We must strive to improve our character while we are still in this life – we will pass into eternity with this very same character. We have the chance to change for the better if we repent of all our evil ways, but when a soul passes into eternity it does not have the capacity to pray for itself. I did not know this, but once I had the opportunity to feel as though my soul were about to depart my body. I felt that I could no longer pray for myself. A monk prayed for me, but I could not: my time for repentance was finished.
Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica