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Reflections on a Dante Session, 2004

John Mark Reynolds, 2004.

Dante class is ended. Both sections finished their work tonight. We concluded by reading Canto XXXIII aloud. I thank God for the wonderful students in Torrey. It is an honor to even sit in the same room with them on nights like tonight when we are working together.

The most profound question of this term was a simple one: How do we see people as they are and learn to love them appropriately? This leads naturally to the final question of term: How do we see God and love Him as we should?

Two things come to mind when I think of tonight’s session. First, we spoke about the proper place of each human being in God’s plan. God must help each one of us to be content with the gifts God has given us. The Kingdom is not a democracy, but a monarchy. There are roles and order for each one of us. Our goal is not to become someone else . . . to strive to fill the role of Phillip Johnson or C.S. Lewis. Instead, we are called to be transformed to fill our own unique place. Second, Dante reminds us that justice can only be done for humanity after charity has done her work. We are delivered by grace and transformed by Jesus Christ’s love. After this, we can be seen by God as children of God. We are safe from God’s righteous judgments. Lord deliver us from the snare of thinking we must love you as others love you. Instead, help us to love each person as you have made them to be.

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