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Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Simone Demystifies Mercy

by Stephanie Strickland

1

Helping someone, not to be obliged to think
about them anymore, or for the pleasure
of feeling how far

2

from them, how far from that, you
are: ordinary
charity is a form of cruelty.

3

To feel,
the soul must divide: one point in it
impassible, proof against

4

contagion; all the rest polluted
to an extreme—
by the swollen heart

5

breaking. Mercy is
strained, nailed between two poles.
It is easier

6

for us to feel pity,
mixed with horror
& repulsion.

Simone Weil, 1909-1943


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