For me, if it exists, Purgatory would consist of reconciling every unkind word, thought or deed you’d ever experienced or inflicted on those you’ve met in the course of your life. And I’m a judgemental bugger so I’m in for a hard time. Especially so when I consider that I now know more people dead than alive.
That last point is something I try to remedy, I've no intention of being a ‘Nobby-no-mates’ when it’s my time to say adieu.
With that in mind, there is a lovely prayer taught me by the nuns as a small child.
‘Eternal rest, grant to them, oh Lord
And let perpetual rest shine upon them
May they rest in peace
And, as a minor confession, I say it faithfully each night for all those in my life who have died.
And whether you believe in God or Purgatory or not, it’s far from being a worthless exercise.
Each and every time, it brings to mind how, in some way or another, you’ve short-changed or misjudged this person or that. It may be an act of selfishness remembered, how you could have treated a person more kindly or with greater respect. And with it, gradually, you realise the mystery of one individual's life, how little you know or will ever know, and the importance of those you come across now. That final point is the ultimate lesson, I think.
The sermon is finished 😅