Blaise Pascal was a French mathematical genius who was born June 19, 1623. Greatness of the human soul. Scripture can be interpreted in different ways, "but the testimony of the senses is unequivocal, and we must, in these cases, take as the true interpretation of Scripture the one that agrees with the faithful testimony of the senses. But there is only one place we’ll find the satisfaction we seek. His whole state depends on this imperceptible point. God of Jesus Christ"My God and your God" [John XX. Our cravings can take us to new spouses, new jobs, or even new cities or countries. The first is exemplified in pagan religions, the second in the radical stance taken by people who are too clever by half. I thank God today for Pascal’s part in my awakening. The "Pensées" are an unfinished work. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. Pascal recognizes that it depends very largely upon the authors of the four Gospels and the apostle Paul. Rather than dwell on Copernicus' theory, he would have us enquire about the nature of our soul. Pascal’s Apology for the Christian Religion. Pascal, BLAISE, b. at Clermont-Ferrand, June 19, 1623; d. in Paris, August 19, 1662.He was the son of Etienne Pascal, advocate at the court of Aids of Clermont, and of Antoinette Bègon. The audience that Pascal had in mind were the sophisticated freethinkers (libertins) who preferred polite agnosticism to militant atheism. Appearing under the pseudonym of Louis de Montalte, they were published at Cologne in 1657 as Les Provinciales, ou Lettres écrites par Louis de Montalte à un provincial de ses amis et au RR. He died at the age of thirty-nine, after having received in an ecstasy of joy the Holy Viaticum, for which he had several times asked, crying out as he half rose from his couch: "May God never abandon me!". This book is still available today in several different versions. God in his mercy promised a Redeemer, foretold in the Old Testament and proclaimed in the New. The most famous are the fourth, on sins of ignorance, and the thirteenth, on homicide. He was the son of Etienne Pascal, advocate at the court of Aids of Clermont, and of Antoinette Bégon. Thenceforth, although exhausted by illness, Pascal gave himself more and more to God. The occasion of the "Provinciales" was an accident. 194-207, Comments and Documents on special issues on Religion and Science, Documents for the 2009 Anniversary: International Year of Astronomy and II Centenary of Darwin’s birth, (Canton, MA: Science History Publications, 2003), pp. [CDATA[ Contact information. Let us recall how he summarized his position in the New Experiments about the Vacuum: "After having demonstrated that none of the materials which are perceived by our senses, and of which we have any knowledge, fills this apparently empty space, my view will be, until someone shows the existence of some material which might fill it, that it is truly empty and void of all matter. He uses every device of style to instil in his reader a feeling of desperate insecurity.” In a long fragment in a section entitled Contradictions, Pascal moves back and forth between the dogmatists and the sceptics to show that everyone is obliged to take sides because “anyone who imagines he can stay neutral is a sceptic par excellence. What Pascal's plan was, can never be determined, despite the information furnished by Port Royal and by his sister. Follow that out.. God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of philosophers and scholars. Facts are God's infallible words, says Pascal, and when a literal interpretation of Scripture is at variance with facts, a new interpretation is called for. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Rev. God being thus apprehended and felt by the heart which "has its reasons that the mind knows not of", and which, amid the confusion of the other faculties, is never mistaken it remains for us to go to Him through the will, by making acts of faith even before we have faith. From his conversion to Jansenism Pascal nourished the project of writing an apology for the Christian Religion which the increasing number of libertines rendered so necessary at that time. To give it a chance to have its true say. You should therefore not reproach me for the unreasonable nature of this doctrine, because I put it forward as being unreasonable. Without ever seriously altering his citations from the casuists, as he has sometimes been wrongfully accused of doing, he arranges them somewhat disingenously; he simplifies complicated questions excessively, and, in setting forth the solutions of the casuists sometimes lets his own bias interfere. For Pascal, this would be but an instance of the divertissement that shields us from biblical truth, and keeps us asking who we really are. Here’s how Pascal blew away my resistance to joy. It’s not new. PP. After running from God until he was 31 years old, on November 23, 1654 at 10:30 pm, Pascal met God and was profoundly and unshakably converted to Jesus Christ. 481, "Difference between a book received by a people and one that fashions a people.". APA citation. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Rev. Meanwhile, in 1646, he had been won over to Jansenism, and induced his family, especially his sister Jacqueline, to follow in the same direction. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11511a.htm. He can only be kept by the ways taught in the Gospel. And on this grass there are hairs, and in these hairs little creatures, and beyond that nothing? In his twelfth year Blaise composed a treatise on the communication of sounds; at sixteen another treatise, on conic sections. "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only trueGod, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent" [John XVII. That self-denial meant renouncing joy, not renouncing lesser joys for greater joys. Nihil Obstat. If it is something that is not revealed and is adapted to natural reason, then natural reason will be its first judge.
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