April 4, 2009

Supernatural Word vs. Natural Words

Supernatural good is not a kind of supplement to natural good, as some Aristotelians would like to convince us for our greater comfort. It would be pleasant if it were so, but it is not. In every poignant problem of human existence, there is a choice only between evil and supernatural good. If words pertaining to the lower level of values--democracy, rights, person--are placed on the tongue of those who live in affliction, it would be a gift likely to lead them to no good and would inevitably cause them a great deal of harm. These ideas have no place in heaven. They are suspended in mid-air, and for that very reason they can have no influence on earth. Only the sunlight falling constantly from the sky can furnish a tree with the energy necessary to thrust its powerful roots deeply into the ground. Only the things that come from heaven are capable of making a real imprint on earth. If we wish efficaciously to fortify the afflicted, we must put on their lips only the words whose proper dwelling place is heaven...
Simone Weil, "Beyond Personalism" (London, 1942)

The voice said, "Cry out!"
And he said, "What shall I cry?"
"All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever."
Isaiah 40:6-8 (NKJV)