The Roots and Dangers of Pride and Envy

By |2020-06-29T13:22:54-05:00June 29th, 2020|Categories: Books, Christianity, Dante, Dwight Longenecker, Louis Markos, Modernity, Senior Contributors|

Together, the corrupting sins of pride and envy destroyed the democracies of ancient Athens and Rome. But what lies at the root of these two greatest of sins? And is there any remedy or antidote that can cure us, and our society, once we give way to them? Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s “Immortal Combat” offers [...]

A Monster and the Mask

By |2020-05-22T17:48:52-05:00May 22nd, 2020|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Culture, Dante, Dwight Longenecker, Religion, Senior Contributors|

Dante’s ugly, shapeshifting demon, Geryon, is all around us, covering his rage with a facade of love, compassion, and concern. He is also within us. And this is a truth we must bring to light, because, without it, we cannot really understand the depth and grim reality of the Christian faith. “Behold the beast [...]

What Dante Can Teach Us About the Heroism of the Student

By |2020-04-25T17:01:50-05:00April 25th, 2020|Categories: Dante, Education, Imagination, Literature|

Part of Dante’s heroism in the “Divine Comedy” is his enduring pursuit of knowledge—he is full of wonder and longing for the truth. These qualities also make him an exemplary student. I have the great blessing of teaching at a tiny school in Wyoming that is truly devoted to liberal education. But for a [...]

The Face of Love: Beatrice as Type of Christ

By |2019-12-12T12:22:40-06:00December 18th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Dante, Great Books, Heaven, Imagination, Literature, Love, Paul Krause, Senior Contributors|

Throughout “Paradiso,” Beatrice is Dante’s companion, his light in the darkness, his first fruit guide to Divine Love itself. Dante is transfigured and transformed in Beatrice’s presence and through Beatrice’s wisdom. In this way, she mirrors the typological and sacramental reality of the messiah. Dante sees Beatrice, but hears Love itself in her voice [...]

Ascending the Mountain of Love

By |2019-12-12T01:49:38-06:00December 11th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Dante, Great Books, Imagination, Literature, Love, Paul Krause, Senior Contributors|

“Here let death’s poetry arise to life, / O Muses sacrosanct whose liege I am! / And let Calliope rise up and play / her sweet accompaniment in the same strain / that pierced the wretched magpies with the truth / of unforgivable presumptuousness.” Thus was Dante’s opening prayer as he entered Purgatory and [...]

Learning to Love Again: Dante’s Descent in the “Inferno”

By |2019-11-27T20:57:22-06:00December 4th, 2019|Categories: Dante, Great Books, Imagination, Literature, Love, Paul Krause, Senior Contributors|

That there is much depth to Dante’s “Inferno” is an understatement, and the poet’s descent into the abyss is perplexing at first glance. However, by invoking the muses of poetry and in being guided by Virgil, Dante tips his hand and reveals to the astute reader that the journey into—and through—hell will require the flowering [...]

Dante on the Beatific Vision

By |2019-10-29T20:47:24-05:00October 29th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Dante, Great Books, Imagination, Letters From Dante Series, Louis Markos, Senior Contributors|

To achieve the Beatific Vision of Plato and his pre-Christian heirs is to move to a place of absolute serenity, removed from the passions and emotions of our world. That is not what I encountered in paradise. Far from a place of stoic calm, heaven overflowed with ecstasy and jubilation. Author’s Introduction: Imagine if [...]

Dante on Hierarchy

By |2019-10-24T14:54:04-05:00October 24th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Dante, Great Books, Imagination, Letters From Dante Series, Louis Markos, Senior Contributors|

Rather than seek to create an artificial equality that violates God’s diversity of gifts, find your own unique place in the celestial hierarchy. And once you find your assigned part, take pride in it, without envying those above you in the hierarchy or condescending to those below. Author’s Introduction: Imagine if Homer, Virgil, Dante, [...]

Dante on Jealousy

By |2019-10-14T22:17:54-05:00October 14th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Dante, Great Books, Imagination, Letters From Dante Series, Louis Markos, Senior Contributors|

Too many of your theologians and preachers have rejected an aspect of God that is made clear in the scriptures: our God is a jealous God. And you’ve rejected it, not because you have disproved it, but because you are embarrassed by it. You simply cannot imagine that God could have anything in common with [...]

Dante on Gifts

By |2019-09-20T12:49:48-05:00September 24th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Dante, Great Books, Imagination, Letters From Dante Series, Louis Markos, Senior Contributors|

Not only has your age been graced with many gifts and talents; you have been showered with a wealth of instruments and opportunities for the doing of good. Nevertheless, in the midst of plenty, you continue to bury them under the ground rather than invest them in and for God’s Kingdom. You must relearn [...]

Dante on Sin

By |2019-09-20T14:16:30-05:00September 17th, 2019|Categories: Dante, Great Books, Imagination, Letters From Dante Series, Louis Markos, Senior Contributors|

In our mortal lives, we can often hide the desiccated state of our souls from others; in the afterlife, we can no longer hide from others what we truly are inside. Let go of your rebelliousness and disobedience, my friends, before it is too late, before you find yourself circling the path of futility. Author’s [...]

Dante on Lust

By |2019-09-09T22:56:39-05:00September 9th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Dante, Great Books, Letters From Dante Series, Louis Markos, Love, Morality, Sexuality, Virtue|

It is both seemly and right to feel love and even erotic passion, but when such feelings are taken to an improper extreme or directed toward an improper object, they grow twisted and perverse and morph into the sin of lust. We will have done significant damage to ourselves. Author’s Introduction: Imagine if Homer, [...]