Saturday, July 13, 2013

Weekend Quote 21: Purgatorio

For more than a week I have been delving into Dante’s Purgatorio, and this particular quote has been captured my mind.

“Insane is he who hopeth that our reason
Can traverse the illimitable way,
Which the one Substance in three Persons follows!

Mortals, remain contented at the ‘Quia’;
For if ye had been able to see all,
No need there were for Mary to give birth.”

These two stanzas appear within the Ante-Purgatory, in Canto III. Here Virgil scolds Dante for his thirst of knowledge about Purgatory and its mysterious nature. Virgil says that God only let humans to know part of its existence in the Universe; and men cannot ask for more.

Dante mentions about ‘the one Substance in three Persons follows, and I think he refers to The Holy Trinity; which we could never really understand. It is when humans cannot understand all, will there be faith, because faith is the one that fills the gap between what we know and what we don’t.

Dante insists that humans should remain content with the ‘what’ (quia), while keep being blind from the ‘why’. For if human get to know everything, Christ would not have ever to be sacrificed for us.

Thank you Dante (and Virgil) for the enlightenment! For I believe that thirst of knowledge leads us to many sins, including Pride and Avaricious, and it is what made Adam and Eve fell to sin in the first place.

What do you think?

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  1. Yay! Another weekend quote.

    Well, as I said before, I don't really like Dante. I don't find his works enlightening, encouraging, or even touching. It's more like a monster story to scare kids of hell.

    1. The problem with Dante isn't the horror in Inferno, but in the way he seems to patronize the readers. The historical aspects are also annoying (OK, when he wrote the poem, these aspects are what he saw, but it makes us difficult to follow everything happened in Italy at that time). Apart from that, Inferno is quite interesting, slightly more interesting than Purgatorio.


What do you think?