Sorry to start this and abandon it. It is still on my mind, but I am working so many hours for online teaching.
Purgatory, it's real, and a grace of God.
Below is a short story from just one mystic - there are so many saints and mystics with similar stories - telling us how important it is to pray for the dead, since most of us Heaven-bound haven't reached heavenly perfection at the time of our death, and we pass through a refining fire, a place where we learn the lessons of love we did not learn on earth, how to love others and ourselves, how to forgive others and ourselves. It makes sense, because we are not ready for a place of such pure love if we cannot love ourselves and others. We wouldn't be happy there. The prayers of the living help hurry souls along that journey, and from the greatest pain of purgatory: the desire to see God's face.
The following is from, "Visits from the Holy Souls in Purgatory –The life of the Austrian Mystic, Maria Simma (1915-2004)", here: https://www.mysticsofthechurch.com/2...-souls-in.html
and it is one thing that has really stuck on my mind since I read it - the importance/responsibility for praying for every soul in my life, even those I have met only briefly:
-Can you give me an example of where a very small prayer made a very big difference?
'Yes, every smallest prayer is heard. Let me think. Oh yes, and here again it concerned a Poor Soul who came to me some years ago.
'A man appeared one night and after he'd told me what he needed to be delivered, he remained standing in front of me and asked, "Do you know me?" I had to answer no.
He then reminded me that many years ago, in 1932, when I was only seventeen he had traveled with me briefly in the same compartment of a train to Hall, [Austria].
Then I certainly did remember. He had complained bitterly about the Church and about religion, and I felt I had to respond to this by telling him that he was not a good person to pull down such holy things. This response surprised and annoyed him, and he told me, "You are still too young for me to let myself be lectured by you." And I just couldn't resist being a bit rude and fired back at him, "Still, I'm smarter than you are!"
That was that, he sank his head into his newspaper and didn't say another word. When his station came by and he left the compartment, I simply prayed under my breath, "Jesus, do not let this soul get lost."
And now that he was with me, he told me that that tiny prayer had saved him from getting lost for all eternity."