Tuesday, August 19, 2003

He wagered and won his bet: Blaise Pascal

Today is the anniversary of the death of Blaise Pascal, philosopher, polymath genius, and utterly convinced and devoted Catholic believer (though unfortunately enmeshed in the Jansenist heresy....). He was most famous for his great wager about God --- if you loved and served God totally, and you were right about Him, you gained the greatest imaginable gain, life everlasting and joy forever. If you were wrong about God's existence, you only lost a few minor external pleasures, basically nothing at all. So, why would you not believe, the risk being so little and the potential reward so great??

He was also graced with a vision of the majesty of God, which he attempted to write down, and which writing he carried with him at all times after; this is known as his "Memorial."


In the year of grace, 1654,
On Monday, 23rd of November, Feast of St Clement, Pope and Martyr, and others in the Martyrology,
Vigil of St Chrysogonus, Martyr, and others,
From about half past ten in the evening until about half past twelve,


God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, (Ex 3:6; Mt 22:32)
not of the philosophers and scholars.
Certitude. Certitude. Feeling. Joy. Peace.
God of Jesus Christ.
"Thy God and my God." (Jn 20:17)
Forgetfulness of the world and of everything, except God.
He is to be found only in the ways taught in the Gospel.
Greatness of the Human Soul.
"Righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee,
but I have known Thee." (Jn 17:25)
Joy, joy, joy, tears of joy.
I have separated myself from Him.
"They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters." (Jn 2:13)
"My God, wilt Thou leave me?" (Mt 27:46)
Let me not be separated from Him eternally.
"This is eternal life,
that they might know Thee, the only true God,
and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent." (Jn 17:3)
Jesus Christ.


I have separated myself from Him:
I have fled from Him,
denied Him,
crucified Him.
Let me never be separated from Him.
We keep hold of Him only by the ways taught in the Gospel.

Renunciation, total and sweet.
Total submission to Jesus Christ and to my director.
Eternally in joy for a day's training on earth.
"I will not forget thy words." (Ps 119:16) Amen.


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