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May 29, 2021

As Dante makes his way up Mount Purgatory along his way to Paradise, he offers us a theological and pastoral map to purify and sanctify us of our remaining sinful nature–especially the 7 Deadly/Capital Sins. A fiction? Perhaps we can call it “historical fiction,” in that Dante bases his story on his and the Church’s theological understanding of Purgatory. And the Church based much of its understanding on writings by the early Church Fathers (Tertullian, Perpetua, Augustine and others), as well as our Jewish ancestors’ ritual of Kaddish that has surviving loved ones pray for the well being of their recently deceased loved ones. The difference between the experience of our Jewish brothers and sisters and that of us Christians, is that Kaddish lasts 11 months while we persist until our dying day–just to make sure! One final point made by our brother Dante: the light that illuminates his path, our path and the path of all who arrive in Purgatory and ascend its many levels, is that from God’s love. Our loving Father eagerly awaits the return of us–His prodigal children.