This year, 2020, marks the 700th anniversary of its completion. Next year, 2021, is the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death and arrival on Mount Purgatory. My new book will also be published then by Angelico Press, working title, Dante’s Divine Comedy: A Guide For The Spiritual Journey.
I invite you to experience the odyssey, too, by accompanying me as I discuss each canto.
He begins his journey by waking up in a dark wood. The air tastes bitter. He becomes fearful. Truth is out of reach. But his crisis is a turning point.
Many today, too, are waking up to something that’s gone wrong. The air tastes bitter, people are fearful, truth is out of reach. We’re in a spiritual crisis. We must see the world afresh and understand. I believe Dante can help us discover how.
Canto 33 brings the pilgrimage to completion. It is the end, which is also the origins of the journey. The canto stops at the point of maximum fulness, which must also be a moment when words cease to leave the potential space into which God’s life and light can flow unimpeded. This is the meaning of Bernard’s opening prayer to the Virgin Mary, she who above humility, affirmation and love, knew detachment: she could become the container for that which contains all. The presence of this immaculate, human receptacle for God inspires Dante to bring all he knows, desires and wills to his moment of emptying when, in an instant, he too knows that he is one with the love that moves the sun and the other stars.