Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Dante's Abyss

Annapolis Naval Academy Professor and Doctor of Literature David Allen White's evaluation of the the Republican Senate Leadership's Coup of the Bush Administration Global War on Terror and Hugh Hewitt's reference to their betrayal was Brilliant! The use of Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy and the description of the Seventh Level of Hell as the appropriate place of exile for Senators Frist, Allen, McConnell, Warner and others was powerful. Actually there are 9 levels of Hell or Circles with further subdivisions in each. Within the 9th Circle is a sub-level known as Central zone 4 or the Judecca holding the Traitors. Traitors to their Lords and Benefactors. No doubt that this is the worst section of Hell, containing Satan, who is eternally consuming the bodies of Brutus and Cassius for assassinating Julius Caesar, and the head of Judas Iscariot, for whom this place is named because of his betrayal of Jesus. The thought of these Senators being sucked up like a piece of living linguine through the Triple Headed frostbitten lips of Lucifer reminds me of a scene from a 1950's Japanese Godzillaesques Movie and is so gruesome and horrifying.
The Divine Comedy, and John Milton's Paradise Lost are considered by scholars to be semi-inspired due to the transcendent nature of the literature. Dante's journey through the netherworld destinations is breathtaking? Dante recounts his sojourn through the three realms of the dead. His guide through Hell and Purgatory is the Latin poet
Virgil, author of The Aeneid, and his guide through Paradise is Beatrice. She was his ideal of a perfect woman. and is named after a woman, whom he admired from afar.

Divinely Inspired Books are those that are accepted by an ecclesiastic community as authoritative and as bing inspired by the Holy Spirit. These books belong to the Cannon of the Bible(meaning Library) and are believed by church to be written through the intercession of the Holy Spirit by with the writer's cooperation. In Western Culture Canon law is the
law of the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches. The Eastern Orthodox concept of canon law is similar to but not identical to the more legislative and juridical model of the West. In both traditions, a canon is a rule adopted by a council (From Greek kanon / κανών, for rule, standard, or measure); these canons formed the foundation of canon law.

The only possible way one can contribute to this lofty discussion by two giants in the Blogosphere, Airwaves and Academia is to cite the Byblos itself. Jesus' parable in
Matthew 25:14-30 about the talents the Master gives his servants is analgous to the Republicans "Playing Mice" while the President is on his trip. During the time of Christ, a talent was a very large amount of money. Sixty minas made up one talent and a mina equaled one hundred dinerii. During the time of Our Lord a worker earned one hundred diarius a day. Jesus was speaking with dramatic flair to his audience as he knew they would realize that each of the servants had been entrusted with a huge sum of money. This money if well invested could yield a tremendous windfall! These Spiritual coins or gifts are entrusted to us doing our own Earthly sojourn are the to be sowed for the good of our souls, the good of others and reaped for the Glory of God!
This Dvine Parable ends "You wicked, lazy servant!"...You wasted your opportunity. "Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten......And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, the Abyss, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth"!

President Bush's subordinates were not traitors but without a doubt their deeds emulate those of the bad servant.....Without a doubt this is not as gruesome as Dante's take on the pit of HELL but it is icy cold none the less. Its simple and clear eloquence inspires my soul with hope and warmth. Dante's depiction sends shivers throw my spine and to my very core. The two renditions of Hell dovetail in a poetic way.

You know, Dante's writings are almost Theological and Our Lords' are the perfection of Philosophy.
Albert the Great the mentor of St. Thomas Aquinas has been attributed with the adage that "Philosphy is the handmaiden of Theology. In this example I think the converse is true for Our Lord's words are Divinely Inspired indeed. We would do well to adopt our Lord's Philosphy as our Own..... Look at the artist's map of Dante's Inferno and realize that its a Target. We Earthly Pilgrams should all try to aim at the target of "Il Paradiso"......

Francis X, Yubero, M.D.


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