Friday, August 24, 2012

Simone Weil (1907-1943)

Someone Wiel's Reflections on the  Recitation of the Lords Prayer

 The Our Father from Matthew 6,9-13 was the only prayer Simone Weil recited, at first only for its beauty, but afterwards she writes that she found herself repeatedly in the presence of Christ after praying it. She describes this experience in her letter to Father Perrin written as she left for America from Casablanca in May of 1942.

Up until last september, I had not prayed even once in my life, at least in the litteral sense of the word. I had never addressed words to God aloud or mentally

 The virtue of this practice is extraordinary and surprises me every time I do it, for, even though I live it every day, it goes beyond my expectation every time. Sometimes the first words already tear my thought outside my body and transport it to a place outside space from which there is neither perspective or point of view. Space opens up. The infinity of ordinary space is replaced by an infinity to second or third power. At the same time this infinity of infinities fills itself to the brim with silence, a silence that is not an absence of sound, and that is the object of a positive sensation, more positive than that of a sound. Noises, if there are any, only reach me after going through this silence.
Sometimes also, during this recitation or at other moments, Christ is present in person, but with a presence that is infinitely more real, more poignant, more clear and more full of love than the first time he took me.

I never would have taken it upon me to tell you all this if I wasn't leaving. And as I leave with more or less the thought of a probable death, it seems to me that I do not have the right to not speak of these things. For after all, in all of this, it's not about me. It's about God. I have nothing to do with it.

 The words of the Pater are perfectly pure. If you recite the Pater with no other intention than to pay the fullness of one's attention on the words themselves, you are completely sure to be delivered by this means from a part, as small as it may be, of the evil you hold inside you

 The only pure things down here are sacred objects and texts, the beauty of nature if you look at it for itself and not as a place for your reveries, and, to a lesser extent, human beings in whom God lives and works of art issued from divine inspiration.

 That which is perfectly pure can not be anything else but God present down here. If it was something else than God, it would not be pure. If God was not present, we would never be saved. In the soul where there has been a contact with purity, all its horror of the evil that it carries inside it changes into love for divine purity. This is how Mary-Magdalene and the good thief were privileged by love.

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