One of my personal images of purgatory is this: A huge room that looks like a seedy bus terminal, overheated, stuffy, and complete with peeling paint, surly ticket agents, and a few drunks passed out in vomit in the corner, and in that big waiting room there are Catholics, Episcopalians, Lutherans, and Methodists all packed in because we are all too stupid to resolve the minute but significant doctrinal differences that separated us in the first place, and the Catholics are there because they did not in life try to explain why we believe what we believe to the other “first generation” split-off group.
I know that time as we understand it does not exist in Purgatory, but once a week (in my image) St. Michael himself comes in like a stern junior high school principal, AGAIN explains the minute differences and why they are erroneous, and asks for repentance among our separated brethren, and the Catholics have to write an essay about why they didn’t bother to try to explain it to someone during life, why they didn’t offer to take someone to Mass who had never been before, why they did not pray for Christian unity, and so forth. We all sit there and look stupid, because we are. Yet people went to their deaths for some of these erroneous beliefs. Then we all have to get in line and ask the surly ticket agents for our tickets, and get told that we can’t get on the bus yet. We go back and sit down in our own miserable stupidity until the next time.
There are other rooms for people who are further away from the Faith, and my personal imagination hasn’t concocted anything specific that goes on there.
That was just my own personal meditation on the subject of purgatory. I truly believe that the small but significant differences in belief among the closest-to-Catholic wounds the Heart of Christ even more than outright disbelief in Him. I pray, but don’t have much hope, that some day these things will be resolved here on earth. No, people are still having too much “fun” throwing spitballs at each other!