Why does God inflict suffering in Purgatory?

Why would God want to cause us terrible pain of fire for an indefinite time after we die? If God is merciful and kind, wouldn’t He cleanse us in a way that is not painful? I don’t understand why Catholics insist a kind and loving God would be the cause of pain. I am a cradle Cathlolic, but have been away from the Church for a good many years, and just within the last year have come back. But the more I read here, the more scared of God I become. In one breath you all say God is love, gentleness and goodness, and in the other breath you strike fear of God being one of wrath and pain. It is really a mixed message.

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Recommended Reading:

[LIST]
*]Why shouldn’t I fear purgatory?
*]If we’re justly punished in Purgatory, then why was Jesus punished?
*]What is the true nature of Purgatory?
*]Indulgence, what really is it?
[/LIST]

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