Pascal’s Vision

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), a brilliant soul who contributed both to the birth of modern science and Christian philosophy, is said to have undergone an intense, convicting vision. He describes it in these words in his Mémorial, apparently written to himself:

The year of grace 1654,
Monday, the 23rd November, the day of St. Clement, pope and martyr, and others of the martyrology,
wake of St. Chrysogonus martyr, and others,
Since around ten-thirty in the evening until around half-past midnight,
Fire.
God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob.
Not of the philosophers and wise men.
Certainty. Certainty. Feeling. Joy. Peace.
God of Jesus Christ.
“My God and your God.”
“Your God will be my God.”
Forgetting the world and all, except God.
He is not found except on the paths taught in the Gospel.
Grandeur of the human soul.
“Just Father, the world has not known you, but I have known you.”
Joy, joy, joy, tears of joy.
I was separated from it.
“They have forsaken me, the spring of living water.”
“My God, will you forsake me?”
May I not be separated eternally from you.
“This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and him who you have sent, Jesus Christ.”
Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ.
I was separated from him: I fled him, renounced him, crucified him.
May I never be separated from him.
He is not kept but by the paths taught in the Gospel.
Renunciation, total and soft
Total submission to Jesus Christ and to my director.
Eternally in joy for a day of work on the earth.
“I will not neglect your word.” Amen.

It is said that Pascal stitched this text into the lining of his coat. It was discovered by a servant after his death.