Monday, June 17, 2013

Unless One Loves the Truth

I have just read a little Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), the mathematician, scientist, and Christian apologist, from his Thoughts, musings about man's nature and truth and God and divine redemption. They are terribly lovely thoughts, and applicable then as now, as are all everlasting truths.

" The truth is so obscured in our day, and falsehood so firmly established, that unless one loves the truth one cannot even know it."

"Man is but a reed, the weakest in nature, but he is a thinking reed . . . All our dignity consists then in thought . . . Let us strive then to think well; that is the foundation of all morality."

"How hollow is the human heart, and how full of corruption!"

"We run heedlessly over the edge of the precipice, after placing something before our eyes to keep ourselves from seeing it."

"He who does not see the vanity of the world is very vain himself.'

"One does not grow bored with eating and sleeping every day, for hunger is reborn, and drowsiness; otherwise one would grow weary of them. Thus without the hunger for spiritual things one would grow weary of them."

"Never does one do evil so fully and so gaily as when one does it as a matter of conscience."

"Not being able to bring about what what is just should be strong, men have decided that what is strong is just."

"There are only three sorts of people; those who serve God, having found him; those who put forth every effort to seek him, not having found him; those who live without seeking and without having found him. The first are reasonable and happy; the last are foolish and unhappy; the middle group are unhappy and reasonable."

"God alone is [man's] true good; and since he has turned away from him, it is a strange thing that there is nothing in nature which has not served on occasion to take his place---stars, firmament, earth, elements, plants, cabbages, leeks, animals, insects, calves, serpents, fever, plague, war, famine, vices, adultery, incest. And since he has lost the one true good, everything in its turn may seem to him to be the good, even to his own destruction, although so contrary to God, to reason, and to nature all together."

"What will become of man? Will he be like God or like the beasts? What a frightful distance!"

"The immortality of the soul is a thing of such great importance to us, which concerns us so deeply, that one must have lost all feeling to be indifferent about knowing what the truth is in the matter.. . . This neglect astounds and horrifies me; it is for me a monstrous thing."

"For Christian faith is almost exclusively concerned with establishing these two things: the corruption of nature, and redemption through Jesus Christ."

"There is no shame except in having no shame.'

"A unit added to infinity in no wise increases it, any more than does the addition of a foot to an infinite measure. The finite disappears in the presence of the infinite, and becomes pure nothingness. So too our mind before God; so too our justice before divine justice."

"Jesus Christ is the object of everything, and the center toward which everything tends."

"[Man's] main maladies are pride, which separates you from God, and lust, which ties you to the earth."

"If you are united with God, it is through grace, not because of your nature. If you are humbled, it is through penitence, not because of your nature."

"There is enough light for those who wish only to see, and enough obscurity for those of a contrary  nature."

"All that is important for us to know is that we are wretched, corrupt, separated from God, but [can be] redeemed by Jesus Christ."

"To lead into error is to place man under the necessity of concluding and following an untruth."

"We owe a deep debt to those who warn us of our faults."

"It is good to be wearied and tired by the vain search for the true good in order to hold out our arms to the Liberator."

Thank you, God, for timeless truths.

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