Sunday, March 03, 2019

Pascal's Encounter with the Fire of Christ

Today, as we celebrated the Transfiguration of Jesus, I kept thinking of the encounter that physicist and mathematician Blaise Pascal had with Jesus in what must have been a time of prayer, born of spiritual struggle and repentance. The incident was so overwhelming and important in affirming Pascal's faith in Christ that he wrote about it on a piece of parchment and had it sewn into his coat so that it would always be with him. It was found in his coat eight years later, after he had died.
This is what Pascal wrote:
"The year of grace 1654,
"Monday, 23 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 at night until about half past midnight,
"GOD of Abraham, GOD of Isaac, GOD of Jacob
not of the philosophers and of the learned.
Certitude. Certitude. Feeling. Joy. Peace.
GOD of Jesus Christ.
My God and your God.
Your GOD will be my God.
Forgetfulness of the world and of everything, except GOD.
He is only found by the ways taught in the Gospel.
Grandeur of the human soul.
Righteous Father, the world has not known you, but I have known you.
Joy, joy, joy, tears of joy.
I have departed from him:
They have forsaken me, the fount of living water.
My God, will you leave me?
Let me not be separated from him forever.
This is eternal life, that they know you, the one true God, and the one that you sent, Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ.
I left him; I fled him, renounced, crucified.
Let me never be separated from him.
He is only kept securely by the ways taught in the Gospel:
Renunciation, total and sweet.
Complete submission to Jesus Christ and to my director.
Eternally in joy for a day’s exercise on the earth.
May I not forget your words. Amen."


Mrs. Caso said...

Thank you for sharing this. As a math and computer science teacher, I was intrigued by the heading I saw on Twitter and am glad I took the time to read it. It has always amazed me that some people believe that math/science and God are incompatible. If anything, math and science reveal even more of God's glory!

Mark Daniels said...

I agree with you! Both reveal how beautifully conceived and constructed the universe is, which for me, points to a Creator.