At the age of 9, her path crosses that of a girl of the same age, whose meeting changes her life forever. “When the glorious lady of my mind appeared to me for the first time, who was called Beatrice by many people who did not know how to say so well. Therefore, I say that Love dominated my soul. “ Beatrice, or Beatitude. Love is there, rebirth, foundation and horizon of all his work. But what love?
In his Illuminations, Arthur Rimbaud describes the upheaval of a meeting: “In front of snow, a tall Beauty Being (…). The specific colors of life darken, dance, and emerge around the Vision, on the site. And the chills rise and growl, and the frenzied flavor of these effects charging with the deadly hissing and hoarse music that the world, far behind us, throws at our beautiful mother – she recoils, she stands up. Oh ! our bones are clothed with a new loving body. “ In his prose writings, Paul Claudel speaks of his conversion as the encounter that forever changes his life: “In an instant my heart was touched and I believed. I believed, from such a force of adhesion, from such an uprising of my whole being, from such a powerful conviction (…). I had suddenly had the heartbreaking feeling of innocence, the eternal childhood of God, an ineffable revelation. “
From his meeting with Beatrice, the Florentine also turns his life around. From it, he will speak together of human love and life in God, to open up meaning, to meet the requirement. He wants to unite, he says, the literal meaning, the allegorical, the moral and the anagogic. “Double must be the subject around which alternate meanings can run”, he explains by letter to the Lord of Verona, to whom he dedicates his Paradise.
A young man dressed “Very white clothes” appears to him in a dream, teaches him Love, and delivers enigmatic words to him: “I am like the center of the circle to which all the points of the circumference are similarly related; but you are not like that “ (VN, XII). And it is in this circle that he finds Beatrice in Paradise, who reproaches him for his errors and calls him to the contemplative life.
Dante was completely clear on the meaning of this apparition; but he gives a reading track with his interpretation of that of another young man in white, the one who appeared to the holy women of Jerusalem seeking Christ in the tomb: “This angel is our nobility who comes from God, who speaks in our reason, and says (…) to anyone who goes seeking bliss in the working life, that she is not here (…). In our contemplation God always precedes, and here we can never reach him, he who is our sovereign beatitude ” (Banq IV 22).
“Neither in this world, nor in the other, wrote Béatrix Beck in Léon Morin priest, this magnificent story of the unfolding of grace. How could the soul distract itself from the beatific vision to look at its human affections? To the supreme and total good, nothing can be added. “
By going to seek the beloved woman in Heaven, Dante tells all men of the greatness, the righteousness and the wonders of God. He can hold everything together: celebrate human love and divine love without confusing them, blame man and plead for his salvation, rebut ecclesiastical excesses and love the Church. “If it happens that my sacred poem to which Heaven and Earth have put their hand overcomes the cruelty which keeps me out of the fold where I slept lamb, enemy of wolves who attack it endlessly, with another voice and another cloak. ‘will come back poet’ (By XXV, 1-8).