Let’s play a guessing game. Who said, “Let your pleasure be your guide”? The ancient philosopher Epicurus? The utilitarian John Stuart Mill? Beyonce? Here’s a clue: The words are from Dante’s Divine Comedy. Surely, you may be thinking, they must be the words of some shade or devil in Hell, designed to lead Dante the pilgrim astray down some hedonistic path. Would you be surprised to know that Dante’s trusted guide Virgil speaks those words to him at the top of Mount Purgatory? Listen to Dr. Brian Williams’ thirteen-minute reflection on Purgatorio, Canto 17 * to find out more about what Dr. Williams calls “sanctified hedonism” and the impact what we read (and watch and listen to) has on our lives. We were made for love. Are our loves becoming properly ordered so that we find pleasure in the right things and in the right way? Or are our loves becoming disordered?
*Even if you have not been reading Dante’s Comedy or listening to the lectures, this is worth a listen! We recommend parents listen first, before sharing with their child, as not all content may be appropriate.