December 7, 2012

Jean-Paul Sartre at the end of his life

Even Jean-Paul Sartre seems to have glimpsed that, for as death approached he began to speak of some sort of Messianic Judaism.  Later his mistress, Simone de Beauvoir, acidly called it “this senile act of a turncoat.”  In a testimony recorded by his friend and former Marxist, Pierre Victor,  Sartre said: “I do not feel that I am the product of chance, a speck of dust in the universe, but someone who was expected, prepared, prefigured.  In short, a being whom only a Creator could put here; and this idea of a creating hand refers to God.”
It would be difficult to think of anyone more unlike Sartre than his contemporary political philosopher Charles Maurras who recovered his Catholic faith only late in life.  In Sartre’s better moments, in the Second World War, he resisted the barbarism with which Maurras cooperated.  But each had his last Advent.  Sartre’s last words were, “I have failed.”  As for Maurras, who had become deaf as a teenager, he said to the doctor at his bedside:  “At last I can hear someone coming.”

Fr. George Rutler on The Awkwardness of Advent

Posted by Jill Fallon at December 7, 2012 11:18 AM | Permalink