EWTN.com - Praying for souls in purgatory: "Hello Dr. Geraghty,
It seems that most prayers are not answered in the way we hope.
How do know that when we pray for the souls in purgatory or have masses said for them or do penance for them, that God is helping them? (Reducing their time in purgatory or perhaps helping them to bear it.) The Church encourages us to pray for them, but might our prayers often not be answered in the way we hope, much as they seem not be answered in the way we hope when we pray about earthly matters? (Healing, getting a job, etc.) Or can we not know either way?
Answer by Richard Geraghty on 11/15/2008:
The Church urges us to pray, knowing that since God is good, all prayers are to the good. Are not God's actions better than ours?