Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dante Aligheri | The Inferno | c. 1310

Dear Ciacco,

I am sad that you got put into such a spot for your sin, which is gluttony. I don't really understand why gluttony is a sin, at least not why it is such a bad sin. Where do you draw the line between healthy appetite and unhealthy appetite? On top of that, I am confused about your punishment. A girl in my class said that she didn't understand why freezing rain is punishment for overeating. I don't think that gluttony is just overeating. It seems like it's more general. Like if you want too much of a person's time or too much gossip or too much pleasure. There are lots of forms of it. So what is the freezing rain? Is it like a cold shower to numb you so you won't want to keep feeling the desires for more that you are feeling? One of the reasons I love your situation so much, even though it causes you such pain, is that it gives me a mental picture that I think I can never erase, and maybe in some small way it keeps me from making the same mistake as you. We all have problems, but maybe yours can help me avoid mine.