For souls in purgatory. They are doing their “as through fire” bit (1 Cor 3:15 but read from verse 11 ish) because as we know, we are called to be perfect as the Heavenly Father is perfect (Matt 5:48) and nothing unclean can enter heaven (Rev 21:27).
You may be thinking, “Yikes! Call that mercy?” In the book of Job the suffering man says of God, “He has tested me, and I shall come forth as gold.” Job was tested this side of life; but for many of us we will not be “as gold” when we die – though we should certainly be “working out our salvation in fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12) Sometimes we need to be reminded that we are not supposed to go to Purgatory. We are supposed to go straight to heaven. It is from the very depths of God’s mercy that a purgation exists for the saved, or not many at all would be saved.
I have heard it asked what we do about praying for people who seem likely not to have made it to Purgatory. We must pray anyway. Certainly praying for the those in hell doesn’t help them -but we are not to judge who is damned; only God knows that. So we pray and trust that in the infinite Mercy of God He will use our prayers for the best.
And just in case anyone reads this who doesn’t know this – only the saved go to Purgatory. It is a cleansing process for the saved, not a second chance.
May the souls of the Faithful departed in the Mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.