Ven. Catherine Emmerich and the Holy Souls
Catherine had great compassion for the Poor Souls and offered her unremitting prayers and sacrifices for them. Above all, did Sister Emmerich pity the poor souls whose friends and family send them to heaven at once, in reward for natural good qualities, or those to whom relatives bear so soft and foolish an affection as not to be able to endure the idea of their needing the purifying flames of Purgatory before their admittance to the vision of God. Such souls she always saw among the most suffering and abandoned.
"All that man thinks, says, or does has in it a living principle for good and evil. He who sins should hasten to efface his faults by the Sacrament of Penance, otherwise he will not be able to prevent the full or partial consequence of his crime. I have often seen such consequence even in the physical sickness and sufferings of many individuals and in the curse attached to certain places. I am always told that a crime un-pardoned, un-expiated entails an infinity of evils."
"I have always had an intuitive perception of what is sacred and of what is profane, of what is holy, and what unholy; the former attracts me, the latter repels, and terrifies me, forcing me to resist it by faith and prayer. This impression is especially keen near human remains, nay more near the smallest atoms of a body once animated by a soul."
"This feeling is so strong that I have always thought there exists a certain relation between souls and body even after death, for I have felt the most opposite emotions near graves and tombs, near some, I have a sensation of light, of superabundant benedictions and salvation; by others, a sentiment of poverty and indigence, and I felt that the dead implored prayers, fasts, and alms; by many others I have been struck with dread and horror."
"When I had to pray at night in the cemetery, I have felt that there brooded around such graves as the last named, a darkness, deeper, blacker than night itself, just as a hole in black cloth makes the blackness still deeper. Over them I sometimes saw a black vapor rising which made me shudder. It also happened sometimes that when my desire to render assistance, urged me to penetrate into the darkness, I felt something repulsing my proffered aid."