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Pascal’s encounter with God

In the seventeenth century, Blaise Pascal was the genius of his age — mathematician, philosopher, inventor (of the first mechanical calculator), his intellectual contributions are still studied and celebrated today.

When he died, a piece of parchment was discovered, sewn into the breast of his doublet, over his heart. It was his treasure – not gold sovereigns, but a golden experience from which he would never recover.

He had had an encounter with God so profound that the words describing it tumble out like babbling bubbling lovers’ language, not the precise prose of a philosopher and mathematician.

Year of grace 1654, Monday 23 November, feast of St. Clement . . . from about half past ten at night to about half an hour after midnight, FIRE. God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of philosophers and scholars. Certitude, heartfelt joy, peace. God of Jesus Christ. God of Jesus Christ. ‘My God and .your God.’ . . . Joy, Joy, Joy, tears of joy . . . Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ. May I never be separated from him

Simon Ponsonby

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From the book "Amazed by Jesus"

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