Canto 13 Paradise: Wisdom and rashness of human judgment

Pride is the root of every sin, every folly. “Eat of the fruit of this tree and you shall be as gods,” the serpent said.

In this Canto, Thomas Aquinas explains Solomon’s wisdom and the rashness of human judgment.

(I will admit, Paradise is the most difficult part of the Divine Comedy. I will fail, most likely in elucidating some kind of wisdom most of the time. But I will give it my best shot).

He speaks of wisdom being given by the triune God–the Trinity. And the best reality of wisdom: Jesus Christ himself.

He praises Solomon for asking for wisdom as oppose to long life, a thriving kingdom, and other things kings would love to have.

Thomas Aquinas in this Canto warns of seeking wisdom for its own sake. One must know his limitations and boundaries. Knowledge can lead to pride. Again, raising oneself above the Creator–who is wisdom. We cannot be as wise or wiser than God himself.

Like the suicides who think they know best in destroying their bodies, forgetting who gives life and takes life–the Creator. So the wise can forget who has given them wisdom–the Creator.

At the root of all sin, of all folly is pride. Thinking we know better than God himself. We are mere creatures, not Creator, not god.

(Several insights gleaned from conversations with Dr. Matt Moser, notes from Tony Esolen and Rod Dreher. And from Jon Foreman music.)


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