Eyes and Heart

“From this you see that blessedness depends upon the act of vision, not upon the act of love – which is a consequence.” (Dante’s Paradiso, Canto XXVIII, line 109)

The eyes and the heart are connected. What you regularly feast your eyes on, the heart learns to love with an iron grip. The eyes, the heart, and the object of affection are all caught up together in an iron embrace of either life or death, depending on the character of the object one has set her eyes and heart upon and the manner by which it is seen and loved. The object of affection serves to either elevate one’s soul or corrupt it.

It’s time to heed the words of the children’s song: “Be careful little eyes what you see.”

Dante on the Atonement

Christcross

Excerpts from Dante’s Paradiso (Mandelbaum translation), Canto VII:

God had to pardon man, or of himself

man had to proffer payment for his folly

However, man could not pay for his sins.

. . . man lacked the power

to offer satisfaction by himself,

Thus, there was need for God, through His own ways,

to bring man back to life intact

But why did God not simply pardon man? Why the cross?

for God showed greater generosity

in giving His own self that man might be

able to rise, than if He simply pardoned;

for every other means fell short of justice,

except the way whereby the Son of God

humbled Himself when He became incarnate.

“For every other means fell short of justice.” The cross was necessary if God were to preserve His holiness in pardoning sinners.