Which side are you on?

Simone Weil was an enigmatic woman. She felt called to be a Christian but never entered the Catholic Church. She loved Greek philosophy but found ancient Roman society repulsive. She was very critical of Judaism, even though she was born of non-practicing Jewish parents. She died in England, though she longed to be parachuted into France to help. She died probably because she refused to eat more than the rations that the French were living on under Nazi occupation.

But I still find her appealing. I first read The Need for Roots in the early 1970s and should read it again to see if it still speaks to me. Her notion of prayer as “attention” is very appealing.

But she was also a woman who sought to be on the side of the marginalized. As she wrote:

“Human beings are so made that the ones who do the crushing feel nothing; it is the person crushed who feels what is happening. Unless one has placed oneself on the side of the oppressed, to feel with them, one cannot understand.”

Which side am I on?

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