I suppose if people think that souls automatically and immediately go to heaven, then speaking about purgatory is a waste of time.  In fact, it seems that some people have difficulty even saying the word ‘purgatory,’ and then only to make some disparaging remark about this aspect of God’s love and mercy.

Even if someone has led a very virtuous life, how can we be so absolutely certain that they have fully “paid” the temporal punishment due to sin?  I’m not sure, when the moment comes, I’d be able to say it of myself, so how could I possibly say it of another person?

I can only plead, therefore, that when I die, people observe the Catholic practice of praying for me: that if I be “in purgatory” that this purification may be speedily accomplished.  The best way we can pray for the holy souls in purgatory is to have Mass offered for them.  We can also apply indulgences to them, not to mention offering our daily prayers and sacrifices for them.

Thanks to Psallite Sapienter for these timely thoughts!