Canto 4 - The Sphere of Moon

Beatrice gently informs Dante that in Paradise "each one's bliss is equally eternal, whichever sphere they are assigned to".

Raphael (represented by Leonardo da Vinci)

Beatrice continues, mentioning the archangels that are given human form:-

I speak as one must speak to minds like yours
which apprehend only from sense perception
what later it makes fit for intellection,

for this same reason Scripture condescends
to your intelligence, attributing
with other meaning, hands and feet to God;

and Holy Church presents to you archangels
with human features: Gabriel and Michael
and that one who made Tobit see again

(i.e. Raphael)

Beatrice addresses Dante's doubt, informing him that either people move in accordance with God's Will or with Conditioned Will, which bends according to circumstances - as with Piccarda (Canto 2) who should have accepted death rather than renounce her vows. To this Dante says:-

I see man's mind cannot be satisfied
unless it be illumined by that Truth
beyond which there exists no other truth.

He then goes on to ask whether a person who has broken their vows can find forgiveness or compensation in the eyes of the Almighty. Dante gets his response to this in the next canto.

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