Pascal’s Night of Fire

Blaise Pascal is one of my heroes, and no it’s not because of our shared superiority in mathematics.  Math is NOT my best area!

In his Pensees, Pascal writes:

“If we submit everything to reason our religion will be left with nothing mysterious or supernatural. If we offend the principles of reason our religion will be absurd and ridiculous.” (173)

On November 23, 1654, Pascal encountered our LORD in such a way that the divine appointment profoundly affected the rest of his whole life.  In fact, Pascal wrote of the encounter and sewed this account into his coat’s lining, from then on always carrying this experience with him.

In a follow up post, I’ll write of my hospital experience, and then you’ll learn why Pascal is a hero of mine.

In the meantime:

Memorial

The year of grace 1654
Monday, 23 November, feast of Saint Clement, Pope and Martyr, and of others in the Martyrology.
Eve of Saint Chrysogonus, Martyr and others.
From about half past ten in the evening until half past midnight.

Fire
‘God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob,’ not of philosophers and scholars.
Certainty, certainty, heartfelt, joy, peace.
God of Jesus Christ.
God of Jesus Christ.
My God and your God.
‘Thy God shall be my God.’
The world forgotten, and everything except God.
He can only be found by the ways taught in the Gospels.
Greatness of the human soul.
‘O righteous Father, the world had not known thee, but I have known thee.’
Joy, joy, joy, tears of joy.
I have cut myself off from him.
They have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters.
‘My God wilt thou forsake me?’
Let me not be cut off from him for ever!
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.’
Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ.
I have cut myself off from him, shunned him, denied him, crucified him.
Let me never be cut off from him!
He can only be kept by the ways taught in the Gospel.
Sweet and total renunciation.
Total submission to Jesus Christ and my director.
Everlasting joy in return for one day’s effort on earth.
I will not forget thy word. Amen.

Beloved of Christ, pray with fire!

Michael+

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