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E T Waldron

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Blogs by E T Waldron

Set Ablaze
2/16/2006 1:45:53 PM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

Fires are known to spread




Mind on Fire

I have been reacquainting myself lately with the
writings of Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) and reminded
again of the amazing life of this mathematician,
physicist, philosopher and religious thinker. In
thirty-nine short years (nine, while suffering with
an illness that finally claimed his earthly existence)
he created mathematical theorems that are still in
use today, discovered and researched the
properties of a vacuum, dialogued with the
greatest scientists of Europe, and wrote volumes of
discourse on the meaning of life and the existence
of God that is still considered to contain, in its
mastery of reason and rhetoric, the finest French
prose in history. I doubt there is a literary or law
degree in the western world that does not include,
as its foundational study, the writings and
argumentative skills of Pascal.

And here is what you find out in all that body of
work: that his mind was on fire with the light of
Christ. With all of his genius intellect, it was a
direct encounter with the risen Christ that filled up
the emptiness in his own soul. Pascalís most
amazing discovery was that you cannot know God
through intellect alone. You know Him through
the heart and that comes through experiencing
Him directly in a spiritual way. "The heart has its
reasons, that reason knows not of."

On the night of November 23, 1654, while reading
the seventeenth chapter of the Gospel of John,
Pascal had an encounter with God that instantly
filled the emptiness in his heart. It was a
life-changing experience he would memorialize on
a parchment that he had sewn into the lining of his
coat until his death, eight years later. On that
parchment, he wrote:

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.
The world forgotten, everything except God.
"O righteous Father, the world has not known

You, but I have known You"
(John 17:25).
Joy, joy, joy, tears of joy.

In a moment of his greatest illumination, Pascal
wrote what a child could have written. From that
moment, he went on to write: "Reason Can Begin
Again by Recognizing What It Can Never Know,"
and "The Transition from Human Knowledge to
Knowing God." Both of these titles indicate that it
is not sufficient to know about God or even argue
His existence (which Pascal could do better than
anybody); it was ultimately necessary to meet God
and come to know Him personally.

350 years ago, one of the greatest minds in human
history trembled in the presence of God and cried
tears of joy over his salvation, and now, scholars,
scientists and lawyers have to read about it,
because he wrote it so well. I donít know about
you, but that kind of stuff sets my mind on fire!

by John Fischer

~~*~~

I shared this article by John Fischer, because
it so beautifully makes the point I repeatedly attempt
to make every so often. It is the reason of why
Christians feel so strongly about their faith and
their belief in Jesus Christ.


It is difficult for those who do not believe or have
other faiths to understand why we sometimes get
carried away with our joy of knowing whom we call
out Lord and Saviour. Well, Blaise Pascal is a good
example of it. He describes it as a FIRE! When
something is set on fire it has to react! So there are
times when others think we over react, and some of us do.

When we as Christians have the witness of another
with such strong and striking testimony of his own
life changing experience, we can't help but be
uplifted and inspired. Besides being joyful that
what we had happen to us is shared by others and
in such a way as to leave no doubt that the same
spirit we have is in the one that relates their story.
Call it delight that we have confirmation, because
it is that, but it's also happiness for the person to
have found the path of promise , instead of
treading in the wrong direction

But it isn't usually meant to harm it is just that
we are all lit up and want to share the excitement of
the light. For those who go beyond that I'm sorry,
but everything has its radical side to it, and we
must not blame all for what a few do. As so often
happens in our unjust society. The old expression
holds true "Don't throw the baby out with the
bath water."....... My advice is to glean wisdom
wherever it can be found!

etw-2006






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