My purgatorial time, since it could number into the millennia, may well involve the equivalent of a constantly-on 24/7/365 golf channel by night, one or more tuneless whistlers by day, and bottles crashing into a recycling bin whenever I least expect it (in the midst of dead quiet) around the clock.
Oh, I jest (I hope). Purgatory holds no time that we have experienced (except in those timeless moments in life, like when meeting some new person who has just emerged from a womb). And punishment is certainly not His goal for the purging. His end goal has never changed: He wants us with Him for eternity, and we know that nothing imperfect can be with Him until perfect!
Hence, Purgatory is for purging the last remnants of the wages of sin/offense/willful disorderedness in us, and it’s something (according to St. Catherine of Genoa’s treatise) we’ll actually endure happily if sufferingly, so as to finally be with God. And St. Therese, the Little Flower, is having none of it (you can be purged right here, right now! Love LOVE Himself and make LOVE loved!).
However, since this is a response to a prompt, I would just add to the first dismal paragraph above that my burn-off time for accumulated rust (should I continue to be a fool here and waste my care on self and pleasant, well-fed others) could certainly involve lectures. Regular ones. On anything.
This is why I avoid visiting WordPress’ “Catholic” and “Catholicism” tags. I am de choir. (And for those who aren’t, much of it flies overhead, no doubt. Worse, though, it goes on and onnnnn and onnnnnn.) Speak of LOVE. He is alive and well. He has atoned. We just need to listen, to find out why He did that for us (individually — it is definitely Personal). It may just take 40 days..
Indeed, tomorrow is not only St. Valentine’s Day, it is Ash Wednesday: the beginning of LENT! Save yourselves from this corrupt generation! Or, at least think about the beyond — how greatly you are Desired until you arrive. Remember Him closely. Or be willing to be (re-)introduced. He Himself knows best how you or I “hear” Him; it is such a simple request to make. Ask it. It is always granted.
And do give up chocolate. Or beer. Both, if you dare. (End of lecture.) (Yes, I meant give it up just until Easter. Make mine a milk chocolate coconut cream egg.)
As for de choir, I’ll see you there tomorrow — and (as always) let’s hope Fathah with the big thumbs runs a bit low on ashes just before we approach him.