Let us strive to do penance in this life, St. Teresa encourages us: "How sweet will be the death of those who have died for all their sins, and will not go to Purgatory!
The souls in Purgatory, while they purify themselves, do not acquire any merit. Their task is much harsher, more difficult and painful than any other that exists on earth: they are suffering all the horrors of the man who dies in the desert... and yet this does not make them grow in charity, as would have happened on earth by accepting pain for love of God. But in Purgatory there is no rebellion: even if they had to remain there until the end of time, they would willingly stay, such is their desire for purification.
We, besides relieving them and shortening the time of their purification, can indeed merit and, therefore, purify more promptly and effectively our own disordered tendencies.
Pain, sickness, suffering, are an extraordinary grace of the Lord to make reparation for our faults and sins. Our passage on earth, while we wait to contemplate God, should be a time of purification. With penance the soul is rejuvenated and disposed for Life. "Never forget: after death, you will be received by Love. And in the love of God you will also find all the clean loves that you have had on earth. The Lord has ordained that we spend this brief day of our existence working and, like his Only-begotten Son, doing good (Acts 10:38). In the meantime, we must be alert, listening to those calls that St. Ignatius of Antioch felt in his soul as he approached the hour of martyrdom: come to the Father (St. Ignatius of Antioch, Epistola ad Romanos, : PG 5, 694), come to your Father, who is anxiously waiting for you".
How good and great is the desire to reach Heaven without going through Purgatory! But it must be an effective desire that leads us to purify our life, with the help of grace. Our Mother, who is the Refuge of Sinners, our refuge, will obtain for us the necessary graces if we are truly determined to turn our life into a spatium verae paenitentiae, a time of reparation for so many bad and useless things.