top of page


Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. Matthew 12.45

Simone Weil continues in anguished explanation to her priest about her reluctance to receive the church's sacraments through reference to her weakness for society. By this she means a partisan spirit. She illustrates the condition by admitting that ,were a Nazi gang to serenade her with Fascist songs, she would probably join in. Her solution to the problem is characteristically uncompromising. She feels called to a life of solitude, indeed of exclusion.

Knowing one's weakness is one thing. Understanding what to do about it is another. Most challenging of all is having the firmness of will to carry through the solution, to take the medicine. Yet Wiel insists that the alternative is more horrifying. She would rather risk damnation than disobedience to God. This might look like a cop-out, extreme justification for stubbornness. Yet who are we to judge, especially when considering the price she - and others like her - pay for their integrity?

Ultimately, we are all personally responsible for the choices we make, even under pressure. Perhaps especially when we are under pressure. That is why we need to examine ourselves: our habits, beliefs, weaknesses - everything. So that, when the crunch comes, our reaction is driven by our deeper convictions rather than a baser motive for self-preservation.



bottom of page