The Path of Glory
Queen Elizabeth, Sweet Queen Bess, had died and she thought for certain that she would find herself in Purgatory.
Instead she found herself in the most marvelous sitting room she had ever seen. She had spent much of her life in little rooms waiting to see someone or to be seen by someone. She felt she was a good judge of sitting rooms. So, in her judgment, this was the best sitting room she had ever waited in.
And she waited and waited like she used to do when she was a little girl. Waiting and waiting to see someone who obviously wanted to see her. Just as she was wondering if maybe she was actually in Hell and it was her Hell to wait, the First Person of the Trinity entered the sitting room. Elizabeth had no doubt who it was–God the Father. He greeted Elizabeth warmly with a hug. Elizabeth had not received affection easily when she was alive, but this hug warmed her inside and out. God the Father sat in a chair beside her. He was regally dressed like her father, King Henry VIII, had dressed. She asked God the Father how her real father was. The First Person of the Trinity whirled a circle of light out of the air and bounced it to Elizabeth, and a vision came to her.
She saw her father–the old tyrant king–sleeping in a drunken stupor, lying in the sweat pouring from his fat body. Elizabeth asked God the Father, “Where is this place?” God the Father answered, “He has fallen under the load of carrying his soul up the old winding Purgatory Road.”
Pergatory Road 1 At this point, the multi-colored feathers on the collar of God the Father’s rich coat made a squawking noise. The feathers belonged to a parrot who said, “Actually he hasn’t done too badly. He’s halfway up the Fourth Path.” The parrot flew to her and whispered, “I am the Holy Spirit.” Then he whistled softly in her ear and without a word, Elizabeth knew what God the Father and the Holy Spirit wanted her to do.
Because of her experience with human beings, they wanted her to tour the living conditions in Purgatory. Because of the many variations of human behavior and numerous degrees of sin, the societal structure in Purgatory was getting complicated. They wanted Elizabeth to recommend what they should do to improve the out-of-date structure of Purgatory. The Father told her, “What is needed is Justice.”
When he said this, Elizabeth realized that these two Persons of the Trinity loved her deeply and wanted her to be their partner to find better ways to give everyone justice in Purgatory. She felt a pride and a happiness unlike any she had known. She was surprised by the respect these two persons of God felt for her. God the Father held a mirror up to her and for a brief second, she saw herself as God saw her, and she was very beautiful indeed.
“That’s all she can handle right now,” said the Parrot. God the Father and the mirror disappeared. The Holy Spirit continued, “You will make your journey with two other people whom we have chosen to be your partners. Do you agree to help us in this new creation?”
Elizabeth stood up and curtsied as if she were a little girl accepting a gift, as she replied, “I am honored by your request and I will do my best.” Feeling somewhat silly bowing to a parrot, she lost her confidence for a moment and asked, “How can this be? Why me?”
The Holy Parrot laughed, “Everything is possible with God. It’s an old line, but a good one. Anyway, we owe you so much. You paid for all those productions of new plays by Shakespeare.” Then the Holy Spirit whisked his tail of many colors and in a blink Elizabeth was standing alone in a blue space.
The corner of the blue space opened like a page. On the next page, she saw in a distance a beautiful man who appeared to be God the Son. She wanted to run to him, but she couldn’t, because behind him stood her cousin Mary, once the Queen of Scotland. Elizabeth was not ready to see her yet. She just stood there in the blue space until the Son waved at her. Then he sent a young girl out to talk to her.
Elizabeth bowed her head because she knew a saint when she saw one. The little girl said, “Elizabeth, I am so glad to be working with you. I’m Catherine of Siena. Before we go to Purgatory, we have to return to Earth.” At this, the blue space turned into a circling funnel twirling Elizabeth and Catherine until they found themselves on a cliff overlooking an ocean. In the distance a man was waving a stick and shouting orders at trees. Catherine said, “That man is Napoleon, once Emperor of France, and this is the Island of St. Helena.”