"I would go so far as to say that if there was no purgatory,
then we would have to invent it,
for who would dare say of himself
that he was able to stand directly before God.
And yet we don't want to be, to use an image from Scripture,
'a pot that turned out wrong,' that has to be thrown away;
we want to be able to be put right.
Purgatory basically means that God can put the pieces back together again.
That He can cleanse us in such a way
that we are able to be with Him and can stand there in the fullness of life.
Purgatory strips off from one person what is unbearable
and from another the inability to bear certain things,
so that in each of them a pure heart is revealed,
and we can see that we all belong together in one enormous symphony of being."
~ Pope Benedict XVI ~