Today, a thought from Simone Weil, whose story you really ought to familiarize yourself with, if you don’t already know it.
It is very possible that after having passed weeks, months, or years without thinking about it all, one day I shall suddenly feel an irresistible impulse to ask immediately for baptism and I shall run to ask for it. For the action of grace in our hearts is secret and silent.
It may also be that my life will come to an end before I have ever felt this impulse. But one thing is absolutely certain. It is that if one day it comes about that I love God enough to deserve the grace of baptism, I shall receive this grace on that very day, infalliably, in the form God wills, either by means of baptism in the strict sense of the word or in some other manner. In that case why should I have any anxiety? It is not my business to think about myself. My business is to think about God. It is for God to think about me.
-Simone Weil, Waiting for God, 8-9 (emphasis mine)
I enjoy reading Weil. I appreciate her insights, her uncompromising rationality, and especially her faith. She may have claimed doubt, but she also espoused confidence in God. The remarks above are typical of her– she has enough confidence in God to trust that He will bring her to Him by whatever means necessary. In the meantime, she’ll go on thinking and talking and using her gifts to bless others. And I love her commitment to act as soon as she is sure of what action she ought to take. I think that commitment is rooted in her faith in God. By comparison, my faith is much weaker, as I often know what I ought to do, and yet dread doing it. Weil says that such action stems from thinking of God with attention and love (Weil’s thoughts on attention are so wonderful, but are beyond the scope of this little post), and claims that the blessings we receive are in direct proportion to the quality of attention and love we are willing to spend. She goes on to say, “We have to abandon ourselves to the pressure, to run to the exact spot whither it impels us and not go one step farther, even in the direction of what is good. At the same time we must go one thinking about God with ever increasing attentiveness.” In this way, God perfects us. As I think this week about the Atonement, about how it works in our hearts, Weil’s remarks resonate with other truths I know, about how we learn about God line by line, precept on precept, about eternal progression, and what it means to be made perfect in Christ. Weil’s “doubt” strengthens my resolve to be more open to “the action of grace” in my heart, and to be more willing to run to do as directed by the Lord.