Autumn 2018

Purgatory

Soul: Come, show me where God’s house is,
I’m a stranger in paradise.

Guide: You’re not ready for that just yet
there are some things you must forget;
it’s common: most people don’t outlive
the warps their upbringings give,
the blinkered vision, the prejudice
make impossible the perspective
you need for your journey.

Soul: Which means that purgatory is for me?

Guide: Yes, but it isn’t torture.
Gradually, you will become mature
and see what made you unfree
the bonds bound at your mother’s knee,
the wrong assumptions of your culture
that dimmed your life’s adventure.
You will recognise and regret them.

Soul: Is that purgatory, then?

Guide: Yes. You will be distressed,
some parts must be excised,
but you will find a loved presence
close to your inmost sense,
pain and joy alternately.

Soul: Will I see God’s house, finally?

Guide: Yes, after more stages, startling
beautiful, bewildering.

Reg Naulty

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