I have no problems with the doctrine of purgatory, but perhaps I don’t understand it correctly because indulgences just don’t make any sense to me.
I understand that even though our sins may be forgiven, the damage that they do to our soul remains. We still are in love with our sinful ways. Our souls need cleansed/healed. Our desire to sin must be burned away before we can come face to face with God. This all makes good sense to me. I also like the imagery that heaven hell and purgatory are the same place and your disposition is the difference. If you are able to face God and fully accept him you are in heaven, if not you are turned away from him you are forever running into your own shadow and are in hell. Pugratory is the process of turning to perfectly face God.
As I said, all of this makes perfect sense to me, but how do indulgences fit into this picture? How do the relatively simple procedures involved with indulgences heal/clean your soul, remove your desire to sin, or turn you more towards God? I can kind of see how prayers of others would help you to work things out, but it seems to me that the only you could do to help yourself avoid purgatory would be longterm, life-changing, and ultimately internal. Is there something I’m missing or have wrong? I admit my knowledge of indulgences is extremely limited.