It’s Getting Hot in Here

In the morning before I get up I like to read the daily prayer/information of the day from Universalis. This is an on-line publishing group that puts the Liturgy of the Hours, mass readings, and other Catholic information out into the ether for public viewing. I get it on my cell phone.

When it’s a saint’s day there’s usually some straightforward explanation of what the person did to earn sainthood. Today’s description is particularly entertaining, however. Apparently, today is the 688th anniversary of Dante Alighieri’s death.

Dante, as painted during his lifetime by Giotto

Dante, as painted during his lifetime by Giotto

Allow me to quote from Universalis:

“…Too many people think of ‘grim Dante’ of the Inferno (Hell), the inventor of grotesque punishments, and that is all they know of and read. Fools! The horrors of Hell are the horrors of sin itself, sin stripped of the false romanticism we give it…”

I love the declaration of, “Fools!” Such passion! Such humanity, to strip away all neutrality in the description! It cracks me up. It also makes me want to read Dante again. There are three parts to the Divine Comedy: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. Count me among the fools who have read only the first of these.


“The Divine Comedy is a massive poem narrating a journey through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise – it is simultaneously a vision, an imaginative poem, a spiritual journey, a commentary on life and politics, a deep work of psychology, and a synthesis of the then still revolutionary theology of St. Thomas Aquinas.”

Nice sell. More:

“But if you must read just one book, read the Purgatorio (Purgatory), where you see ordinary, fallible men and women – people like you and me – no longer able to sin, or wanting to, but still bearing the stain and being purged of it. Suffering there is, but there is also joy…”

I’ll put Dante on the reading list, behind Thomas Aquinas. I guess you could say he’s on the back burner for now. (heh heh)

Categories: Brain Workouts

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