Dante, in his fictional portrayal of hell, put traitors at its dark, tortured core.
To betray love and abandon those close to you was a big deal for Dante.
As a writer, that is…as a man he was no hero.
Few of us are. We are all unfaithful to someone or something–our high school crush, our diet…something.
To be human is to cheat a little, I guess. But we must acknowledge this–we, each of us alone are responsible for the lines we draw around what we hold dear.
Draw the lines wrong and the “dear” slips away.
We tell ourselves–I will not go past this point of demarcation–a line drawn just past a “something” we should already not covet or consume.
We say to ourselves either–
I will not do this
It is the “I deserve” part we should pause to examine. Sinners (a quaint old word for all of us) tend to justify their infidelities with deserve and must have. Then cloak the indulgence in the illusion of secrecy–no one will know.
But Someone always knows.
He knows because He is God, and by definition omniscient.
He knows all our secret stories of unfaithfulness, squalor, and sin because they were poured out on Him
In the rictus of the Cross
In the jeers of the crowd
In the agony of physical abuse
In the final unbearable…
In the final unbearable He bore to make us