Transcript of audio:
What is purgatory?
Catholic teaching explains purgatory as the final purification that is offered to those who die in God’s grace and friendship. It's a concept that is often misunderstood. No one in purgatory goes to hell. They are not being punished. They are on their way to heaven. Purgatory is a refining process which removes the impurities remaining in our lives. Think of your souls as a sponge created to soak up the grace and presence of God. Impurities occupy space which is meant to be filled with His grace and presence. Lots of impurities leave little room for absorption. The impurities need to go so that the soul can fully and completely soak up God's grace and love and therefore enjoy being in His presence.
So purgatory is not punishment imposed on us. Rather, Catholics believe we enter this refining process so we can achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.