8B. that where there are shadows, I may bring light

Sometimes, I discover the shadow is my own. 

Simone Weil, the young French mystic, described individual union with God as becoming a channel between God and all God has made. 

The self is only the shadow which sin and error cast by stopping the light of God, and I take this shadow for a being.

If my shadow-self is no longer “in the way,” all with which/whom I come into contact have direct access to love. 

God who is no other thing but love has not created anything other than love.

All the things that I see, hear, breathe, touch, eat; all the beings I meet—I deprive the sum total of all that of contact with God, and I deprive God of contact with all that in so far as something in me says ‘I’.

I can do something for all that and for God—namely, retire and respect the tête-à-tête.

This is a difficult proposal, especially since I’ve learned so well to fight so hard to protect my shadow from injury or offense. My shadow has rights. My shadow has needs.

But, for Weil, to cling to my “I” is to deny myself the beauty of the world as God knows it and loves it: “If I go, then the creator and the creature will exchange their secrets.”

The “ministry of reconciliation” includes the removal of any object of self that casts a shadow over another’s life

If my shadow is gone, I can see others as God loves them. 

Relieved of the need to protect my shadow, your beauty is made evident, and I have no need to defend my own. I no longer have to decide for myself whether to act in love; there is no other thing. . 

May I disappear in order that those things that I see may become perfect in their beauty from the very fact that they are no longer things that I see

The mystics make me blush. 

Romans 8:1-11

I’m writing short reflections on the Franciscan peace prayer through Lent. The series begins with 1A, right over here.


3 responses to “8B. that where there are shadows, I may bring light

  1. Can I say “beautiful!” without further comment… Have you seen this? Just found it: VIII

    | BEFORE you thought of spring, | | | Except as a surmise, | | | You see, God bless his suddenness, | | | A fellow in the skies | | | Of independent hues, |         5 | | A little weather-worn, | | | Inspiriting habiliments | | | Of indigo and brown. | | |    | | With specimens of song, | | | As if for you to choose, |         10 | | Discretion in the interval, | | | With gay delays he goes | | | To some superior tree | | | Without a single leaf, | | | And shouts for joy to nobody |         15 | | But his seraphic self! |

    Liked by 1 person

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