The Path of Glory
Dante stood with the three companions, Elizabeth, Catherine, and Napoleon, watching the residents of Hell, human and demon, pushing their way out of Lucifer’s old domain. It was chaos as deformed and distorted figures struggled to climb over the stones of the broken gate of Hell. The ocean wall that had risen up to reveal the gate of Hell gave them little dry room to stand in the open plain at Hell’s entrance.
Catherine reflected on the scene. “Life in Hell. Look at them trampling each other to escape, pulling and fighting with each other, each soul only worried about itself. They don’t even know where they are going.”
Dante pointed to the high edge of the ocean wall, “Look, the Holy Spirit,” he cried as a bright shimmering light filled the sky above them.
“Bright power with intelligence and personality,” said Elizabeth as she looked the shimmering light.
Pergatory Road 3 “Reminds me of the Aurora Borealis in the northern skies,” said Napoleon. “I always took it as an omen of momentous time ahead.” He ran to the edge of the island, the chasm to hell below him and the wall of water above him. Elizabeth and Catherine both followed and grabbed his arms to hold him back.
“So who has made you my keepers?” inquired an annoyed Napoleon, sounding like an arrogant adolescent. He turned and glared at the two women.
Elizabeth, recognizing the eyes of the Holy Spirit in the shimmering light, pointed up to it and replied, “God has.”
The eyes of the shimmering light suddenly were before the two women and Napoleon. One eye winked and the voice of the Holy Spirit said, “Mind your manners, boy. These two women can handle you.”
Napoleon was shocked by this encounter. He looked suspiciously at the two women and could not look the Holy Spirit straight in the eyes. Dante ran up in front of Napoleon and asked the Spirit, “What is going to happen?”
“Things change,” said the Holy Spirit and his voice seemed to be filled with a delighted laughter. Then the shimmering light began to move back to the top of the waters. The mob of torrented souls escaping Hell had now noticed the light. The first line of escaping souls stood frozen, while others continued to push out of Hell causing a massive pile up of figures.
“But what of Hell, what of justice?” Dante cried to the holy light now high above the plain, the island and the ocean.
“There will always be a Hell and those who choose will always dwell there. But now it is time for a transformation.” A shining giant hand came from the light and lifted up Dante. The Spirit’s voice continued, “Come with me and I shall explain it to you.” Dante seemed overjoyed as the hand pulled him into the shimmering light.
“But what of us?” said Catherine.
“You will learn to be patient, my fiery child.” With a smile that glowed across the shimmering light, the Spirit continued. “That’s the beauty of it. You three are the remarkable answer to Lucifer’s claims of injustice, and I have to admit this is one of the Father’s best ideas yet.” With that statement, another giant hand pulled the water like a curtain higher and higher. The island rock upon which the three companions stood was lifted with the water.
Then the light and the tower of water rolled like a great wave over itself and fell with a crash to the plain catching the escaping souls from Hell. The wave hit them and sent them floundering in the ocean. Now the chaos became a great disorder of water mixed with the screaming figures of tormented beings. The water rushed into the broken opening of Hell and a distant angry roar of Lucifer’s voice could be heard trying to formulate a protest that was drowned out by the rushing water.
The island now towered above the ferocious flood. The three companions stood on the rocky edge of the island and watched as all those who had escaped from Hell tried to hold themselves above water. In the distance, a spiraling mountain rose above the waters and all the souls attempted to swim toward it.
Pointing to the mountain, Catherine said, “That is Purgatory. That is where we must go.”
“What if I don’t want to go?” retorted Napoleon.
At that moment four stars that had shone in the sky since the water began to rise, blinked and began to move in the sky. Like comets the four stars fell quickly to island, landing like fireworks surrounding Napoleon. When the fire cleared, four unusual figures stood around Napoleon. One figure was an angel holding a bag of coins. One figure was a man writing in a book. One figure was a lion standing on its hind legs wearing a golden pendant around its neck. The last figure appeared to be a large duck..
“Who are they?” Elizabeth asked Catherine.
“They are the Four who stand around the Throne of God,” replied Elizabeth. “Or as Second Person of the Trinity calls them, the Four Stooges.”
At this the figures turned to glare at Catherine, who politely smiled at them. “Quack, quack,” said the duck as if to caution her to silence. Then the four circled Napoleon.
“So the boy thinks he is still an Emperor,” said the angel.
“Come with us,” said the man. The lion supported the request by growling and menacingly approaching the surprised Napoleon. The duck jumped into the water and immediately became a large duck boat. Quacking impatiently, the duck boat made it clear it was time to leave the island.
Napoleon realizing he had no other choice jumped into the boat. The man escorted the two women into the boat and helped them to step aboard. The lion leapt into the boat landing next to a subdued Napoleon. The man pushed the boat from the island and swung himself onto the boat. The angel flew ahead of the quacking duck, as it sailed with its unusual passengers toward the spiraling mountain of Purgatory.
To be continued . . .