The Divine Comedy: Week 34, Loving a Good Thing Too Much

Two weeks ago, we observed what Dante meant when Virgil shared that love can go wrong when we love a bad thing. We can desire to hurt others (wrath), we can desire that misfortune befall others (envy), and we can delight when others do experience misfortune (pride). These are the worst sins, purged on the lowest terraces of Mt. Purgatory.

This week, I'd like to take things out of order and jump to the top of Mt. Purgatory, where the sins of excessive love are found. There we find the Deadly Sins associated with loving a good thing too much. As Virgil shares in Canto XVIII:
the love that yields excessively to this
is purged above us on three terraces,
but how the nature of such love is threefold,

I would have you discover for yourself. 
The Pilgrim does climb the mountain to discover the "threefold" nature of excessive love, the sins of greed, gluttony, and lust.

Greed, gluttony, and lust are examples of loving a good thing too much. Possessions, money, comfort, status, praise, success, pleasure, a nation, a dream, a job, your appearance, your reputation. The list goes on and on. Name any good thing in your life, and ponder how you might be loving this good thing a little too much, perhaps way too much.

Our life is full of good things, gifts to be enjoyed, but we can love a good thing too much. And when we do, our love curdles and goes bad.

This entry was posted by Richard Beck. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply