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Raïssa Maritain—We Have Been Friends Together (excerpt)

By James T. Majewski ( bio - articles - email ) | Apr 28, 2020 | In Catholic Culture Audiobooks (Podcast)

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“I would have accepted a sad life, but not one that was absurd.”

Raïssa Maritain is best known as the wife of Jacques Maritain, one of the foremost Catholic philosophers of the 20th century whose work was instrumental in the modern revival of the philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas. Raïssa was a poet, painter, and philosopher in her own right. We Have Been Friends Together is Raïssa’s autobiography and a memoir of her marriage to Jacques.

The excerpt featured in today’s episode is Raïssa’s moving account of the fateful afternoon when she and Jacques, both in their 20’s and still students at the Sorbonne, make a suicide pact together. Disillusioned by the nihilism that dominated their philosophical studies, Jacques and Raïssa—still at this point agnostic and atheist—resolve either to discover the meaning of life or else to end it. It was this resolution that set them on a path that would ultimately lead to Christ and to His Church.

This episode is released on the anniversary of Jacques Maritain’s death in 1973, so we can pray for Jacques and for his wife, and give thanks to God for their work, their marriage, and their lives.

Theme music: 2 Part Invention, composed by Mark Christopher Brandt, performed by Thomas Mirus. ©️2019 Heart of the Lion Publishing Co./BMI. All rights reserved.

James T. Majewski is Director of Customer Relations for CatholicCulture.org, the “voice” of Catholic Culture Audiobooks, and co-host of Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast. Based in New York City, he holds both a BA in Philosophy and an MFA in Acting. See full bio.

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