Saturday, August 13, 2016

"wherever it is certain that something essential for salvation is impossible, it is also certain that there really exists a supernatural possibility."

"Là où il est certain qu’une chose indispensable au salut est impossible, il est certain qu’il existe réellement une possibilité surnaturelle."

     Simone Weil, "Theory of the sacraments," in Gateway to God, ed. David Raper with the collaboration of Malcolm Muggeridge and Vernon Sproxton (London:  Collins, Fontana Books, 1974), 65.  I was put onto this by Claire Wolfteich, "Attention or destruction:  Simone Weil and the paradox of the Eucharist," Journal of religion 81, no. 3 (July 2001):  368 (359-376).  For the original French, see Simone Weil, "Théorie des sacrements," Pensées sons ordre concernant l’amour de Dieu, Collection espoir (Gallimard, 1962), 136.
     And the "supernatural possibility" here is, of course, the purification of the soul that a simultaneously passively and actively faith-ful reception of the Eucharistwhich is "the absolute spiritual good in terms of the flesh [(le bien absolu par rapport à la chair)]" (66/136; for "Human nature is so arranged that a desire of the soul has no reality within the soul until it has passed through the body by means of actions, movements, and attitudes" (65/135))—is, thanks to "an agreement [(convention)] established by God" (66/137), capable of effecting.