Raissa writes that generous souls die quickly to self; those who are not generous take longer in the Dark Night of the Soul. She claims she was not generous. I find this hard to believe. Some people seem to be in the Dark Night of the Soul longer than others. Why this is so one cannot judge from the outside. Perhaps God uses some people's sufferings for the benefit of others, Perhaps those who are in the Dark Night suffer not only for themselves but for others.
We cannot know the mind of God regarding the length of time it takes someone to become purified or holy. We cannot know the mind, heart, soul, imagination and will of another person.
But, for someone as gentle and holy as Raissa to have such a long period of purgation is a great mystery.
Perhaps, she was suffering for her husband Jacques, so that his work in neo-Thomism would be successful.
Perhaps she was suffering for the world, out of war and into war so quickly.
Perhaps, she was suffering for the Jewish people, her people.
When one suffers before purgation is complete, the suffering is not perfect, is not pure. Yet, there is always some merit in such suffering, but not as much as would have been gained after purification.
Raissa gives us a hint of her suffering. "By renouncing the good things of this world, which , in certain cases more numerous than one might think, sin would have procured us--by giving to God our human and temporal happiness, we give him proportionately as much as he give us, because we give him our all, the widow's mite of the Gospel."
Suffering involves mystery.
(please note that the numbering of this series is not in order of publication--explain later)