“Midway in our life’s journey, I went astray from the straight road and woke to find myself alone in a dark wood.
How shall I say what wood that was? I never saw so drear, so rank, so arduous a wilderness! Its very memory gives a shape to fear.
Death could scarce be more bitter than that place! But since it came to good, I will recount all that I found revealed there by God’s grace.
How I came to it, I cannot rightly say, so drugged and loose with sleep had I become when I first wandered there from the True Way.” (Canto I: “The Dark Wood of Error,” Dante’s Inferno)
Dante’s description of “The Dark Wood of Error” captures well the Catholic scandals that are fodder for the media today. Having lived in the shadow of accusation and scandal for so many years, I can only agree with Dante Alighieri (1265 – 1321): “I never saw so drear, so rank, so arduous a wilderness!”
But the Church isn’t seeing any of this wilderness of scandal for the first time. I invite you to revisit “Michelangelo and the Hand of God: Scandal at the Vatican” for an injection of hope that, like Dante’s Dark Wood will all come to good if surrendered to sanctifying grace.