It is sometimes difficult to pinpoint the purgative state because we have sufferings more or less all the time, and then we have mystical sufferings. mystical sufferings are much more sensitive and have an unreal or unearthly aspect. my purgation did not start in full until the unitive state, and the unitive state did not start till the betrothal. I think it is appropriate at this time that one begins to suffer, because during the betrothal, I, for one, received the rings of Faith, Hope and Charity from God. They seemed to come from the hands of Jesus Himself (or was that just because I was LOOKING at Jesus?) Jesus became my fiancée, in other words. (But now I think, how would a Moslem, Jew, Hindu and other interpret this betrothal? Remember - it happens to all in all religions when they are on the unitive way.) In the unitive state you could say Our Lord says to you: "TAKE UP YOUR CROSS AND FOLLOW ME. HERE IT IS. THIS IS YOUR CROSS AND NOW YOU CAN FEEL IT. YOU WANTED IT AND ASKED FOR IT, YOU WERE WILLING TO BEAR IT. NOW TAKE IT, AND AT THE SAME TIME, MY LOVE. YES, YOU ARE NOW TRULY, MYSTICALLY UNITED WITH ME!"
And how blessed are those words, how beguiling to the vision of the mystic who hears them one way or the other This is the official beginning of reparation. I am not saying that one has not suffered before this. One may have had crucifying sufferings. Most people, in fact, have been crucified a lot simply to have reached this state. IT ISN'T EASY TO COME SO FAR! Or else - millions of millions would reach it, yet why is it always one out of millions? Because it is so hard! The state of illumination is the state of INFUSION. Reparation is discipline. one is joy and consolation, one is misery and merit How can I explain the difference?
You may discipline a child for many years, training, training. The child suffers and obeys, grows older and wiser. But you must keep TRAINING the child. Someday the child GROWS UP and says to you: "MOTHER, FATHER, TEACHER, I WILL NOW TAKE THE DISCIPLINE BY MYSELF.YOU CAN TRUST ME. YOU DON'T HAVE TO WATCH ME ALL THE TIME ANY-MORE. I WILL DO WHAT I KNOW I MUST." In the state of reparation/unity there is the element of WILLINGNESS, of LOVE. There you have it: LOVE HAS MATURED Before one has reached this state one may have talent, love and zeal. But this FLUCTUATES as a quality not yet stable. one applies one's energy and zeal with great aplomb, but this is usually side by side with many sins and faults, or vices and faults. 'It is the age of spiritual puberty. In puberty you get a lot from your parents. You get it automatically by infusion or grace - free gifts. Then, in the unitive state begins the time of extraordinary EFFORT. Heroic or extremely hard to come by virtue begins.
In the betrothal, you see your sins and are willing to PAY for them. This is mature love; commitment, This is TRUE love - the supernatural kind, the ONLY KIND THAT COUNTS. One comes closer to Christ, becomes more LIKE Him, (the Sufferers suffering for love. Before you were a baby/animal craving for love; Gods humans, any kind of love. You were a TAKER who had the NEED of love and was willing to return it BUT HAD TO BE GIVEN. Now, of course, you still want God's love and will certainly take whatever Light, love, peace, joy and etc. God will give you are to DELAY this feedback or recompense indefinitely. And you are willing to forego earthly recompense to a heroic degree. (All saints know they are going to be rewarded sooner or later but are willing to wait till LATER: whereas the immature cannot wait for recompense.)You cannot avoid purgation! Once it starts it is in you, around you, wherever you go! You cannot change circumstances to avoid it. (To run from one cross, that is inevitable, throws you smack dab into another; frying pan to fire WHEN IT IS GOD'S WILL YOU SUFFER.) It is AN INTERIOR MECHANISM that does something to you inside and somehow affects outside circumstances (mostly people) which makes your life hell, or at least purgatory. In relations to others, perhaps it is because you have taken on partly the countenance of Christ - and how He suffered, how the demonic hated Him! Now you are Him to some degree and the same thing happens to you. The demonic attacks THE CHRIST IN YOU. Your only defense or retreat is into that same Christ. You learn to USE the Christ within you as your shield, refuge and strength. You feel something inside you that is totally different, a kind of "sainthood" feeling, although you are not proud or vain. You feel, I guess, holiness because you reside in it. AND OTHERS WHO RATE HOLINESS FEEL IT TOO. I urge anyone who seeks holiness/ perfection not to run from the purgative state. Take it with courage, for it is INEVITABLE. Don't be like the rest of mortals who will do anything to get out of pain, to make life easy. Don't they consume their lives trying to make life easy? And where does it get them in the end? Sickness, and death, and misery, just like everyone else! They may enjoy some extra privileges, if they are lucky, of the terrestrial kind. But how deep is it? Do they enjoy that deep interior peace of a tortured saint? No, of course not. It is only superficial peace; the peace of this world. And in the end, their fate is illness, failure, death, and then damnation or a very horrible purgatory. So be smart. Do the right thing now. It is easy to suffer now, relatively speaking, no matter how horrid it seems. And it will be over in the twinkling of an eye, and you will be glad you suffered and you will be so HAPPY. The more you suffer now, for love, the more happy you will be in eternity! IT IS SO FAIR, so MERCIFUL of God to do it this way. Reward commensurate to suffering!
My health was not seriously affected by the purgation following the mystical betrothal, but it was during the dark night. I did not collapse, but as I said elsewhere, energy and willpower were gone. Small deeds took big efforts. Many people break down during purgation and collapse or be come incapacitated during the dark night. Some are paralyzed. I don't know why that happens but I have my theories. my theories are natural and supernatural causes. The natural - that the inborn condition or the lack of normal human strength, causes the person to break down. Secondly, God allows this for His own purposes, namely, to bring attention to that individual in the most economic way; perhaps in a way that that individual could not attain by any other method. So we see most of the stigmatists, and reparatory sufferers, getting an enormous amount of attention and respect and being able to convert and influence a tremendous amount of souls. Bad turns into good; sickness, poverty and pain into health, wealth and happiness.