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Dante, the Central Man of All the World: A Course of Lectures Delivered Before the Student Body of the New York State College for Teachers, Albany,

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1920 edition. Excerpt: ...are made sin eternally, in Purgatory exhibits the sinful disposition more or less under the control of the will, yet of such a nature that only the grace of God held the soul back from the Abyss. It must be purged of all tendency to evil so as to be made "pure and ready to mount to the stars." (XXXIII, 140.) The purgation is seen in process in a threefold manner according to Dante. A material punishment is inflicted to mortify the evil passion and to incite the soul to virtue; the soul meditates upon the capital sin and its opposite virtue, moved to abhorrence of the evil and to admiration of the good by examples drawn from sacred and profane history; vocal prayer is addressed to God and it brings forth grace to purify and strengthen the soul. Hard in the beginning is this work of repentance, but it becomes easy as the habit of virtue is formed. "The mountain is such, that ever At the beginning down below, 'tis tiresome And aye the more one climbs, the less it hurts." (IV, 90.) As purification from each capital sin is effected, the soul experiences the removal of a heavy burden and the consequent enjoyment of new liberty, Dante, purified from pride, asks Virgil: "Master, say what heavy thing has been lifted from me, that scarce any toil is perceived by me in journeying." He answered "When the P's which have remained still nearly extinguished on thy face, shall like the one be wholly rased out, thy feet shall be so vanquished by goodwill, that not only will they feel it no toil, but it shall be a delight to them to be urged upward." (XII, 118). Mention was made of the material punishment of the souls in Purgatory. Unlike the retributive penalties inflicted in Hell, this punishment is reformative, confirming the penitent in good habits of thought... Hide synopsis

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