Pride – Past the threshold of Purgatory Proper
FRIDAY TASK – SHIFT FROM INTERNAL TO EXTERNAL CONSIDERING
Once a day, recall feeling scorn, disdain, contempt or resentment toward an individual. (You may or may not know them). Feel your feet, slip their feet over yours and take 21 deliberate steps casting your gaze no further than three feet in front of you. Observe.
Once past the guarded gate of Purgatory, Dante and Virgil find themselves on the first of seven terraces or steep ledges. Each of the terraces represents one of the seven deadly vices. The vices are not entities themselves but rather cavities lacking a virtue. Through grace and penance, the corresponding virtue gradually remedies the vice. The virtues harmonise and build on each other, propelling the soul forward on its journey toward G*d. It may be helpful to expressly frame our Work and Aims in terms of building virtue (eliminating a deficit of the Good) rather than purging a vice.
Growth in virtue will correspond to growth in the community; external considering is strengthened. Contrarily, the community will disintegrate where virtue dissolves, and vice expands. Internal considering and pride are like parasites that weaken the capacity to recognise sleep and the resolve to remember oneself.
The first terrace serves to purge pride by developing humility. Pride is the most serious and universal of the vices. Humility is its antidote. As Dante and Virgil step onto the ledge, they encounter three scenes divinely sculpted on the side of the mountain. The beauty of the reliefs far exceeds any known art or nature. The first relief was an Annunciation conveying humility of birth. The next represented humility of art and achievement, showing King David dancing with joyous abandon before the Ark of the Covenant represented. The last scene represented humility of power, depicting Emperor Trajan submitting to the demands for justice of an elderly widow.
Bent over souls (shades) carry boulders on their backs and look down at sculpted lessons of pride as they slowly move forward. They are praying a variation of the Our Father that includes prayers for the living as they learn to let go of their internal considerations. As they acknowledge divine grace as the Source, the shades remember themselves and connect with others, and the burden of soul-crushing pride is lightened.
Week 2 Task – Shift from internal to external CONSIDERING
Once a day, recall feeling scorn, disdain, contempt or resentment toward an individual. (You may or may not know them). Feel your feet, slip their feet over yours and take 21 deliberate steps casting your gaze no further than three feet in front of you as you. Observe.
Inner Task Series by Grace Radford
8 Tasks in 8 weeks – A Pocket-Size Purgatorial Project
Grace Radford posted this Inner Task Series to the Wisdom School Community on Facebook from May 7 – June 25, 2021