Monthly Archives: March 2016

Canto 29: Alchemy as a Disease

By Robert Rice Canto 29 is unusual. It seems to lack a central theme or controlling idea; Virgil seems to know and understand less than Dante at the beginning of the canto; the serious moral question of the familial obligation

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Canto 28: A Disposition to Divide

By Robert Rice Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap (Gal 6:7) The scene Dante and Virgil encounter in the ninth bolgia is that of wounds and mutilations beyond the poet’s capacity to fully describe. In lines 7

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Canto 27: By Your Words Will You Be Judged

By Robert Rice “The last state of that man becomes worse than the first” (Mt 12:45) Canto 27 begins exactly where Canto 26 ended, at the conclusion of Ulysses’ story of his final voyage. Ulysses and Diomedes pass on and

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Canto 26: Non Plus Ultra

By Fr. Daniel White On March 4th, four religious sisters of the Missionaries of Charity—the religious community founded by soon-to-be Saint Teresa of Calcutta—were brutally murdered in Yemen for doing nothing other than serving Jesus in the poorest of the

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Canto 25: Grasping at Emptiness

By Colleen Trevisani In Canto 25 we find the “Noble Thieves” stealing one another’s bodies. As Ciardi notes, in life these thieves were greedy to possess what belonged to others, but now they do not even possess their own body

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Canto 24: Stealing Christ From Others

By Peter Jesserer Smith When I was in college, I considered myself a real firebrand for the Catholic faith. Subduing my enemies with argumentative prowess, I enjoyed skewering them with a combination of ruthless wit and an expansive command of

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Canto 23: Woe to You Hypocrites

By Jonathan Schott Apparently, King Frederick II liked to execute people by placing them in lead and melting it around them [cf. line 66]. How horrible! This is the image Dante is trying to get across when he describes the

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