“Love of God is pure when joy and suffering inspire an equal degree of gratitude.” —Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace
Simone Weil (1909-1943) was a young French intellectual whose soul was drawn deeply to the mystery who is God. Though born of Jewish parents, Weil eventually adopted a mystical theology that came very close to Roman Catholicism. Weil was a precocious student, proficient in Ancient Greek by age 12. She later learned Sanskrit so that she could read the Bhagavad Gita in the original. Weil in her writings explored her own religious life while also analyzing the individual’s relation with the state and God, the spiritual shortcomings of modern industrial society, and the horrors of totalitarianism. She once said, “We must not wish for the disappearance of our troubles but for the grace to transform them.”
Letter #77, 2021, Friday, July 30: It keeps coming…
As the news this summer has kept coming, I have spent many hours writing these Letters. I hope you are enjoying them.
My hope is simply to bring you along with me wherever I go, inside the Vatican, along the Via Appia (the photo above, at the top), walking in Red Square in Moscow, or speaking with a monk on a mountain top.
I feel now the times require me to write with a certain urgency.
Of course, we are now heading into August, normally a quiet time.
Yet, in Rome, events continue to unfold at a breakneck pace.
I do think one may always choose to become silent, to go within, to seek to hear that still, small voice which connects us with the purpose and meaning of our lives, summed up in the first questions of the old Catechism.
But we are now in a quite new and unexpected battle, and these letters are my way of trying to do my part in that battle.
So with these preliminary remarks, I hope your summer is going well and you have been able to spend time with your families.
And I commit to continue writing these letters to try to bring insight and understanding as the news continues to unfold in the coming months.
In all of this, I do feel very grateful that I have been given the opportunity to be in Rome, to write about the recent history of the Church and to correspond with so many of you, who have challenged and taught me (thinking of you, Phil).
Many of you have written to me over the years, both to praise me and to blame me. Thanks for both! I am grateful to all of you and wish you every good thing… a peaceful summer… and a safe coming year in this, our pilgrimage of life.
This pilgrimage can sometimes get lonely and difficult, especially in the heat of these summer days. Folks, I need partners. Every day, it seems there is more news that requires thoughtful, balanced analysis — always in the light of Christ, Who is our hope. Could you become a partner with me in this important work?
Here is a link to partner with me. I am extremely grateful for your friendship, consideration and support. (continued below)
(continued from above)
I do not think I could end with more appropriate words than the ones that I often return to myself, a little poem by St. Teresa of Avila, which I used the other day but feel is not inappropriate to use again.
“Let nothing disturb you… trust in God…”
“Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.”
“Christ has no body now, but yours.
No hands, no feet on earth, but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which
Christ looks compassion into the world.
Yours are the feet
with which Christ walks to do good.
Yours are the hands
with which Christ blesses the world.”
—St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)