The world moves for love, it kneels before it in awe.
At the climax of the world’s greatest epic, Dante concludes his Divina Commedia, his quest through hell to heaven, with a final, defining vision. As he looked on at the summit of heaven, enveloped in God’s presence, Dante wrote:
Here powers failed my high imagination:
But by now my desire and will were turned,
Like a balanced wheel rotated evenly,
By the Love that moves the sun and other stars.
(Italian: L'amor che move il sole e l'altre stelle)
After he traveled through 9 circles of hell, 9 mounts of purgatory and 9 spheres of heaven, after he encountered Lucifer, passed through the Garden of Eden, and stood in togetherness with God, it all simply came down to love.
That’s it. Love is it.
A transcendent love that harmonizes and moves everything. A love that restores and redeems. A love that surpasses our understanding yet is the source of our wholeness.
As the 16th century mystic, St. John of the Cross wrote, "At the eve of life, we shall be judged on our love."
What else really matters?
In the final analysis, for Dante, there was nothing more. This divine love saved and redeemed him. It moved him to peace and abandonment to God. Are we not all searching for an interior unity and harmony enveloped by God's love? Do we not all long for wholeness and transcendence? Are we not all grasping for something?
Spend a moment in silence reflecting on what Dante's vision might mean in your life.
Inspired by medieval depictions of the Primum Mobile, this was portrayed as seven rings (the seven medieval planets) encircling a center ring (Heaven) in which God was often depicted observing creation. At the center of the rings is a Mondorla, the first Christian symbol of the Incarnation. The Mandorla is comprised of the shared space between two circles (Heaven and Earth, respectively) in a Venn Diagram, representing the two coming together. The Mandorla is placed over the design itself, representing the Incarnation's disruption of the natural order, God arriving in His own creation as the ultimate act of love. The colors of the graphic are the colors of Our Lady of Guadalupe, who herself is depicted within the body of a Mandorla. Her blue cloak - representing Heaven - and her red dress - representing the clay of earth.
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