Who Dies Shall See…Purgatory and Heaven Book Summary

Listen to this article

Title: Who Dies Shall See…Purgatory and Heaven
Author: Don Dolindo Ruotolo

TLDR: This book offers a comforting and detailed exploration of Purgatory and Heaven, emphasizing God’s merciful love and the soul’s journey towards eternal union with Him. Through vivid imagery, scientific analogies, and inspiring stories, it illuminates the purifying process in Purgatory and the glorious reality of Paradise, offering hope and encouragement for those seeking a deeper understanding of the afterlife.

Part I: Purgatory: The Contest of Love Between God and the Soul

Chapter I: Where Goes the Soul When the Soul Leaves the Body

This chapter opens with the inevitability of death, an inescapable reality for all, regardless of their beliefs. Don Dolindo emphasizes the soul’s immortality, contrasting it with the body’s gradual decline and decay. He uses the analogy of a worn-out pen point, eventually discarded when it no longer serves its purpose, to illustrate the body’s eventual failure. This failure leads to death, the separation of the soul from its physical vessel. He explains that pain in a dying body is not only physical but also arises from the soul’s increasing inability to fully animate and control the failing organs.

Don Dolindo then focuses on the soul’s state at the moment of separation. He compares it to a silkworm emerging from its cocoon, entering the eternal youth of immortality. However, the soul is no longer in its pristine state as created by God; it carries the burden of its actions, good and bad. In the divine light of truth, the soul sees itself clearly, stripped of the self-deception and justifications it clung to during its earthly life. This revelation can be a shock, especially for those who have lived in mortal sin, their souls marred and disfigured by their transgressions.

Don Dolindo distinguishes between souls in a state of grace and those in mortal sin. The latter, burdened by their sins, plunge downward toward an abyss of spiritual death, their natural inclination toward God frustrated and distorted into hate. The former, while still carrying the stains of venial sins and imperfections, retain their love for God and yearn for purification. This yearning propels them toward Purgatory, a necessary pilgrimage of cleansing before they can attain the fullness of union with God. The lost soul has reached its final destination, while the soul in grace remains a traveler, still bound by time, undergoing a painful process of purification before reaching eternal joy.

Chapter II: The Soul Reaches Eternal Life

This chapter delves deeper into the soul’s experience upon leaving the body, specifically those destined for Purgatory. Don Dolindo compares the soul to someone caught in a strong current, striving to reach the shore but constantly pulled away. The soul yearns for God, but the imperfections and worldly attachments accumulated during life act as a powerful current, delaying its union with the Divine. The illusions and self-deceptions of earthly life transform into a vortex of sin, pushing the soul away from God even as it desperately longs for Him.

Don Dolindo addresses the common complaint about suffering and God’s seemingly harsh providence. He argues that during our earthly life, we often judge God from a limited, human perspective, failing to grasp the depth of His love and the reasons behind His actions. He offers the analogy of misjudging a king disguised as a commoner to illustrate our flawed understanding of God’s infinite goodness.

Upon death, however, the soul encounters God’s love directly. It recognizes its own shortcomings and complaints as misjudgments, born from ignorance and pride. This realization, akin to waking up from a nightmare, brings forth a profound sense of shame, driving the soul to seek purification in Purgatory.

Don Dolindo compares the soul’s experience to a young woman at a grand reception, discovering a mouse hiding in her clothes. In the light of God’s presence, the soul sees the “gnawing rodents” of its conscience, the sins it had previously dismissed as trivial. This horror and shame lead it willingly, albeit painfully, to withdraw from the “Heavenly Reception” and seek cleansing in Purgatory.

The chapter concludes by comparing the fate of damned souls with those destined for Purgatory. The damned, separated from God’s grace, choose a state of eternal hate and separation, their will fixed in evil. They are like a weight plunging into an abyss, while the souls in Purgatory are like space capsules slowly ascending, propelled by their love for God and the purifying fire that cleanses them of their imperfections.

Chapter III: The Admirable Logic of Purgatory

This chapter emphasizes the need for Purgatory, a concept often misunderstood or even rejected. Don Dolindo argues that we tend to underestimate the weight of our sins and overestimate the worth of our good deeds. He uses the analogy of a rocket launch misaligned by a thousandth of a millimeter. While seemingly insignificant on Earth, this minuscule deviation results in a vast divergence in its trajectory through space. Similarly, our venial sins, though seemingly trivial, create a significant deviation from our path towards God, hindering our union with Him.

He further clarifies this concept with the analogy of a violin string out of tune. Just as a single out-of-tune string throws off the entire orchestra, a single venial sin disrupts the soul’s harmony with God. Purgatory’s suffering and fire retune the soul, igniting an intense yearning for God and preparing it for the perfect harmony of eternal bliss.

Don Dolindo then introduces Mary’s Magnificat as a song of perfect harmony with God. Mary’s profound humility, her recognition of God’s greatness, allowed the Infinite to unite with her. He contrasts her humility with the pride that separates us from God, our self-centeredness creating “bumps” in the line connecting us to Him. He reminds us that Mary’s exaltation stems from her humility, a model for all souls seeking union with God.

He then presents the Magnificat as a song sung by souls in Purgatory. Their suffering humbles them, deepening their understanding of God’s holiness and the vast distance created by their imperfections. He employs a scientific comparison, contrasting the size of an atom with the vast distances between stars, measured in light years. Similarly, our imperfections, when compared to God’s infinite holiness, appear monstrous, justifying the intensity and length of purification.

Don Dolindo concludes by arguing against the notion of God’s severity. He uses the analogy of a telescope on Mount Palomar, its massive lens requiring twelve years of painstaking purification to eliminate even the tiniest imperfection. Similarly, our souls, destined to focus on the infinite light of God, require thorough cleansing. Purgatory is not a punishment, but a merciful act of preparation, a necessary “bath of love” for the soul to attain perfect union with God.

Chapter IV: The Pains of Purgatory: The Fire

This chapter tackles the controversial topic of Purgatory’s fire, arguing that it is a scientific reality, supported by a multitude of apparitions and historical evidence. He acknowledges the limitations of human understanding, but insists that the consistency of testimonies from souls in Purgatory provides irrefutable proof of its existence.

Don Dolindo then distinguishes between earthly pain and the suffering experienced in Purgatory. Earthly pain, filtered through our senses and nervous system, is limited and can be mitigated by anesthesia. In Purgatory, the soul experiences pain directly, with no buffer or anesthetic to lessen its intensity. He cites the example of Father Stanislaw Choscoa, who experienced a drop of sweat from a soul in Purgatory, resulting in excruciating pain and a wound that lasted for over a year and a half. This, and countless other similar accounts, attest to the excruciating nature of Purgatory’s fire.

He further explores the nature of this fire, drawing parallels with the discovery of atomic energy. Just as splitting an atom’s nucleus releases immense energy, the separation of the soul from God due to sin generates an intense, burning fire. For the damned, this separation is eternal, their will fixed in evil. For souls in Purgatory, however, the fire gradually diminishes as they are purified and drawn closer to God by their love for Him.

Don Dolindo emphasizes that purification is not a cruel act of God, but a necessary consequence of the soul’s yearning for Him. He compares the soul to a sick person longing for healing, willingly undergoing painful treatment to regain health. He argues that entering Paradise with even the tiniest imperfection would be a torment for the soul, preventing it from fully experiencing the joy of God’s presence.

He addresses the question of how fire, a material phenomenon, can torment the soul, which is spiritual. He draws on the scientific concept of “referred pain,” where amputated limbs continue to be felt even after they are gone. Similarly, the soul, having once inhabited a body, retains a connection to it, even after death. Purgatory’s fire, ignited within the soul, acts upon this connection, manifesting as intense physical pain, reflecting the specific sins committed through the body.

Don Dolindo uses this concept to explain the reverence for deceased bodies found in various cultures. Burial rituals, the consecration of cemeteries, and prayers for the dead all point to an unconscious understanding of the soul’s continued relationship with its former body. He condemns cremation as a barbaric practice, disrespectful of the body that once housed the soul.

He concludes by differentiating between the fires of Purgatory and Hell. In Purgatory, the fire is accompanied by love and hope, purifying the soul and drawing it closer to God. In Hell, however, the fire is fueled by despair and hate, tormenting the damned eternally. He ends with a passionate plea for his readers to choose salvation and avoid the eternal suffering of Hell.

Chapter V: The Different Areas or the States of Purgatory

This chapter introduces the concept of various levels within Purgatory, reflecting the different degrees of purification needed for souls based on their sins. Don Dolindo compares Purgatory to a school with various grades, from kindergarten to university, reflecting the varying levels of spiritual development. He cites Saint Francesca Romana’s vision of Purgatory divided into three distinct regions. The upper region houses souls close to entering Paradise, suffering primarily from the pain of separation from God. The middle region, designated as “Purgatory,” houses souls undergoing purification for venial sins or the temporal punishment due to forgiven mortal sins.

The lowest region, bordering Hell, is filled with a piercing fire, housing souls with a greater need for expiation. This region is further divided into areas based on the souls’ responsibilities during their earthly life. One area is for the laity, another for non-ordained clergy, and the lowest for priests and religious, reflecting their greater knowledge of God and consequently, greater responsibility for their failings.

Don Dolindo then delves deeper into the “pain of loss,” the agonizing separation from God experienced by all souls in Purgatory. This pain is exacerbated by the soul’s growing awareness of God’s infinite goodness and its own unworthiness. He compares it to the yearning of a child separated from its parents, its natural inclination pulling it towards the source of its life. In Purgatory, the soul, in a state of grace, experiences this attraction to God with painful intensity, longing for union with Him but held back by its imperfections.

He illustrates this concept with the analogy of a man invited to a grand reception, delayed by his own negligence. The man hears the music of the celebration in the distance, his longing for the host and the joy of the event fueling his desperate attempts to arrive. His breathlessness and regret upon arrival mirror the soul’s pain in Purgatory, a necessary purification before entering the “reception” of Heaven.

Don Dolindo then explores how the Eucharist, the veiled presence of Jesus, mitigates the pain of loss, particularly for souls in the upper region of Purgatory. He explains that during Mass, God applies Jesus’s suffering to the suffering soul, providing a source of immense comfort. He cites the example of a nun, a devoted adorer of the Blessed Sacrament, who, despite enjoying the vision of Christ’s glorified Humanity, still experienced a cloud of sorrow because of minor infractions against her religious rule.

He concludes by highlighting the role of Mary in alleviating the pain of loss, particularly for those devoted to her during their earthly life. Mary, as the embodiment of purity and light, reflects God’s glory to the souls in Purgatory, offering comfort and solace. He offers the example of an elderly lady, appearing to a young girl while she was praying before a statue of Mary, expressing her joy and gratitude for the girl’s prayers. This example underscores the importance of devotion to Mary and the power of intercessory prayer for souls undergoing purification.

Chapter VI: The Pain of Purgatory to Atone for Each Sin

This chapter focuses on the specific pains experienced in Purgatory, tailored to the individual sins of each soul. Don Dolindo draws a parallel with a broken car, each malfunctioning part requiring a specific repair. Similarly, each sin requires a particular kind of expiation, a “torment” designed to restore the soul to its original state of grace. He acknowledges the limitations of human imagination in comprehending these torments, drawing upon Dante’s “Divine Comedy” as a limited but evocative depiction of Purgatory’s diverse punishments.

He then analyzes the revelations of Saints who have witnessed Purgatory, noting their often corporeal descriptions of the souls and their sufferings. He acknowledges the seemingly material nature of these apparitions, drawing a comparison to the ghostlike images seen in the radioactive aftermath of the atomic bombings in Japan. He suggests that the soul, retaining a connection to its former body, might utilize the lingering energy of that body to manifest itself visibly. He argues that this “radioactivity” could explain the ghostly images seen by Saints, reflecting the specific pain and purification appropriate to the soul’s sins.

Don Dolindo delves into the spiritual state of a soul in Purgatory, emphasizing its contemplative nature. He argues that even in the midst of intense suffering, the soul remains focused on God, its intellect now unhindered by the limitations of the body. He explains that the soul experiences a profound “reference” to its former body, longing for its resurrection. This longing explains the reverence for burial in consecrated ground, near the remains of Saints, a comforting promise of future resurrection.

As the soul progresses through purification, its contemplative state deepens. Freed from the intense physical pain of the fire, the soul focuses more fully on God, perceiving His glory in all creation. Don Dolindo compares this process to a sick eye gradually adjusting to light, moving from darkness to shadow, from dawn to the full brilliance of the sun. Similarly, the soul moves from the “darkness” of its earthly life to the “shadow” of Purgatory, gradually understanding God’s loving providence and the harmonious order of His creation.

He concludes by highlighting the soul’s growing appreciation for Jesus’s Passion, its own sins now seen in the light of His sacrifice. Just as a fever alerts the body to an illness requiring treatment, the soul’s contemplation of Christ’s Passion reveals its own imperfections, fueling its desire for purification and its gratitude for the suffrages offered on its behalf.

Chapter VII: The Supernatural State of the Souls in Purgatory and Their Charity Toward Us

This chapter explores the active spiritual life of souls in Purgatory, despite their inability to acquire new merit. Don Dolindo uses the analogy of a workday, earning wages during the day but unable to do so after nightfall. Similarly, earthly life is the time for acquiring merit, while the afterlife, the “night,” is a time for expiation. He emphasizes that the souls in Purgatory still possess active intellects and wills, capable of love, contemplation, and prayer. He argues that their memory remains intact, recalling every detail of their earthly life, intensifying their sorrow for sin and their desire for purification.

He then discusses the souls’ capacity for charity, particularly towards those they loved on Earth. He asserts that the bonds of family and friendship, forged by God, endure beyond death. The souls in Purgatory, now free from the limitations of the physical body, remain close to those they love, aware of their lives and offering prayers on their behalf. He cites the example of Queen Claudia, appearing to Blessed Catherine Racconigi and foretelling the defeat of the French army, illustrating the souls’ knowledge of earthly events and their desire to assist their loved ones.

Don Dolindo explains that souls in Purgatory often communicate through dreams, using symbolic imagery to convey warnings or guidance. He compares this communication to hieroglyphics or shorthand, requiring interpretation based on the individual’s experiences and understanding.

He then delves into the soul’s inner life, emphasizing its holiness and unshakeable confirmation in grace. He argues that the soul, free from the temptations of the flesh, practices virtue effortlessly, accepting its purification with love and gratitude. Its contemplative capacity is enhanced, freed from the distractions of the body. He compares the soul’s faith to infrared vision, allowing it to perceive God’s truth even in the “darkness” of purification.

He addresses the question of free will, arguing that the soul in Purgatory, while unable to choose evil, experiences a heightened form of freedom. The soul’s intellect, enlightened by grace, sees evil clearly and desires only what is good. This is not a limitation, but a refinement of freedom, akin to a pianist playing only harmonious melodies.

Don Dolindo concludes by exploring the souls’ practice of faith, hope, and charity. Their faith is strengthened by their direct experience of the spiritual realm, their hope fueled by their longing for God, and their charity deepened by their awareness of human suffering. He cites Saint Catherine of Genoa’s description of the soul’s intense yearning for God, a love so powerful that it would choose even greater suffering if it meant a faster union with Him. This chapter ends with a call to invoke the souls in Purgatory, their prayers powerful and efficacious due to their holiness and their gratitude for the suffrages offered on their behalf.

Chapter VIII: The Joys of Purgatory

This chapter, seemingly paradoxical, argues that amidst the suffering of Purgatory, there exist joys and comforts, reflections of God’s love and the soul’s desire for Him. Don Dolindo emphasizes that Purgatory is not a place of vindictive punishment, but a “contest of love,” where God lovingly purifies the souls He desires for Himself. He compares this process to a surgeon carefully treating a patient, alleviating pain while working towards their healing.

The first joy experienced by souls in Purgatory is the confirmation of their salvation. Secure in God’s grace, they can no longer sin, their eternal destiny assured. This certainty, Don Dolindo argues, is a source of immense joy, far exceeding the uncertainties and anxieties of earthly life. He supports this claim with the story of St. Stanislaus, who resurrected a man from the dead. The man, despite experiencing the excruciating pains of Purgatory, chose to return to this state rather than face the risks of earthly life and jeopardize his salvation.

The second joy is the act of expiation itself. Souls in Purgatory, consumed by love for God, rejoice in making amends for their sins. They recognize the gravity of their offenses and willingly embrace suffering as a means of reparation. Don Dolindo compares this to earthly souls who undertake voluntary penances out of love for God, finding solace in their suffering.

He then introduces Saint Catherine of Genoa’s insights into the joys of Purgatory. The saint emphasizes the souls’ profound gratitude for God’s mercy, understanding that even a single sin deserves eternal punishment. They rejoice in God’s greatness and holiness, their suffering akin to the joyful martyrdom of those who willingly gave their lives for their faith. They also find joy in the act of purification itself, recognizing God’s love and mercy at work within them, drawing them closer to Him. This joy intensifies as they progress through Purgatory, each pain seen as a step closer to eternal bliss.

Don Dolindo concludes by reminding his readers that love makes all things easier, even suffering. The souls in Purgatory, immersed in God’s love, find their pains mitigated by their yearning for Him. He uses the example of St. Laurence, martyred by being roasted alive, finding his torment akin to a bed of roses. This chapter serves as a powerful reminder that even in the midst of suffering, love and joy can prevail, particularly when united with God’s will.

Chapter IX: The Communion of the Saints and the Comfort that the Soul in Purgatory Receives from the Angels, the Saints, and Especially from Mary Most Holy

This chapter explores the concept of the Communion of Saints, a spiritual bond uniting the Church Triumphant in Heaven, the Church Suffering in Purgatory, and the Church Militant on Earth. This interconnectedness, Don Dolindo argues, provides comfort and support to the souls in Purgatory, reminding them that they are not alone in their suffering. The Saints in Heaven, mindful of the trials faced by both those on Earth and those in Purgatory, offer prayers and intercessions, their love extending beyond the boundaries of death.

Don Dolindo then focuses on the role of angels, particularly Guardian Angels, in assisting souls in Purgatory. He cites liturgical texts referring to St. Michael the Archangel as the “Prince of Purgatory,” leading the angels who guide and comfort the souls undergoing purification. He then shares the story of a group of nuns who, out of exhaustion, neglected their usual prayers for the dead. Angels, descending from Heaven, filled their choir stalls and recited the prayers in their stead, illustrating the angels’ commitment to assisting the souls in Purgatory.

He then highlights the intercession of Saints, particularly the founders of Religious Orders, who maintain a loving connection to their spiritual children even after death. He cites St. Philip Neri, seen leading a group of his deceased religious brethren from Purgatory, and St. Francis of Assisi, promising to free his friars from Purgatory if they remained faithful to his rule. These examples demonstrate the enduring bonds of love and the Saints’ continued involvement in the salvation of souls.

The chapter concludes with a special emphasis on Mary’s role as Mother of Mercy, her compassion extending to the suffering souls in Purgatory. He describes the belief in the “Bulla Sabbatina,” the promise of deliverance from Purgatory for those devoted to Mary, particularly on Saturdays, traditionally dedicated to her. He shares the story of St. Peter Damian, who witnessed a deceased woman returning to Earth on the Feast of the Assumption, freed from Purgatory by Mary’s intervention. This woman claimed that Mary annually frees a multitude of souls on this feast day, a testament to her immense compassion and her power to intercede on behalf of the suffering souls.

Don Dolindo condemns the dismissal of such revelations as mere fairytales, arguing that the consistent testimonies of Saints and mystics provide irrefutable evidence of these spiritual realities. He ends by celebrating the Communion of Saints, a “marvelous view” of interconnected love and support, uniting all those who belong to Christ, regardless of their earthly or heavenly state.

Chapter X: Duties to Intercede for the Souls in Purgatory

This chapter emphasizes the obligation of the living to assist the souls in Purgatory, outlining both duties of justice and duties of charity. Don Dolindo begins by condemning the neglect of bequests for Masses and prayers for the dead, a common injustice often driven by greed and self-interest. He warns that such disregard for the deceased’s wishes can bring about divine punishment, citing historical examples of families suffering misfortune after ignoring their obligations to those who have passed on. He stresses the importance of fulfilling these obligations promptly, just as one would swiftly provide medical care for the sick. He argues that withholding such spiritual assistance is akin to withholding medicine from someone in pain.

He then focuses on the familial duty to pray for deceased loved ones. Children, as the fruit of their parents’ love, have a special obligation to intercede for them, not only through prayers and Masses but also through living exemplary Christian lives. Similarly, parents should pray for their deceased children, their sorrow channeled into intercessory prayers rather than fruitless lamentations. He provides the example of a grieving mother whose excessive weeping hindered her son’s progress in Purgatory, highlighting the need for prayer and acceptance of God’s will in the face of loss.

Don Dolindo extends this obligation to deceased priests, particularly those who have served as spiritual guides. He argues that their spiritual fatherhood, their role in nurturing our souls, demands our fervent prayers and suffrages. He laments the frequent neglect of deceased priests, urging his readers to remember them in their prayers.

He then addresses the broader duty of charity towards all souls in Purgatory, emphasizing their shared membership in the Mystical Body of Christ. Their suffering and their need for our prayers should resonate with our own experiences of weakness and need for God’s mercy. He compares our neglect of them to ignoring a sick or imprisoned person, a failure of Christian love.

Don Dolindo criticizes the emphasis on extravagant funerals and outward displays of grief, arguing that true Christian mourning should focus on prayer, the sacraments, and a commitment to living a holy life. He condemns cremation as a disrespectful practice, arguing that Christian burial, returning the body to the earth, reflects our belief in the resurrection. He calls for a return to simple, faith-filled funerals, modeled after the early Christians, emphasizing hope in eternal life rather than despair and worldly ostentation.

He concludes by criticizing extravagant tombs and monuments, devoid of Christian symbolism, arguing that the best way to honor the dead is through a life of virtue and holiness. He urges his readers to see beyond the temporary nature of earthly life, focusing on the eternal destiny of the soul and our responsibility to assist those who have gone before us.

Chapter XI: The Suffrages for the Souls in Purgatory

This chapter focuses on the practical ways to assist the souls in Purgatory, outlining both personal acts of charity and the Church’s treasury of spiritual riches. Don Dolindo defines “suffrage” as an act of relief and satisfaction, offered on behalf of those in need or debt. These acts can be both spiritual and material, drawing upon the merits of Christ and the Saints to alleviate the suffering of souls in Purgatory.

He begins by explaining the threefold nature of our good deeds: meritorious, suppliant, and satisfactory. Meritorious acts increase our own glory in Heaven, while suppliant acts petition God for graces, and satisfactory acts make amends for our sins. Don Dolindo emphasizes that while our personal merits cannot be transferred to others, the suppliant and satisfactory aspects of our good deeds can be applied to souls in Purgatory, benefiting them through our prayers, sacrifices, and penances.

He then introduces the “heroic act,” the complete offering of all our personal merits and the Church’s spiritual treasures to the souls in Purgatory. This act of radical charity, Don Dolindo argues, pleases God immensely and invites the souls in Purgatory to pray for us in return. He shares a personal anecdote from his childhood, where he prayed for a booklet explaining the heroic act and miraculously found one the next day, illustrating God’s favor towards this act of selfless love.

Don Dolindo emphasizes the power of almsgiving as a suffrage, citing Scriptural texts praising its efficacy in atoning for sin and obtaining mercy. He encourages giving alms specifically for the souls in Purgatory, recognizing the intuitive understanding of this practice among the poor who often solicit alms in their name. He urges generosity and detachment from worldly possessions, reminding his readers that true almsgiving is motivated by love for God and not by a judgmental assessment of the recipient’s worthiness.

He then highlights the importance of mortification and penance as powerful suffrages, lamenting their decline in modern times. He reminds his readers that Jesus Himself emphasized the necessity of penance for salvation, warning that without it, we will perish. He encourages embracing the ordinary discomforts of life as opportunities for penance, uniting our suffering with that of the souls in Purgatory and offering it as a sacrifice to God. He argues that such voluntary mortification, accepted with love and resignation, can alleviate our own suffering and bring about greater joy in our lives.

Don Dolindo concludes by emphasizing the power of prayer, the Holy Mass, and Indulgences as the most potent means of assisting the souls in Purgatory. He assures his readers that even a simple prayer or act of love can provide significant relief to those undergoing purification, citing the story of a religious man whose forgotten prayer for the dead prompted a mournful procession of souls following him until he corrected his omission. He emphasizes the need for perseverance in prayer, particularly the Church’s official prayers for the dead, which carry the weight of the entire Church’s intercession.

Chapter XII: Suffrages for the Souls in Purgatory: Prayer

This chapter delves deeper into the power of prayer as a suffrage, focusing on its efficacy in comforting and assisting the souls in Purgatory. Don Dolindo compares prayer to refreshing dew, rising from our souls to Heaven and falling like a gentle rain upon the suffering souls. He emphasizes that even the smallest prayer, offered with love, can provide significant relief. He cites the story of a religious man whose forgotten prayer for the dead resulted in a procession of mournful souls following him, highlighting the importance of even brief intercessions.

He explains that prayer, offered in a state of grace, acts as a channel of God’s mercy, partially atoning for the soul’s debts and hastening its purification. He encourages his readers to utilize the Church’s official prayers for the dead, particularly the Office of the Dead and the De Profundis, as they carry the weight of the entire Church’s intercession. He also recommends the Rosary, the Way of the Cross, and the Rosary of Requiem as powerful prayers for the departed, enriched with indulgences that can be applied to them.

Don Dolindo then focuses on the Holy Mass as the most powerful suffrage for the souls in Purgatory, the renewal of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, offering infinite merit and satisfaction. He reminds his readers that even a single Mass would suffice to empty Purgatory entirely, but God, in His justice, limits the application of this infinite merit. He explains the theological concept of the Mass’s fruit being divided into three parts: one for the Church as a whole, one for the priest celebrating the Mass, and one for the intention of the Mass, which can be applied to the living or the dead.

He stresses the need for multiple Masses for the deceased, comparing the soul’s purification to the painstaking work of a sculptor refining a rough block of marble into a masterpiece. He emphasizes that each Mass, like the sculptor’s careful strokes, gradually removes the soul’s imperfections and prepares it for the beatific vision. He explains that each Mass brings about a specific stage in the soul’s purification, beginning with a simple upliftment and progressing to deeper sorrow for sin and an increased capacity for love.

Don Dolindo clarifies the distinction of the Mass’s fruit, arguing that it is not a literal division of the sacrifice, but rather a threefold outpouring of Christ’s infinite merits upon the Church, the priest, and those for whom the Mass is offered. He condemns the celebration of Mass in a state of sin, as the priest, despite offering the sacrifice, fails to participate in its fruits and instead incurs greater condemnation. He compares such a priest to a donkey carrying a treasure, benefiting only the recipient while remaining burdened by its own wounds.

He then addresses the practice of “Gregorian Masses,” thirty consecutive Masses offered for a deceased person. While not guaranteeing the soul’s immediate release, this devotion, rooted in the story of St. Gregory the Great freeing a monk from Purgatory, remains a powerful act of intercession, pleasing to God and effective in assisting the soul’s progress.

The chapter concludes with a detailed explanation of indulgences as another means of assisting the souls in Purgatory. He defines indulgences as a remission of temporal punishment due to sin, granted by the Church through the application of Christ’s and the Saints’ merits. He compares this to the parable of the unforgiving servant, forgiven an immense debt but failing to show mercy to others.

Don Dolindo provides clear instructions on gaining indulgences, emphasizing the need for a state of grace, sincere repentance, and faithful adherence to the prescribed prayers and actions. He clarifies that indulgences cannot be applied to the living, as they require personal effort and sacrifice, but can be freely offered to the souls in Purgatory, alleviating their suffering and hastening their entry into Heaven.

He laments the widespread ignorance and indifference towards indulgences in modern times, encouraging his readers to utilize this valuable treasure of the Church, both for their own benefit and for the benefit of the souls in Purgatory. He concludes by urging his readers to seize every opportunity to gain indulgences, offering them as acts of love and mercy for those who have gone before us.

Chapter XIII: The Souls in Purgatory Protect Us, in Our Bodily Needs and in Our Spiritual Needs

This chapter highlights the reciprocal nature of our relationship with the souls in Purgatory, emphasizing the benefits we receive in return for our prayers and suffrages. Don Dolindo argues that the souls, experiencing firsthand the pain of separation from God, are profoundly grateful for our assistance and offer powerful prayers on our behalf. He reminds us that even imperfect humans feel compelled to reciprocate kindness, and the souls in Purgatory, confirmed in grace and destined for eternal glory, are far more generous in their gratitude.

He cites numerous examples of miraculous interventions attributed to the intercession of souls in Purgatory, demonstrating their concern for both our bodily and spiritual well-being. He shares the story of a librarian whose sick wife and son were miraculously healed after he made a vow to distribute books promoting devotion to the souls in Purgatory. He also recounts the experience of a poor maid who, despite her financial struggles, consistently offered Masses for the souls in Purgatory and was rewarded with a new job through their intercession.

Don Dolindo argues that the souls in Purgatory, having experienced the struggles of earthly life, have a deep compassion for our weaknesses and a keen understanding of the dangers that threaten our souls. He suggests that many good inspirations, victories over temptation, and even deathbed conversions can be attributed to their fervent prayers. He then recounts the story of the soul in Purgatory of Montefalco, a deceased priest who, for forty years, manifested himself in a convent, leaving alms and pleading for prayers. This detailed account, validated by an ecclesiastical trial, provides compelling evidence of the souls’ awareness of our needs and their desire to assist us.

He concludes by celebrating the Communion of Saints, a wondrous interconnectedness that unites Heaven, Purgatory, and Earth in a shared experience of love, suffering, and hope. He encourages his readers to cultivate devotion to the souls in Purgatory, offering prayers and suffrages not only as acts of duty but also as expressions of love and gratitude for their powerful intercession.

Part II: Victory in the Contest of Love: Paradise

Chapter I: The Joy of the Soul in Coming Out from Purgatory

This chapter marks a shift in the narrative, moving from the suffering of Purgatory to the triumphant joy of Heaven. Don Dolindo describes the soul’s entrance into Paradise as a culminating victory in the “contest of love,” the imperfections that once separated it from God now completely purified. He emphasizes the soul’s immense happiness and gratitude, comparing it to an exile returning home, a sick person regaining health, or a bride eagerly anticipating her wedding day.

He describes the soul’s ascent to Heaven, leaving behind the limitations of time and space, its earthly concerns diminishing as it soars towards eternity. He compares this ascent to riding an elevator, each floor seemingly descending as one rises higher. The soul, now free from the distractions of the body, sees the world with renewed clarity, the seemingly chaotic events of earthly life now revealed as a harmonious tapestry woven by God’s loving providence.

Don Dolindo emphasizes the role of Mary, the Mother of all souls, in welcoming the purified soul into Paradise. He imagines the soul singing a Magnificat of gratitude, its voice blending with Mary’s, praising God for His mercy and love. He argues that this vision is not merely symbolic but a logical consequence of Mary’s universal motherhood, her loving care extending to all those redeemed by Christ, guiding them to their eternal home. He concludes by comparing the soul’s entrance into Heaven to a bride adorned for her wedding, anticipating the eternal embrace of her beloved.

Chapter II: The Ascension of the Soul from Time into Eternity

This chapter elaborates on the soul’s journey from Purgatory to Paradise, emphasizing its transition from the temporal to the eternal. Don Dolindo acknowledges the mystery surrounding Purgatory’s location, but suggests that it likely exists within the earthly realm since its purification is measured by earthly time. The soul’s ascent to Heaven, therefore, involves a literal passage beyond the confines of the Earth, leaving behind the temporal limitations of its former existence.

He describes the soul’s expanding awareness as it ascends, seeing the Earth from a new perspective, its former suffering and struggles now viewed with detachment and understanding. He compares this to the experience of climbing a mountain, emerging from the darkness of the valley into the clear light of the summit. The soul, illuminated by the dawning light of glory, comprehends the order and purpose behind God’s seemingly harsh providence, its former complaints now transformed into awe and gratitude.

This expanded awareness, Don Dolindo argues, is not merely a matter of perspective but a consequence of the soul’s increasing participation in the divine light. This light, granted through grace, allows the soul to penetrate the mysteries of creation and comprehend the harmonious interplay of physical and moral laws. He concludes by emphasizing the joy and peace experienced by the soul as it transcends the limitations of time, its earthly anxieties replaced by the certainty of eternal life and the anticipation of God’s loving embrace.

Chapter III: In the Star-Filled Firmament…the Power and Wisdom of God

This chapter focuses on the soul’s awe-inspiring encounter with the vastness and beauty of the cosmos as it continues its ascent to Heaven. Don Dolindo describes the soul leaving behind the earthly atmosphere, its gaze now fixed on the countless stars that fill the heavens. He emphasizes the soul’s amazement at the power and complexity of the universe, a testament to God’s creative genius. He contrasts this cosmic grandeur with the limitations of human science, which, despite its impressive achievements, can only grasp a small fraction of the universe’s mysteries.

Don Dolindo reflects on the vast number of stars, acknowledging the ever-increasing discoveries made by astronomers throughout history. He marvels at the ancient Biblical text that speaks of “the highest Heavens,” a testament to God’s infinite power and the limitations of human understanding. He then contemplates the nature of these celestial bodies, pondering whether they are inhabited, still in the process of formation, or perhaps the dwelling places of angels and other spiritual beings. He cites the recent scientific discovery that starlight can be translated into sound, suggesting that the heavens resonate with a symphony of praise to God, a cosmic chorus inaudible to human ears but perceptible to the soul now attuned to spiritual realities.

As the soul ascends through this star-filled expanse, it marvels at the order and harmony that govern these celestial bodies. Don Dolindo emphasizes that this order is not the result of blind chance or impersonal forces, but the direct consequence of God’s wisdom and will, His creative hand guiding the movements of every planet, star, and galaxy. He contrasts this divine artistry with the human tendency to see the universe as a chaotic and unpredictable realm, our limited understanding leading to anxiety and doubt.

He reminds the reader that the soul, illuminated by the grace of God, now sees the universe with a clarity impossible on Earth. What once seemed a bewildering expanse of random events is now revealed as a perfectly orchestrated symphony, each celestial body playing its part in God’s grand design. This vision inspires not only awe but also a profound sense of peace, the soul recognizing its place within this divinely ordered cosmos.

Don Dolindo concludes by emphasizing that this encounter with the starry firmament is not the soul’s final destination. It serves as a stepping stone, a preparatory vision that expands the soul’s understanding of God’s power and wisdom, preparing it for the even greater glory that awaits it in the presence of the angels and saints. He compares this experience to a traveler approaching a magnificent city, marveling at the beauty of the surrounding landscape but knowing that the true treasure lies within the city walls. The soul, having glimpsed the wonders of the cosmos, now eagerly anticipates entering the heavenly city, where it will behold the fullness of God’s glory and experience the eternal joy of His embrace.

Chapter IV: In the Regions of the Spirit: Among the Choirs of Angels

This chapter describes the soul’s transition from the material realm of the stars to the spiritual realm of the angels. Don Dolindo depicts the soul soaring beyond the physical limitations of the universe, its love for God propelling it towards a higher reality. He describes the soul’s arrival in Heaven, a realm filled not with physical stars, but with countless angelic spirits, each radiating a unique brilliance of love, joy, and peace.

He introduces the concept of nine angelic choirs, arranged in a harmonious hierarchy, each reflecting a specific aspect of God’s glory. The soul, now a spirit itself, experiences a profound resonance with these celestial beings, its own capacity for love and understanding expanded by their presence. He begins with the Cherubim, the highest choir, described as radiant intelligences immersed in the light of the Divine Word. They contemplate God directly, their unclouded intellects reflecting His infinite simplicity and perfection.

Next, Don Dolindo describes the Seraphim, burning with an unquenchable love for God, their fiery passion reflecting the Holy Spirit’s love that proceeds from the Father and the Son. The soul, enveloped by the Seraphim’s love, feels its own yearning for God intensified, anticipating the eternal embrace that awaits it. He concludes by emphasizing the joy and peace that God has prepared for those who love Him, a reward far exceeding the temporary trials of earthly life.

Chapter V: The Mountains of the Earth and the Angelic Thrones

This chapter connects the soul’s experience of earthly beauty to the heavenly splendor of the angelic Thrones. Don Dolindo evokes the majesty of mountains, their towering peaks reaching towards heaven, inspiring awe and contemplation. He compares them to “enormous hands, stretched in prayer,” their rugged beauty reflecting the artistry of God.

He then introduces the angelic choir of Thrones, described as spiritual mountains, elevated by grace and immersed in adoration of God’s majesty. They receive illumination from the Seraphim, the higher choir’s brilliance cascading down through the angelic hierarchy, linking them in a chain of love and light. Don Dolindo portrays the Thrones as worshipping God, their voices blending with Mary’s in a symphony of praise, their adoration reflecting her perfect mirroring of God’s power, wisdom, and love.

He describes the soul’s journey through this angelic choir, its own spirit humbled by their towering presence. He compares it to water dripping through rock, forming intricate patterns of stalactites and stalagmites, or a butterfly delicately navigating a mountain meadow. The soul, immersed in the Thrones’ adoration, is drawn deeper into a posture of loving submission to God, its own desire for Him intensified by their example. He concludes by highlighting the unimaginable joys that await those who love God faithfully, a reward far exceeding any earthly pleasure or achievement.

Chapter VI: The Archangels – The Angels – The Guardian Angels

This chapter shifts the focus to the lower choirs of angels, those more directly involved in interacting with humanity. Don Dolindo explains that the soul, having passed through the higher choirs, now encounters the Archangels, messengers of God’s power and love. He highlights the seven Archangels who stand before God’s throne, led by St. Michael, the triumphant defender of God’s glory against Satan. The soul, welcomed by these powerful spirits, receives an assurance of its entry into eternal happiness.

He then introduces the choir of Angels, guardians of God’s creation and His rational creatures. They maintain universal order, both in the physical world and the spiritual realm, ensuring the harmonious functioning of all things according to God’s will. Don Dolindo emphasizes their vast number and their attentive care, comparing them to a multitude of eyes watching over creation, ensuring its well-being. He depicts them as gentle guides and protectors, whispering words of encouragement and offering a delicate support to those struggling on their earthly pilgrimage.

He focuses particularly on Guardian Angels, those assigned to watch over individual souls. He shares a personal anecdote from his youth, where his Guardian Angel faithfully woke him each night just before the sanctuary lamp was about to go out, allowing him to replenish the oil. This story illustrates the angels’ constant vigilance and their loving concern for even the smallest details of our lives. He concludes by emphasizing the angels’ profound influence, their gentle promptings often going unnoticed, yet shaping our thoughts, actions, and ultimately, our eternal destiny.

Chapter VII: In the Glorious Choir of the Saints

This chapter focuses on the soul’s encounter with the Saints, those who have triumphed over the trials of earthly life and now share in God’s eternal glory. Don Dolindo describes the soul passing from the splendor of the angels to the radiant company of the saints, its own journey mirroring the progression of the Church Militant on Earth toward the Church Triumphant in Heaven.

He begins with the Apostles, chosen by Christ to proclaim His Gospel and establish His Church. He acknowledges their human weaknesses but emphasizes their transformation by the Holy Spirit, their martyrdom sealing their fidelity and securing their place in God’s Kingdom. He describes their radiant beauty, reflecting the brilliance of the Incarnate Word, the divine sun of the heavenly Jerusalem.

Don Dolindo then turns to the Martyrs, those who gave the ultimate testimony of love by sacrificing their lives for their faith. He describes their suffering as a testament to God’s power and grace, each drop of their blood shining like a flame of love in the divine embrace. He meticulously recounts the various forms of martyrdom, finding in each a reflection of Christ’s Passion and a source of eternal glory. He emphasizes that the pain they endured on Earth is now transformed into an everlasting joy, their wounds badges of honor in God’s Kingdom.

Next, he describes the Confessors, those who defended the truth of the faith and spread God’s Kingdom through their words and actions. He portrays them as shining beacons of light amidst the darkness of error, their unwavering faith and commitment to truth earning them a special place in Heaven. He compares them to astronomers who explore the mysteries of the universe, their intellectual pursuits a reflection of their deep desire to comprehend God’s truth.

Don Dolindo concludes by highlighting the profound joy and gratitude experienced by the soul as it witnesses the glory of the Saints. He encourages his readers to draw inspiration from their example, recognizing that earthly suffering, when united with Christ’s sacrifice, can lead to eternal reward. He reminds us that the path to Heaven is marked by trials and sacrifices, but the joy of eternal life far surpasses any earthly pain.

Chapter VIII: The Splendor of Virginity

This chapter celebrates the unique beauty and glory of those who lived lives of consecrated virginity. Don Dolindo depicts the soul ascending towards God, passing through triumphant arches and fragrant gardens, anticipating the ultimate joy of union with its Creator. He then describes the choir of Virgins, both men and women, shining with a radiant purity, their bodies and souls untouched by earthly passions. He compares them to white lilies in God’s garden, their love for Christ, the Divine Lamb, their defining characteristic.

He emphasizes the transformative power of grace, enabling these souls to resist the temptations of the flesh and dedicate their lives entirely to God. He highlights their unwavering focus on the Divine, comparing them to walled gardens, protected from the corrupting influences of the world. He then turns his attention to Mary, the Virgin of Virgins, the perfect model of consecrated purity. He describes her glory as surpassing all others, her Immaculate Conception and Divine Maternity setting her apart as a unique masterpiece of God’s grace.

Don Dolindo portrays Mary as the inspiration and guiding force for all consecrated virgins, their love for her reflecting their love for Christ. He describes her Assumption into Heaven, her body and soul reunited in eternal glory, as a testament to the power and dignity of consecrated virginity. He concludes by emphasizing the profound joy and fulfillment found in offering one’s entire being to God, a sacrifice that leads to a unique and everlasting reward in Heaven.

Chapter IX: The Virgin of Virgins is Assumed into Heaven with Her Body. She is a Song of Love, First Immaculate Fruit of the Triumph of the Virgins Who Shall Rise

This chapter delves deeper into the significance of Mary’s Assumption, emphasizing its connection to her perpetual virginity and its role as a foreshadowing of the resurrection of the body. Don Dolindo argues that Mary’s body, consecrated by the Holy Spirit and housing the Incarnate Word, could not remain subject to decay. He describes her Assumption as a triumph over death, a testament to the power of God’s grace to transform even our physical being.

He analyzes Mary’s Magnificat, finding in it a perpetual song of virginal praise, reflecting her complete dedication to God. He highlights her humility, her acceptance of God’s will, and her unwavering faith, all contributing to her extraordinary sanctity. He emphasizes that her Assumption is not merely a personal privilege but a sign of hope for all believers, a promise that our own bodies will one day be raised in glory.

Don Dolindo then contrasts Mary’s Assumption with the earthly remains of other virgin saints, their bodies still awaiting the resurrection. He argues that Mary’s unique role as Mother of God demanded a unique glorification, her body sharing in the triumph of her soul. He compares the disintegration of a virginal body to a seed planted in the ground, awaiting its transformation into a beautiful flower. He concludes by emphasizing that Mary’s Assumption is a radiant sign of God’s power and love, a promise of the ultimate victory over death and the glorious future that awaits all who remain faithful to Him.

Chapter X: The Magnificat of the Little Innocents, Flowers of Heaven

This chapter shifts the focus to the souls of infants who died before reaching the age of reason, describing them as a special category of saints in Heaven. Don Dolindo portrays them as pure and innocent, their brief lives untouched by the corruption of the world. He compares them to delicate dragonflies or fragile rose petals, their early deaths a testament to God’s loving providence.

He addresses the common question of why innocent children suffer, arguing that their Baptism incorporates them into Christ’s Mystical Body, making them sharers in His sacrifice on Calvary. He describes their deaths as a merciful act of God, sparing them from the temptations and trials of earthly life and bringing them directly into His eternal embrace. He emphasizes that their suffering, united with Christ’s, earns them a special place in Heaven, their innocence a radiant reflection of God’s love.

Don Dolindo describes the soul’s encounter with these little saints, their joy and innocence radiating throughout Heaven. He imagines them singing a Magnificat of praise, their voices blending with Mary’s and the choir of Virgins, proclaiming God’s greatness and mercy. He concludes by highlighting the beauty and hope embodied by these little ones, their presence in Heaven a reminder that God’s love extends even to the most vulnerable and innocent among us.

Chapter XI: In the Choir of the Souls Who Lived in the World

This chapter focuses on the souls of those who lived ordinary lives in the world, facing the challenges of marriage, family, and work, yet remaining faithful to God amidst these trials. Don Dolindo acknowledges the unique struggles faced by those called to holiness within the context of secular life, comparing them to moonlit landscapes, their light less brilliant than the sun but still offering guidance and beauty.

He highlights the sacrifices of holy mothers, describing them as martyrs who pour out their lives for their families, their love for God expressed through their dedication to their husbands and children. He acknowledges the tension between earthly and spiritual responsibilities, comparing these souls to birds with clipped wings, their desire for God constrained by the demands of their earthly vocations. He emphasizes that their perseverance amidst these challenges earns them a special place in Heaven, their faithfulness a testament to God’s sustaining grace.

Don Dolindo then turns to holy fathers, acknowledging their unique role in providing for and guiding their families, their sacrifices often hidden from view but no less valuable in God’s eyes. He then praises widowed souls, describing their loss as an opportunity for deeper union with God, their late-blooming chastity a testament to their enduring love for Him. He concludes by highlighting the beauty and diversity of the Communion of Saints, encompassing those from all walks of life, each reflecting a unique facet of God’s glory.

Chapter XII: The Ascension of the Soul to its Place of Glory According to its Merits

This chapter describes the soul’s final ascent to its designated place in Heaven, determined by the merits it acquired during its earthly life. Don Dolindo emphasizes that Heaven is not a uniform state of existence but a hierarchy of glory, reflecting the varying degrees of love and holiness achieved by each soul. He compares this to different levels of education, each requiring a specific level of preparation and leading to a particular type of expertise.

He explains that the intensity of purification in Purgatory is often correlated with the soul’s destined glory, those called to higher positions requiring a more thorough cleansing. He cites revelations of saints who have witnessed souls of popes, bishops, priests, and religious enduring particularly intense suffering in Purgatory, their earthly vocations demanding a higher degree of sanctity and therefore, a more rigorous purification.

Don Dolindo emphasizes that despite the varying levels of glory, all souls in Heaven experience perfect happiness, their joy commensurate with their capacity to receive God’s love. He compares this to different sized vessels, each filled to the brim, reflecting the unique capacity of each soul to experience God’s fullness. He concludes by affirming that God’s love and justice are perfectly harmonized in Heaven, each soul receiving its due reward, reflecting His perfect plan for our salvation.

Chapter XIII: The Soul Contemplates Mary in Her Glory

This chapter focuses on the soul’s contemplation of Mary’s glory in Heaven, her unique role as Mother of God and Queen of Heaven and Earth. Don Dolindo emphasizes Mary’s radiant beauty, her physical perfection reflecting her profound spiritual beauty. He cites the testimony of Bruno Cornacchiola, who witnessed a vision of Mary, describing her beauty as surpassing any earthly comparison, a radiant expression of her Immaculate Conception and fullness of grace.

He refutes the argument that Mary’s privileges diminish her personal merits, arguing that God, in His foreknowledge, saw her free consent and humble acceptance of His will, making her worthy of the graces she received. He highlights Mary’s fiat at the Annunciation, her willingness to become the Mother of God despite the potential for suffering and misunderstanding, as a testament to her profound love and obedience.

Don Dolindo then describes Mary’s intimate union with Christ throughout her life, her maternal love for Him intensified by her awareness of His divinity. He emphasizes that her constant “yes” to God, her unwavering dedication to His will, earned her an immeasurable treasure of merit. He concludes by emphasizing Mary’s role as a model for all believers, her humble yet glorious life a testament to the transformative power of God’s grace and the profound joy that awaits those who surrender to His will.

Chapter XIV: The Greatness of the Merits of Mary

This chapter expands on the previous chapter’s argument, meticulously outlining the numerous merits accumulated by Mary throughout her life. Don Dolindo begins by addressing the common objection that Mary’s Immaculate Conception and other privileges negate her personal merits. He counters this by emphasizing God’s foreknowledge and respect for human freedom, arguing that God foresaw Mary’s free and loving consent to His will, making her worthy of the graces bestowed upon her.

He then analyzes Mary’s life in detail, beginning with her childhood consecration in the Temple, her early dedication to God paving the way for her future role as Mother of the Redeemer. He highlights her humble acceptance of St. Joseph as her spouse, her obedience to the Divine Will overriding any personal preference or earthly desire. He emphasizes her hidden life in Nazareth, her daily tasks performed with love and dedication, transforming ordinary chores into acts of worship.

Don Dolindo meticulously examines key events in Mary’s life, from the Annunciation to Calvary, finding in each a testament to her unwavering faith, profound humility, and boundless love for God. He describes her fiat at the Annunciation as a seed that blossomed into countless acts of virtue throughout her life. He highlights her courage and resilience in facing the challenges of her Son’s public ministry, the sorrows of His Passion, and the agonizing grief of His death.

He concludes by emphasizing that Mary’s merits are immeasurable, reflecting her unparalleled union with God and her complete self-gift to His will. He challenges those who minimize her role, arguing that her life stands as a radiant model for all believers, her example inspiring us to strive for greater holiness and deeper surrender to God’s loving plan.

Chapter XV: The Soul Beholds Mary Mother of God and the Glorious Humanity of Jesus Christ

This chapter describes the soul’s experience of contemplating both Mary and Jesus in their glorified state, their presence in Heaven the culmination of their earthly lives and the fulfillment of God’s plan for their salvation. Don Dolindo depicts Mary as a radiant Queen, seated beside her Son, her glory reflecting her unique role as Mother of God. He emphasizes the ongoing presence of the Holy Spirit in Mary, her perpetual virginity and divine maternity making her a vessel of God’s ongoing action in the world.

He then turns to Jesus, highlighting His use of the title “Son of Man” as a perpetual recognition of His Mother and her role in His Incarnation. He emphasizes Jesus’s physical beauty, His glorified body reflecting the perfection of God’s creative power and the purity of Mary’s womb. He describes Jesus’s five wounds, now radiant with glory, as signs of His love for humanity and His willingness to suffer for our redemption.

Don Dolindo then explores the soul’s contemplative experience, drawing upon the imagery of the Song of Songs to illustrate the intimate union between Christ and the purified soul. He describes the soul’s desire for Christ, its longing for His embrace, and its joy in possessing Him fully in Heaven. He emphasizes the beauty of the soul adorned with grace, its former imperfections now erased, making it a worthy bride for the Divine Bridegroom.

He concludes by describing the soul’s deepening awareness of Christ’s love, His sacrifice on the cross now seen in its full splendor, His dimensions of love embracing all of humanity and extending throughout eternity. This encounter prepares the soul for its ultimate union with God, its vision of Christ’s glorious Humanity a final step before entering the infinite light of the Trinity.

Chapter XVI: The Soul in the Ineffable Glory of the Most Holy Trinity

This chapter describes the culmination of the soul’s journey, its entrance into the beatific vision and its union with the Most Holy Trinity. Don Dolindo emphasizes that this encounter is not merely an intellectual apprehension of God but a complete immersion in His love, a transformation of the soul by the divine presence. He explains that the soul, through grace, already participates in the life of the Trinity, becoming an adopted child of the Father, redeemed by the Son, and sanctified by the Holy Spirit. This indwelling presence of the Trinity is now fully realized, the soul experiencing a perfect and unhindered union with God.

He then delves into the mystery of the Trinity, explaining the distinction of Persons within the unity of the divine essence. He uses the analogy of human understanding to illustrate the relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Father eternally generating the Word, and their mutual love giving rise to the Holy Spirit. He emphasizes that this is not merely a philosophical concept but a living reality, the source of all creation and the ultimate goal of our existence.

Don Dolindo describes the soul’s overwhelming joy and wonder as it beholds the Trinity, its earthly faith now transformed into a direct and intuitive knowledge of God. He contrasts this clear vision with the limited and often distorted understandings of God prevalent on Earth, influenced by human pride, pagan idolatry, and satanic deception. He laments the errors and heresies that have plagued humanity, leading souls astray from the truth of God’s nature and His loving plan for our salvation.

He emphasizes that the soul, in Heaven, sees God as He truly is, the infinite and eternal source of all being, goodness, and love. He describes God’s attributes, His simplicity, immutability, eternity, immensity, and holiness, as radiant expressions of His perfect and self-sufficient Being. He contrasts this vision with the flawed and limited understandings of God often promoted by human science, which, despite its impressive achievements, can only grasp a small fraction of God’s infinite reality.

Don Dolindo concludes by describing the soul’s complete immersion in God’s love, its union with the Trinity so profound that all earthly anxieties and doubts dissolve into a symphony of praise and adoration. He portrays the entire heavenly court, angels and saints alike, joining in this chorus of love, their voices blending in an eternal “Hallelujah” to God’s glory. He ends with a poignant reminder of our own earthly pilgrimage, urging us to strive for holiness, embrace suffering with love, and seek God’s grace, that we may one day share in the eternal joy of the beatific vision.

Chapter XVII: My Farewell to Earth

This final chapter serves as Don Dolindo’s personal farewell to the world, anticipating his own death and expressing his longing for Heaven. He reflects on his life, marked by poverty, humiliation, and suffering, but ultimately filled with joy and gratitude for God’s love and the privilege of serving Him as a priest. He bids farewell to the earth, its beauty and suffering alike, entrusting it to God’s care and blessing.

He then offers a heartfelt farewell to the Church, his spiritual mother, praising its role in guiding souls to salvation and expressing his hope to join the ranks of the Saints in Heaven. He addresses specific elements of his priestly life, bidding farewell to the baptismal font, the confessional, the tabernacle, the altar, and the various places where he served God and His people.

Don Dolindo reflects on his own personal journey, acknowledging his weaknesses and failings but also expressing gratitude for God’s mercy and forgiveness. He emphasizes his love for those who opposed him, recognizing that their criticisms often stemmed from a misunderstanding of his unique vocation and his unwavering commitment to God’s will.

He then anticipates his own death, envisioning his simple burial and expressing his hope that even in death, his message of trust in God will continue to resonate. He concludes with a final prayer, commending his soul to Jesus and Mary, anticipating the joy of the resurrection and the eternal happiness that awaits him in God’s Kingdom. This final chapter serves as a poignant reminder of the transient nature of earthly life and the importance of living in a way that prepares us for our eternal destiny.

🙏 Your PayPal Donation Appreciated

Select a Donation Option (USD)

Enter Donation Amount (USD)


As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you.

Note: While content aims to align with Catholic teachings, any inconsistencies or errors are unintended. For precise understanding, always refer to authoritative sources like the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Always double-check any quotes for word-for-word accuracy with the Bible or the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Scroll to Top