I used to read Dante’s Commedia every Lent, but have not managed the last few years. Rod Dreher has got me going again, but instead of the whole trilogy we’re reading just Purgatory. He’s had the great idea of blogging his way through Purgatory during Lent–similar to my Lenten Blobble study through Mark’s Gospel.
If you want an inspiring and educational journey through Lent why not read along with Rod? He’s going to cover a canto a day. You can catch up with his commentary on the First Canto here. You can use his tags to follow the other days/cantos so far.
Here is some of Rod’s comment on the second canto:
Notice that in Purgatorio, the order of sins to be overcome, and their severity, is reversed. We start with the hardest sin, Pride (a sin of the intellect), near the base of the mountain, and work up to the easiest sins to overcome, sins of the flesh, near the top. Question for the room: Is this right? Are sins of the intellect/spirit harder to overcome than sins of the flesh? I think so, but I think a good case can be made that it’s the other way around.
2. Purgatorio begins at dawn on Easter Sunday, in the chronological frame established by Dante. The journey through Inferno parallels Good Friday and Christ’s harrowing of Hell. Dante and Virgil emerge, allegorically, from the tomb into a world in which redemption has entered. In a broader sense, Purgatorio covers the time from the Resurrection to the Ascension.
3. Unlike Inferno, Purgatorio has a sense of Time as a leitmotif. There is no time in Hell; nothing ever changes. But in Purgatory, everybody is moving, or waiting to move. They are going somewhere — to Paradise, ultimately.
If you’ve got the time and the discipline, get a good copy of Dante (I like Anthony Esolen’s translation):Purgatory [PURGATORY -ML] [Paperback] However there are lots of good translations and it is available as an e-book. Read then follow along with Rod’s daily commentary. Here is the link to his Dante posts.