The Godhead is like a pure, holy Fire of love; and all who have been purified can enter that love, after death, without pain or fear. They have been so transformed by Christ, and through prayer and penance, that they resemble God; and in their union with God they experience the bliss and peace of heaven.
Just as an orchestra member steps forward to make music at a concert without any further practice, after years of training, so those souls whose sins have all been forgiven, and who have done penance, or have gained a Plenary indulgence, have no need for 'training' in Purgatory, before they join the great chorus of praise of God in Heaven, with all the Saints.
Just as the ancient people of God made an idol of a golden calf, so many people today make an idol of their private opinions, neglecting God's law, or they lack reverence in church, neglect prayer and penance, and disregard the duties of their state of life - loving their own will instead of the Will of God.
The nuns who have offered their whole lives to God in contemplation and penance effect powerful changes in the lives of sinners. The penances of ordinary people, too, are effective, pouring into the world, by God's grace, a stream of living water rather than the 'puss' which oozes from sinful deeds and conversations.
Just as in a childrens' play-house there can arise nasty squabbles, and an adult has to swoop down to help the children to see reason, so in the Church, our joy can be spoiled by squabbles about doctrine or Liturgy, especially when the truth offered by those in authority is ignored; and so God swoops down from time to time, to help, by means of an inspiring vision, or a message, or a new call to penance, or a new gift of encouragement for the Church.
People who live in the depths of sin, through drink, drugs, immoral relationships or pornography or other habits that alienate them from God, are like people lost in a smoke filled mine: unable to see how dangerous is their state or to find their way back to God's light. They desperately need the help of others' prayers and sufferings.
Sick people have no special right to enter Heaven just because they have suffered much, no matter what sentimental onlookers say. The sick, too, are called to holiness. They need to believe, to think and act with charity, and to persevere, in order to be saved. Yet they have had greater than usual opportunities to do penance, by accepting their sufferings in patience.
Christ wants His faithful people to realise the truth: that all their efforts to serve Him and to pray for others are immensely worthwhile. Even when it seems as if there will always be another hill to climb on the Holy Mountain, we are doing great things for God and other people by our penances and intercessions. It's as if we are hauling a trolley-full of needy people towards Heaven.
We are right to do penance for our sins, especially in the season of Lent. But if we fail in our efforts, we must not become despondent. Our Divine Saviour, Who can forgive the most evil acts of a repentant sinner can certainly forgive us, if by carelessness or greed we act to indulge ourselves in little ways.
A person who repents of sin, goes to Confession, receives absolution, prays and offers penance as the Church requests, and who perseveres in love and service, is eventually drawn into the life and prayer of the Holy Trinity, as if spiralling in a heavenly dance of delight, in known and blissful union.