I confess to our Lord God, and to you my brothers and sisters, that I have a grievous fault: I believe in Purgatory.
Not, mind you, in a Treasury of Merit, or in those pesky indulgences, but in Purgatory. Those other inanities turn Purgatory into an economy, which it most certainly is not. They are attempts to manage time spent in Purgatory, as though time were both spent and negotiable; time is neither.
To be specific, I believe in the Dantean Purgatory, and I believe that it will take as long as it takes. Not, of course, that prayer is irrelevant in the foreshortening or distending of time – it is most certainly relevant. But, still, there is no transaction at all. Purgatory will take as long as it takes, until that moment when either the Second Coming occurs – but is that a ‘moment’, is it ‘something’ that will take place ‘in the future’? – or, as happens in Dante’s telling, each soul realizes they no longer need to remain in Purgatory.
In this way, it’s a lot like this here current pilgrimage through space-time itself. Funny that.