«You have a taste of storm on your lips
And a red dress, like blood.
Deep in the gold of summer
And the smell of hyacinths – Where were you? »
Marina of the Rocks, Orientations)»
Love is a basic part of human existence, which is why it has particularly concerned poets and writers from ancient times to the present day. It is that intense feeling of attraction that can lead to coherence and completion, can become a source of creation, but at the same time nullify right thinking and action and give birth to negative emotions such as jealousy, envy, doubt. For Plato it is the gate to eternity, for Lucretius it is a deadly trap and It is the love for the Divine, mortal love transmuted through Divine Grace and raised to higher realms. It is less well known, however, that Dante was the author of a great love story. This story is none other than his relationship with Beatrice, as mentioned in the "Vita Nuova" but also in the "Divine Comedy. This love story deserves our attention. Indeed, as this story unfolds, we learn quite a bit, especially about the nature of love, but also about its ability to lead us to a virtuous life. Dante's insight into the nature of love has particular relevance for us today, decades after the reign of the sexual revolution. Lost in a dark forest he desperately searches to find the exit through impassable paths. But every time he is forced to retreat because wherever he goes he meets obstacles in the form of wild beasts. Beatrice, his first pure love, sends the poet Virgil from the courtyard of Hell to take over and guide Dante to save himself from the defects of his human nature, indolence, selfishness and greed, which appear as beasts.Unfortunately the will of man alone is not enough. Reason and philosophy, symbolized by Virgil, are the help he needs to save himself, along with the influence of divine love, which is reflected in the figure of Beatrice. Dante's love for Beatrice is accompanied by intense passion and poetic mood, not by sexual appetites. Dante made it clear that the non-traditional and immoral aspects of courtly love – passion, secrecy and adultery – had no place in the love that he felt for her. He also made it clear that he "never gave in to a love" that would overthrow the "right guidance of the word. In order to overcome his human condition and answer his need to approach the Divine, man must rely on human intelligence, the sciences and the arts. Dante knew that true love leads to moral elevation and does not override reason. Love does not destroy us or make us unhappy, so he thought that the natures of the soul must be aligned with reason. In other words, logic should overcome desire. And when it reaches the point where human intelligence is no longer sufficient to continue the journey to the earthly Paradise, Beatrice takes the driver's seat.
«You have reached Paradise [...] in the Light of the spiritual, which is only Love. Love for the eternal and truth with which no other happiness can be compared with»
(Dante,The Divine Comedy)