Is Purgatory torture?

I am in RCIA, looking greatly forward to becoming a Catholic and very much excited about my new Faith! However, one thing disturbs me.

Is Purgatory a place of torture? I have heard that it is a place where we will be “burned” to clean our souls before entering Heaven and that we may be there a long long time. This seems like such a terrible thing to be facing at the time of one’s death–rather than passing peacefully into the Father’s presence, we are to be cast into a place of pain and torture? I understand we have the assurance of going to Heaven eventually if we are in Purgatory, and while that is some comfort, it sounds so–awful, quite frankly, and would be frightening to someone who is approaching death.

Can someone explain this to me?

These links should be helpful for understanding the Catholic Church’s teachings on praying for the dead. If you have any further questions or concerns that are not answered by these links, please contact Catholic Answers directly.
Recommended Reading:
]* The Roots of Purgatory**
]* If the souls in purgatory are destined for heaven, why do we pray for them?**

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