I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it,o in hope that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God (verses 18-21)
In his second encyclical, Spe salvi, Pope Benedict notes, "Some recent theologians are of the opinion that the fire which both burns and saves is Christ himself, the Judge and Saviour" (par. 47). The Holy Father, whose subject in this letter is hope, went on to write,
The encounter with him is the decisive act of judgement. Before his gaze all falsehood melts away. This encounter with him, as it burns us, transforms and frees us, allowing us to become truly ourselves. All that we build during our lives can prove to be mere straw, pure bluster, and it collapses. Yet in the pain of this encounter, when the impurity and sickness of our lives become evident to us, there lies salvation. His gaze, the touch of his heart heals us through an undeniably painful transformation “as through fire”. But it is a blessed pain, in which the holy power of his love sears through us like a flame, enabling us to become totally ourselves and thus totally of God (par. 47)Commenting on this more hopeful way of thinking about purgation, theologian Lawrence Cunningham wrote that what he found attractive about this passage is how the pope "re-imagined [purgatory] in the light of Christology," employing "an aspect of Christology not always emphasized: Christ as (just) Judge."
This strikes me as a very good point of reflection as we come to the end of another year of grace, approaching the great solemnity of Christ the King