Suffering is relative. A person who suffers without hope of relief is indeed a sad case. But one who knows that suffering will end in perfect freedom from pain or disease gladly endures the severest pain. A patient of an incurable disease finds no solace in suffering, nothing but the dead weight of pain. But a patient who has the assurance of recovery willingly endures the surgeon's knife or the unpleasant remedies of the physician.

Purgatory is the vestibule of Heaven. It is the certainty of eternal salvation. All its sufferings are inflicted in love and endured in love. It is because the souls in Purgatory love God so much that they suffer so much. In purgatory they realize what God is, are drawn to Him most powerfully, and yet repelled from Him by the state of their souls. They cannot themselves hasten their union with God, since the time of meriting ends with life. But they can be helped by the charity of their friends on earth.