No eye has seen and no ear has heard what God has prepared for those who attain the bliss of heaven.
Christ has won for us the most precious gift of all: membership in the Kingdom of God.
It is a membership which we can reject and lose, however. And so we strive by elbow grease and especially by grace to retain that which He has offered and win that which, in Him, our humanity has won.
God desires to share His own glory with us. The sight of God, God’s presence, will transform us forever.
This is the highest of man’s longings, to be worked out in fear and trembling, but with joyful confidence, through love of God and love of neighbor.
Today we will with help strive for a glimpse of the heaven awaiting us.
Our help will be Il Poeta, THE Poet, Dante Alighieri who, at the very end of the Divine Comedy strives in words to give us something of a glimpse of heaven.
We will hear today Canto 33 of the Paradiso in the translation of Anthony Esolen.
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103 10-05-24 The new translation of the 2nd Eucharist Prayer; Fr. Z digresses and rants
102 10-05-21 Exploring the new English translation of the Roman Canon; voicemail
Along the way you will hear something
How timely! As a supplement,”This Rock” (May-June 2010) also has a nice article (Dante describing Joy) by Prof. Anthony Esolen, “Joy Delights in the Beloved.” In it he speaks of Purgatory and Heaven.
Thank you, Father Z., for your commentary and the reading of the text.
I want, so much, to go to heaven.
And I pray that all those entrusted to me will accompany me, by my priestly ministrations and love; I know how lacking I am as a human; our holy Mother, by her prayers must supply for me, as well as by the Mercy of Her son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Again, I want, so much to go to heaven.
And this is verily before me; I accompany my sister to chemo for her cancer every other week; I am in the “face of death”; I pray for her but I am ever aware of my own mortality, being hospitalized recently for “heart problems”…diabetes, other problems.
Jesus, Mary, Joseph help us to live in the present moment and know that God is everything! God is everything!
nazareth: Ditto that heaven thing. And I think we all need to reflect on death every day… every day… just to keep our heads screwed on in the right direction.
I enjoyed your podcast on Dante. I am an antiquarian bookseller who has spent the past couple of years assembling a book collection and writing a catalogue of illustrated and unusual editions of Dante. It makes me happy when I see others who have an interest in and appreciation of Dante’s work. Thanks for writing about him.
As I myself wrote: Eternity is a long, long time. Imagine all of the particles of sand on all of the sea shores on earth, trillions of pieces of sand, to say the least, and pretend that each piece of sand equals a billion years, and pretend that you spend this amount of time in eternity. That, of course, does not equal even one day of your life in eternity; not even one second of eternity’s time, but of course God is outside of time. ( http://hospitallers.blogspot.com/2007/08/on-theology-of-death_08.html )
We get so caught-up in the munduntity of life–the here-and-now–that we forget that all of our bodies end in the grave. But the soul is eternal! And it is real! What glorious things await those who “finish the race,” in the words of St. Paul!
Thank you for this! The single best thing I did in seminary was a year-long close reading of the Comedy, for precisely the reason you describe: It called on *all* the theological disciplines I had studied, and more besides. Dante helped me come to a deeper understanding of the faith, and passages from the Comedy have illuminated my sermons ever since. Reading 14,000 lines at a distance of 800 years is not an easy task — but Dante will amply repay the reader’s energies.
Thank you, Father!
As an interesting aside. When in Florence this year,I took a Segway Tour with The Bride and as we passed this little square close to where the great man was born, this gentleman, dressed in period costume, was reciting The Divine Comedy.
Out loud. From memory.
Our guide assured us she was not kidding.
“He is there almost every day reciting part of The Comedy.”
Man oh man, was she ever in love with Dante and his language and she spoke at length about the beauty of Dante’s Latin and how everyone loves to study him in school
Mariana: Thank you, Father!
You are welcome.
stpetric: a year-long close reading of the Comedy
The first time I read it was very special. A friend of mine who was/is quite the scholar of Dante, a now retired professor – brilliant teacher, was in Rome teaching for a semester. He stayed with me in my apartment. He was/is also a fine cook.
In the evenings we would make supper… he a slower main course, I a faster first course. Then we would read Dante. I would read the Italian and he would comment on it. Incredible.
A fine supper. Breeze on the terrace looking out over the City toward St. Peter’s dome. Dante.
Very Beautiful, Father. Dante and Newman made me Catholic. And I’ve never had much sympathy for the folks who love Inferno and then dislike Purgatorio and Paradiso. “Now come all the speeches” they gripe. The speeches are good. Perhaps as sons of Adam such folk find evil more interesting.
Tell me, Is the Anthony Esolen translation the best in English?
Thank you, Father Z.
Have you seen Benigni’s readings of Dante in Piazza Santa Croce in Florence (broadcast on RAI)?
If you haven’t let me know.
Federico: I didn’t see that. I heard about it, of course, but didn’t see any of it. I was a bit skeptical about Benigni and Il Poeta.
I have digital versions of them. I’ll try to put on DVD and send them to you (it was publically broadcast, so I don’t think that’s a problem). His commentary is fun, if dubious at times. His recitation, with his light Tuscan accent and in that particular venue, is what it’s all about.