“I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob.” - Acts 7:32
Blaise Pascal was an unnecessarily intelligent man. That fount of all knowledge, Wikipedia, describes him as a. “French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and Catholic theologian”. He was born in 1623 in France and died aged just thirty-nine in Paris.
Here is a man who co-invented the theory of probability, built a mechanical calculator and made huge contributions to geometry and number theory. Here is a man who was also regarded as a great philosopher and deep thinker. Here, too, was a devout Christian.
On the 23rd November 1654, between 10:30 and 12:30 at night, he had an intense spiritual experience of God. Deeply moved, he quickly wrote what has become known as Pascal’s Memorial and sewed it into the lining of his coat so that it would always be near. When he changed coat, he transferred it to his new clothing. No-one knew the contents, until his servant came across it after his death. It reads:
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.
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.