The issue of “Purgatory” is a contentious one in some quarters but it is well understood in the Catholic Church. It ought not be controversial at all having recourse to logical reasoning but the antagonists of the idea hold that it is a spiritual matter that may not necessarily be subjected to the test of reason. They would rather look upon the scriptures for reliable indications in such spiritual claims.
The dead person has no body with which to live in Time and Space, but is spirit. This spirit is not yet qualified for eternal life and so cannot enter eternity. I feel that the soul in purgatory that is not equipped with body required for life in history is trapped in history – at least in time, perhaps in space too. This theory of a bodiless soul being trapped in history is my own conjecture and not authoritative. It is predicated upon the time tag placed on the concept of Purgatory by Scripture and Church Tradition – time for purgation to qualify for entry into eternity; time the soul that built on the foundation, “…which is Jesus Christ”, (1Cor. 3:11) but with material that could not survive the testing fire, requires to be saved “as through fire” (1Cor. 3:15); time which shall stop at the same time with Purgatory because, known as hades (which is a temporary place of suffering , a state in-between Heaven and Hell Fire or Gehenna), it shall be thrown along with death into the lake of fire, at the end of time, after the Last Judgment (cf. Rev. 20: 13-15).
I feel that part of the suffering of this soul may be as a result of the trapping, the imprisonment, occasioned by the inability of the bodiless soul to live normally in a realm that requires a body. The body is, therefore the adaptation required for the soul to experience life in Time and Space. He has lost this body in death but is not permitted to get to eternity where his nature belongs, where time does not exist. Other sufferings are now determined by what God considers commensurate, in his own circumstance, for him to be purged and purified. Thanks to God’s mercy, he can now enter into his blissful eternal home.
* Some important links on Purgatory:
1. Purgatory. Catholic Answers
2. CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Purgatory – New Advent
3. Heaven, Hell and Purgatory – EWTN.com
4. The Burning Truth About Purgatory
5. Scientific Proof of Poor Souls in Purgatory in Rome
6. Part 1: Proof of Purgatory? Look No Further
7. Description of Purgatory – Medjugorye.com
8. Is Purgatory in the Bible? Tim Staples
9. The Doctrine of Purgatory – Catholic Culture.org
10. Proving Purgatory Brother André Marie
C. C. Nweze