Thursday, July 11, 2013

May Sarton on Holiness: Detachment as Inability to Love, Holiness as Loving Engagement with Others and the Created World

Another excerpt from things I've read over the years dealing with the question of how to define holiness--this from May Sarton, The House by the Sea (NY: W.W. Norton, 1977):

I do not believe that the saint is detached.  My saints are people like Simone Weil whose thirst for God became an anguish, and whose intellect never led her into a sense of superiority (which means into cleverness), and/or St. Francis who was absolutely wholehearted in his attachment to God as witnessed in every living thing.  Detachment which springs from an inability to love is quite another thing, for it stays close to cynicism.  One way or another one has to fall on one’s knees (p. 47).

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