I believe there is a purgatory.
I believe what the Catholic Church teaches.
Most people know the Church changed the rules on indulgences so that we no longer count days or years.* Indulgences are now simply plenary or partial. Counting time pretty much stops at death, right? I don't know. At any rate - souls who do not go straight to heaven, and those who are not damned, need to be purged - hence they are purified before they enter into the fullness of the Beatific Vision. Maybe that is not the right way to describe it either.
From all accounts, the purification process is painful - but not without hope... the soul knows he is saved.
Yet the Church asks for prayers and suffrages for the Holy Souls. They are called holy because they are saved. Holy people on earth seem to suffer rather well - at least the saints did - I suppose because they loved much. Likewise, the Holy Souls must grow in charity, and therefore have peace in their sufferings - don't you think?
Yet they need our prayers. It is such a mystery. Some of the saints and mystics said they communicated with the souls in purgatory - many often came to tell them they needed prayers and Masses, and so on. The other day I posted on a museum of Holy Souls, which contains artifacts from souls - evidence they left for the living as proof of their existence. That can be scary to people.
I believe what the Church teaches - I don't always believe what the mystics say however. For instance, I have a hard time believing the Maria Simma stories.
Of course, I pray for the souls of the dead, and have Masses said for them.
I sincerely hope I make it to purgatory.
I like the art.
*Did you know that the designation of so many days indulgence wasn't counted as time off in purgatory but counted for as many days of earthly penance instead? I read that somewhere. So if someone alive started now, doing penance - and did so for the rest of his life, he might well avoid purgatory all together. Kind of.