eye while acting with exquisite charity towards a poor woman. She was so united to the will of God, that she asked me when my father’s dead body lay at home: What can I say to Jesus right now to please Him?
– Lord may Your will be done!
On her death-bed she received the Last Rites with great faith. A few hours before expiring, suffering intensely, she repeated: O Jesus, I’d like to ask you to lessen my sufferings. But I don’t want to go against Your will; may Your will be done! This is the way the woman who brought me into the world died.
Basing myself on the concept of Divine Justice, paying little attention to the praises that acquaintances and Priests might make, I intensified the prayers for her soul: a great number of Masses, abundant charity, and, wherever I preached I exhorted the faithful to offer their Communions, prayers and good works for her soul.
And then the Lord allowed my mother to appear to me. I examined this phenomenon, discussing it with good Theologians and the conclusion was: It was a real apparition!
My mother had been dead for two years. She suddenly appeared in my room, in human form. She was very sad.
– You abandoned me in Purgatory!
– How long were you in Purgatory?
– I’m still here! My soul is surrounded by darkness and I can’t see the Light – which is God! I’m on the threshold of Heaven, near eternal bliss, and I’m yearning with the desire to enter, but I can’t! I’ve said so many times: If my children knew of my terrible torment – ah! How they would come to my aid!
-Why didn’t you come before to tell us?
-It was not in my power.
-So you haven’t seen the Lord yet?
–As soon as I expired, I saw God, but not all of His Light.
-What can we do to free you immediately?
-I need only one Mass. The Lord allowed me to come and ask you for it.
-As soon as you are in Heaven, come and tell us!
-If the Lord allows it! What Light – what splendor! Saying this the vision vanished.
Two Masses were celebrated and one day later she reappeared, saying: I am in Heaven!
After what I have reported, I say to myself: An exemplary Christian life, a great amount of prayers for her soul – and two and a half years in Purgatory! So much for the judgments of men!
[Extract from “I nostri morti – La casa di tutti”, [ Our Dead – Everyone’s Home] by Don Giuseppe Tomaselli].