Examples Of Purgatorio In Dantes Inferno

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Fear of the Lord is a gift of the Holy Spirit and fear of doing God’s will reveals an error in one’s conscience. When one is afraid he is lacking in faith because he is placing his trust in something other than God. The Catholic Encyclopedia defines fear: “Fear is an unsettlement of soul consequent upon the apprehension of some present or future danger.” Dante exhibits fear in the Inferno and Purgatorio because of this misplacement of trust due to an error in his conscience. In the Inferno, Dante is afraid to enter the gates of hell. The gates of have an inscription which reads:
“Through me the road to the city of desolation. Through me the road to sorrows diuturnal. Through me the road among the lost creation. Justice moved my great maker;
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Beyond the fire they see the Angel of Chastity standing at the entrance to the Pass of Pardon and hear him singing the Benediction of the Cornice. To pass, Dante and Virgil must go through the fire as instructed by the chorus, “Holy souls there’s no way on or round. But through the bite of fire; in, then, and come! Nor be you deaf to what is sung beyond” (Purgatorio, XXVII. 30-33). Dante is terrified after hearing these instructions, “As we approach him, thus his words struck home; And it was so with me when this I heard. Even as with one who’s carried to the tomb” (Purgatorio, XXVII. 9-15). Virgil encourages Dante saying, “My son, though here there may be torment, death there cannot be” (Purgatorio, XXVII. 19-21). At length, Dante is persuaded to pass through the flames after Virgil persuades him in the name of Beatrice, “Took my son. Twixt Beatrice and three there is this wall.” (Purgatorio, XXVII. 35-6). Although Dante has overcome his fear, his courage comes from Beatrice, not God. Since Dante’s courage is misplaced; this shows his conscience is still in error and must be developed…show more content…
Knowing the Catholic perception on the nature of the conscience will help one to see the errors in Dante’s conscience and how he conforms to a perfected conscience thought his journey. At first, Dante does not understand divine justice because he pities Francesca, Brunetto Latini, and other sinners in hell. The process of understanding divine justice begins when he appeals to the reader for help and after he scolded by Virgil. Virgil finally conformed his conscience in regard to divine justice when in heaven. Dante learns to judge an act of love properly after Virgil explains to him what love is and he is informed of love’s defects. The fruits of Dante forming his conscience to love properly appear in Paradiso by the way Dante loves Beatrice and in his conversation with St. Bernard of Clairvaux. When one is afraid of doing God’s will; he lacks faith. Dante is afraid to enter hell and pass through the purifying flames in purgatory. Only after he forms his conscience correctly in regard to courage does he have enough courage to accept God’s will without fear of the future; even when faced with

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