Inferno, And Heaven In Dante's Divine Comedy

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In his letter to the Galatians, Saint Paul writes that in order to live in Christ men must die to themselves, offer up their struggles to Christ and make a conscious decision to let Christ live and work through them. In order to understand Dante’s Divine Comedy it is vitally important to make the distinction and state that it is not a roadmap that explicitly directs readers physically through hell, purgatory, and heaven. The Divine Comedy is an allegorical journey that reveals the nature of sin, repentance, and redemption. The story’s protagonist and author, Dante, travels through hell and purgatory under the guidance of the poet Virgil before reaching heaven, so that Dante, as well as the reader may be able to experience the spiritual growth …show more content…
While the parting of Virgil may seem to be careless and unappreciative on the part of Dante, this casual goodbye illuminates the greater message: that reason can only support a person so far, then faith takes over to fill up every crack and crevasse with divine love. This goodbye represents the fullness of spiritual growth attained by Dante that brings about his final journey into Heaven that Virgil will never know. The reason Dante can experience divine love is because, unlike Virgil, he allowed himself to be loved and he gave the required “yes” to God. Now totally infatuated with the women he loves, Dante experiences both justice and mercy existing together in Heaven. Dante states that justice and mercy are able to exist together in heaven through Christ’s life, death, and resurrection that is, “by grace alone, not that ‘twas merited”, not one account of anything else (Canto VII.41). Christ’s crucifixion put death and sin to its seed. The crucifixion accompanied by His death and resurrection humanity was brought to eternal life. Along with the coexistence of justice and mercy, everyone in heaven gets along because “sins of passion have also been put to death” (Canto VIII). The fact that earthly passions do not translate in Paradise further highlight the importance of journeying through Purgatory for the proper spiritual growth to take place. The first Canto of the Paradiso holds the greatest importance, through its illustration of a banquet procession, the grandeur described illuminates the point that full communion with God is found in participating in his life, death, and

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