| Quote #13
[Dante to St. John]: Thus I began again: "My charity
Recalling Purgatorio, Dante differentiates between "right" love and perverted love. "Charity" is of course the proper kind of love because it is directed towards God and one's neighbors. Charity can rescue one from "the sea of twisted love" which means loving an object secondary to God (which is anything) or loving too much or too little. Dante quickly assures St. John that he loves the correct object – God – by naming his love "charity" and that he loves in proper measure by saying, "I love according to the good He gave."
| Quote #14
That love whose warmth allowed this flower to bloom
This eloquent prayer to Mary recalls the very beginning of Inferno: in canto II, we learn that Virgil's appearance to Dante was ultimately made possible by the Virgin Mary. As the "noonday torch of charity," it was Mary's compassion that allowed her to notice Dante in his darkest days and initiate the journey that brought him to Heaven, that allowed him to "fly [with] no wings" to her feet. It should also be noted that Mary is one of the few positive female figures to appear in the Divine Comedy. So the fact that Dante prays to Mary at the end of his journey, when she originally prayed for him in Inferno, represents his coming full circle.
| Quote #15
Whoever sees that Light is soon made such
The sight of God, who is depicted largely in light imagery, makes Dante long for nothing more than more of God Himself. We are to recall from canto XIV that God's love is manifested in light (as the light of the blessed souls). His light is such a shower of love that human desire cannot help but desire Him and only Him when witnessing His glory. Everything "outside that Light" pales in comparison and "is defective."