Friday, September 17, 2010

Blaise Pascal's passion

This is an excerpt from the book, "The Call", by Os Guinness. He is writing in regards to Blaise Pascal's passion for God.

"Nearer our own time Blaise Pascal was another such person on fire with a passion for God. Mathematical genius, inventor, grandfather of the computer and modern risk theory, renaissance thinker, well versed in physics, philosophy and theology as well as mathematics, among the most elegant prose stylists in the French language, Pascal is one of the supreme human thinkers of all time.

But almost no one in Pascal's day and still too few in ours know of the experience that kept these achievements in perspective and lay at the core of his brief, intense, pain-filled, flame burst of a life. On the evening of Monday, November 23rd, 1654, he was 31 years old and just experienced a close brush with death in a carriage driving accident. That night he had a profound encounter with God that changed the course of his life.

Pascal's experience lasted from 10:30 PM to 12:30AM. He could only title his experience with one word: Fire. But the experience was so precious and decisive to him that he sewed the parchment record of it into the lining of his doublet and wore it next to his heart. For the remaining 8 years of his life he took the trouble to sew it into every new doublet he bought, and it was only found by his sister, who felt the odd bump it formed, after his death in 1662. It read,

'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.
Your 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.'

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