This severity of Divine Justice in regard to the most fervent souls is explained by the infinite Sanctity of God, who discovers stains in that which appears to us most pure.
The Annals of the Order of St. Francis speak of a Religious whose eminent sanctity had caused him to be surnamed Angelicus. (Chronique des Frères Min., p. 2, I, 4. c. 8; cf. Rossignoli) He died in odor of sanctity at the monastery of the Friars Minors in Paris, and one of his brethren in religion, a doctor in theology, persuaded that, after a life so perfect, he had gone directly to Heaven, and that he stood in no need of prayers, omitted to celebrate for him the three Masses of obligation which, according to the custom of the Institute, were offered for each departed member.
After a few days, whilst he was walking and meditating in a retired spot, the deceased appeared before him enveloped in flames, and said to him, in a mournful voice:
“Dear master, I beg of you have pity upon me!”
“What! Brother Angelicus, do you need my assistance?”
“I am detained in the fires of Purgatory, awaiting the fruit of the Holy Sacrifice which you should have offered three times for me.”
“Beloved brother, I thought you were already in possession of eternal glory. After a life so fervent and exemplary as yours had been, I could not imagine that there remained any pain to be suffered.”
“Alas! alas!” replied the departed, “No one can believe with what severity God judges and punishes His creatures. His infinite Sanctity discovers in our best actions defective spots, imperfections which displease Him. He requires us to give an account even to the last farthing.”