Spiritual Direction from Dante: Ascending Mount Purgatory

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In Spiritual Direction from Dante: Ascending Mount Purgatory, Oratorian Father Paul Pearson provides the second installment of his detailed but accessible spiritual commentary on Dante’s masterpiece triptych, the Divine Comedy—this time, on the middle volume, Purgatorio. Fr. Pearson takes readers step-by-step through the text, explaining the spiritual lessons Dante intends his readers to learn about this mysterious place reserved for the purification of souls.

Purgatory is the least understood of the three possible “destinations” when we die (though unlike heaven or hell, it is not an eternal one). It is confusing to many Christians and even to many Catholics today. As he did in his first volume in the Spiritual Direction from Dante trilogy, Avoiding the Inferno, Fr. Pearson adroitly draws out the great spiritual insights hidden in the Divine Comedy and clears up the fog. Readers will:

  • Learn about the purgation required of souls whose penances and venial sins were not taken care of while on earth
  • Learn how Purgatory is ordained by God's infinite mercy, rather than out of vindictiveness
  • And learn that, while Purgatory is a merciful place, it should never be our goal, since pure love will always lead to Heaven

Fr. Pearson continues his 3-part exposition of Dante's Divine Comedy from a spiritual lens, focusing this time on the souls being purged of the effects of their earthly transgressions. A reading experience like no other, Spiritual Direction from Dante: Ascending Mount Purgatory will both educate and entertain you, but most important, will help you to be purged of sin while in this life, so as to bypass Mount Purgatory in the next!

Paul Pearson of the Oratory
TAN Books
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1 Review

  • 5
    Excellent work

    Posted by E.Carney on May 24th 2023

    This is an excellent accompaniment to Dante;s great work. I am half way through Father Pearson;s comments on the Purgatorio and find them extremely helpful. Many books on The Divine Comedy focus on other aspects of the poem (history, literature, life of Dante, etc., etc.) but this book really shows you the relationship of the poem to your life, how to grow in the spiritual life. It makes the whole poem very clear and attractive. An important part of Dante criticism.

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