And as far as grace is concerned, Beatrice is in heaven and took pity on him and sent Virgil from hell to help Dante. But before Dante can go to heaven and be with Beatrice, he has to suffer. He has to go through hell. He has to experience what happens to sinners who are unrepentant, and he has to work his way through purgatory, and then he can encounter Beatrice. So Beatrice is like grace.
Also, the Blessed Mother interceded on Dante’s behalf. So these heavenly ladies, and in addition St. Lucy, intercede for Dante. Dante is trying to say that women can be a vehicle for sanctification the same way women can be a vehicle for perdition. In his former poetry he wrote about adultery, but in this poetry, the woman that he loves is a means of getting to God. Her beauty is a reflection of God’s beauty. In Genesis, when it says God made woman a helpmate for Adam, I believe the Hebrew word that’s used there describes grace.
So on many levels here I think it’s relevant. We live in an age that’s kind of lost the symbolism of things. Marriage is supposed to be a means of getting to heaven. We don’t idolize someone as an end in themselves; he or she is a stepping stone for getting to God.
Click here for more information about the pilgrimage and conference, or call 1-888-465-9868.