from God, as hath been said, which speaks in our reason and says to each of these sects, that is, to whoever goes seeking beatitude in this life, that it is not here, but go and say to the disciples and to Peter, that is, to those who go seeking it and those who are gone astray (like Peter who had denied), that it will go before them into Galilee, that is, into speculation.
Galilee is as much as to say Whiteness.
Whiteness is a body full of corporeal light more than any other, and so contemplation is fuller of spiritual light than anything else here below.
And he says, “it will go before,” and does not say, “it will be with you,” to give us to understand that God always goes before our contemplation, nor can we ever overtake here Him who is our supreme beatitude.
And it is said, “There ye shall see him as he told you,” that is, here ye shall have of his sweetness, that is, felicity, as is promised you here, that is, as it is ordained that ye can have.
And thus it appears that we find our beatitude, this felicity of which we are speaking, first imperfect in the active life, that is, in the operations of the moral virtues, and afterwards wellnigh perfect in the operationof the intellectual ones, the which two operations are speedy and most direct ways to lead to the supreme beatitude, the which cannot be had here, as appears by what has been said.’1
At first sight there may seem to be some want of agreement in what Dante
says here of the soul's incapacity of the vision of God in this life with the triumphant conclusion of his own poem.
But here as elsewhere Dante
must be completed and explained by himself.
‘We must know that everything most greatly desires its own perfection, and in that its every desire is appeased, and by that everything is desired.
[That is, the one is drawn ’