I believe that our lives here on earth are a part of the process of purification, possibly the biggest part, if we allow it. Everything depends upon our cooperation with the Holy Spirit in our journey towards holiness. And I don’t know about you all, but whenever I decide to cooperate with God, to clean up my act, things don’t necessarily get better in my life, but quite the opposite, the heat seems to get cranked up a notch or two. This tells me that the fires are already at work trying to purify me of my attachments to the nasty stuff that clings to my soul.
Now, most of the time I get panicked and flee from all this heat, and completely undo any progress I have made. The trick is to recognize the pattern and ask for the grace to get through so I can get to the next level of purification.
I believe that whatever we don’t get accomplished here on earth in this process, we will have to endure afterward, and without the opportunity to help ourselves through direct prayer for grace. This is why it is important for us to remember those who have passed on, to pray for them as they can no longer help themselves in this way.
And the best thing to do to avoid a prolonged purification in the afterlife, is to try to allow God to accomplish it in us while we are here. It’s not going to be fun in either place, but I have a feeling it’s a lot less so over there.