The Consolations of Theology

Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console.” Simone Weil might have granted that St. Francis got it half right in his prayer: Christians should not seek to be consoled. But neither, in her view, should they seek to console, because consolation tends to interfere with the detachment from self that we need—a detachment that affliction, rightly received, may bring. If consolation seeks to alleviate the sting of loss or hardship, Weil believed, this is an offer we would do well to refuse.

 

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