Unlike my earlier tradition, the Catholic church doesn't know for certain who will, can, or can be granted the glory of heaven; specifically how soon. Course this assumed you've been baptised, etc. but you get my meaning. With that in mind, how could we possibly believe that a confessed murder with a death row conversion could possibly be zipped to the front of the line. There has got to be a cleaning process of sorts. This was a fact that I never truly believed from my Protestant upbringing. Grace never seemed fully sufficient alone. There are simply some deeds that are so wrong, so evil that I don't believe a simple spiritual handshake is enough.
With that in mind, this last year we've had two major events take place. The birth of my perfect daughter, and the death of my father-in-law. He returned to his faith during the last months of his life. That said, he'd likely be a perfect candidate for Purgatory. Not being mean, just the way it seems to me.
That leads me to where we are now. So I was wondering what does one do, can someone help souls in Purgatory? The answer, according to the church is a resounding yes. Which I believe is just about awesome. Not only can you help those in need who are living through WORKS, but you can also help souls in Purgatory through prayer.
So starting on my father-in-laws one year anniversary, my wife and I will be saying a nightly rosary for his soul. Additionally, come the week of All Saints Day (Nov. 1 for those that don't know), we will visit the graves of both of my in laws and attempt to receive a indulgence for their souls. I'm really looking forward to the process and attempt. Of course, I still have to finish my annulment AND be in a state of grace but I'm hoping that even if I don't specifically "qualify" for the souls of my in laws and an indulgence, I can at least raise my voice and pray for their souls and all of those of the dearly departed.
Great article on Purgatory and helping souls: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/how-to-help-the-holy-souls-in-purgatory