Purgatory is a place where we go after we die, to be purged by the refining fire of God and made perfect, right? It will hurt, but we will have joy in the suffering because we know that it is bringing us closer to God, Heaven etc. (I guess the pain would decrease over time as well)
Purgatory is necessary because sin cannot be in the presence of God or it will simply burn up. So if sin is clinging to my soul, in a sense I am defined by it and so I will burn up as well.
I don’t understand how indulgences get around this reality.
An extreme example: Lets say I’m a serial rapist/Am addicted to the act of rape. I am extremely mentally disturbed, but at least I recognize my sin for what it is and am sincerely trying to repent. I slip up, again and again. I go to confession, again and again. The priest absolves me and I return to the state of grace again and again.
Surely in this example no matter whether I receive an indulgence or not, I am still attached to the sin of rape, and need to go to purgatory to have this attachment to sin purified from my soul, before I can step into heaven?
Right now it sounds to me as if I can skip purgatory and step right into heaven with all my sins still attached, just because I was granted an indulgence. This doesn’t make any sense to me at all. This is one of the main reasons I left the protestant church. I know that all my sins are forgiven during absolution/confession, but surely I still have to submit my soul to the refining fire of God no matter what, whether here now on earth or after death in purgatory?
What then is the purpose of an indulgence? What is the gap in my understanding?