Fire of Love
Publisher: Sophia Institute Press
Publication Date: 6 x 4.5 x 0.3 inches
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Transcript of Video:
Our book today is Fire of Love by St. Catherine of Genoa, not to be confused with St. Catherine of Sienna. She’s a mystic who experienced purgatory. Her descriptions are interesting because I think some of the things of purgatory are hard to make real, but she did her best.
I guess I should give some of her background. She worked in a hospital who were taking care of people dying of plague in 1493 in Genoa. 80% of the citizens who remained in Genoa that year died, and yet, she stayed in the hospital. Can you imagine that? Talking about unfathomable heroism.
So this is a book from a person of that sort. I will give you my favorite metaphor that she does to make purgatory real. She says to imagine that you are absolutely starving, wasting away, and there is an endless hunger for food. And you know that in some very distant land there is a loaf of bread that will completely and utterly satisfy your hunger. The difference between purgatory and hell is that: in purgatory, you know that over some period of time, you will get to that bread. In hell, you know you will never get that bread. You know you have no hope to get that bread. You will never get it. And that will be your story for the rest of eternity.
St. Catherine uses some incredibly powerful metaphors to describe the characteristics of purgatory and how they compare to hell. It's an eye-opening account! After reading this, I'm definitely more interested in working off my temporal punishment on earth rather than in purgatory!