Tuesday, October 7, 2014

"Compassion directed towards oneself is true humility."

I found this quote from Simone Weil in a circuitous way.  Last Friday I attended a very well-thought out lecture by the novelist Ron Hansen at Notre Dame.  The lecture was entitled "Seeing into the Middle of Things: On Being a Catholic Writer. " Hansen quoted Weil to say that attention taken to its highest degree is prayer.  I found that a strange saying and wanted to try to understand it.

So, of course, I googled it and found a similar quote: "Absolute unmixed attention is prayer."  I don't have a feel for what that means either but another quote popped out at me and is worth my thinking about.

"Compassion directed towards oneself is true humility."  I wish I knew where in Weil's writings this comes from.    I have started Weil's "Waiting for God" and put it down.  Maybe if I try it again, I will find it.

In any case, I need compassion directed towards myself.  Sunday night was a night of insomnia.  Why?  Sometimes I know why; sometimes I really didn't.  I was sad about Jim's mother's condition when we saw her on Saturday.  I was concerned about the doctors' visits for Jim on Monday.  But mostly, I was upset with myself for my inability to just fall asleep.  There is no way to say it doesn't matter because a sleepless night causes a difficult day.  But trying to fall asleep does no good at all!

I know I need to accept this problem and be understanding and compassionate towards myself.  I can't always have the energy to travel and plan and scheme and go here and there.  I am humbled by my need for a quiet day after a needy night.

No comments:

Post a Comment