Skip to main content

Taking Up a Journey into Hell

And so this is Lent and what have you done?
No Happy Easter, not yet,
the war has just begun.

Aside from some fasting/abstinence I'm reading Dante's Inferno, considered by many to be the greatest poem of the West, greater even than Homer's duo.



I'm three cantos in and loving it.
I came across this today from Canto Two (Anthony Esolen translation):

"What is it, then? Why stand here, why delay?
     Why let such cowardice come take your heart?
     Why are you not afire and bold and free,
Seeing that three such ladies blessed in Heaven
      care for your healing from their court above,
      and what I tell you holds forth so much good?"

The character Dante is hesitating before he begins his journey out of the dark wood with the Pagan poet Virgil. Virgil is urging him on, testifying that the Virgin, Beatrice (a woman that the real Dante fell in love with when very young) and St. Lucy are praying for Dante.



The lesson in this (for me anyway) is that great cloud of witnesses who pray for our success to find our end in God. There is no reason to fear life's absurdities--even if there is plenty to be afraid of.

Here my Lenten journey begins with an exhortation to take heart and be courageous. May you find the same message.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Dirty Hands Can Save You from Hell

"Eternal life will be a shared experience of awe, in which each creature, resplendently transfigured, will take its rightful place." --Pope Francis, Laudato Si
     Wonder and awe abound in the natural world for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.

     Perhaps we are caught short by a vibrant purple emanating from the petals of a wild lupine. We might stare wide-eyed at the lazy circles of a turkey vulture soaring on thermal air currents. Even the most agoraphobic city-dweller can find something beautiful about a landscape even if it's simply the warm and varied red, yellow, and orange of a sunset glowing on a building.

     "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof" asserts the Psalmist. If that verse is true, why don't we live like it? Why are we flabbergasted trying to come up with the names of the many plants and animals we pass by everyday?

     All people respond to beauty in some way or another--even those who have willingly or unwi…

Worth Quoting

"Therefore whoever is not illuminated by such great splendors in created things is blind. Anyone who is not awakened by such great outcries is deaf. Anyone who is not led from such great effects to give praise to God is mute. Anyone who does not turn to the First Principle as a result of such signs is a fool.Therefore open your eyes, alert your spiritual ears, unlock your lips and apply your heart, so that in all the creatures you may see, hear, praise, love and adore, magnify and honor God, lest the entire world rise up against you." -- St. Bonaventure, Itinerarium mentis in Deum

Another Publishing Triumph (with a new journal!)

I've got a piece on benthic macroinvertebrates in this new fantastic journal: Jesus The Imagination. It's filled with essays, artwork, and poetry. I haven't finished reading it, but I'm impressed so far.

Check it out--it's available on Amazon.