She was gripped with sorrow in case of that event and began praying for their souls.
This was a powerful moment for me because I'd always had a tender spot for those holy souls in Purgatory who had no one to pray for them. However, I'd always thought of them as someone much like the little match girl in Hans Christian Andersen's story. Huddled in a corner, everyone they knew was gone, and no one left to pray for them.
It hadn't occurred to me that those forgotten souls might be forgotten because it never would have occurred to anyone that someone so evil in life might have repented and now be in need of prayers while in Purgatory.
It dovetailed nicely though with one of my favorite images from Madeleine L'Engles meditations in one of her books (and I can't remember which one right now, but aren't we glad I wrote it down to remember?).
... There is an old legend that after his death Judas found himself at the bottom of a deep and slimy pit. For thousands of years he wept his repentance, and when the tears were finally spent he looked up and saw, way, way up, a tiny glimmer of light. After he had contemplated it for another thousand years or so, he began to try to climb up towards it. The walls of the pit were dank and slimy, and he kept slipping back down. Finally, after great effort, he neared the top, and then he slipped and fell all the way back down. It took him many years to recover, all the time weeping bitter tears of grief and repentance, and then he started to climb up again. After many more falls and efforts and failures he reached the top and dragged himself into an upper room with twelve people seated around a table. "We've been waiting for you, Judas," Jesus said. "We couldn't begin till you came."Why do I bring all this up?
It came inexorably to mind when Frank at Why I Am Catholic began considering the fact that Vlad the Impaler was Catholic. You know him, right? Vlad Dracul III? Dracula? The real one.
As always Frank's cogitations are good ones. Go read. Think. And don't forget to pray for those forgotten souls. Whoever they are.