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And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. Matthew 18.9

Simone Weil hailed from a Jewish middle class background in France, where she flourished between the two World Wars of last century. Though fragile and beautiful in her early years, she was driven by the need to be useful and so she adopted a look and a way of living that shifted the focus off herself and onto the plight of the poor and the cause of justice. Her spiritual development impelled her towards the Catholic faith.

Waiting for God begins like a devotional autobiography. In a series of letters to a Dominican priest called Jean-Marie Perrin, she shares her some of her doubts, but only after first mapping out three domains in which she understands herself and others operating. The first is God's creation over which we have no control; the second is governed by our will; and the third would appear to be the overlap, where we can choose to move either as prompted by the Holy Spirit or in accordance with our convictions and desires.

Within this third domain we encounter surprising contradictions. For example, we may be inclined towards something which is good but, unless God ushers us towards it, we shall be acting prematurely if we go for it ourselves. Conversely, we may be guided by God towards what we would normally avoid, yet to dig in our heels would amount to disobedience. In this light, Weil describes her resistance to the sacraments, in particular baptism. She appreciates that it is a believers proper response to Jesus but she feels unequal to the call and would rather wait than rush ahead.

Is that correct or misguided?

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