In 1654, Pascal was involved in a carriage accident which left his carriage hanging over the side of a bridge above a raging river. He managed to escape from the danging carriage, but the experience had a significant impact on him. Two weeks later he had an intense vision which lasted two hours. Immediately after this encounter with God, he wrote the following note to himself to record what he had experienced. He never told anyone of the note, but kept it sewn to the inside of his coat. He moved it from one coat to another whenever he purchased a new clothing. He kept it there as a memorial of his encounter with the living God. After his death in 1662, the note was accidentally discovered by one of his servants who was carrying his dead body.
The year of grace 1654,
From about half past ten at night until about half past midnight. . .
GOD of Abraham, GOD of Isaac, GOD of Jacob
not of the philosophers and of the learned.
Certitude. Certitude. Feeling. Joy. Peace.
GOD of Jesus Christ.
My God and your God.
Your GOD will be my God.
Forgetfulness of the world and of everything, except GOD.
He is only found by the ways taught in the Gospel.
Grandeur of the human soul.
Righteous Father, the world has not known you, but I have known you.
Joy, joy, joy, tears of joy.
I have departed from him:
They have forsaken me, the fount of living water.
My God, will you leave me?
Let me not be separated from him forever.
This is eternal life, that they know you, the one true God, and the one that you sent, Jesus Christ.
I left him; I fled him, renounced, crucified.
Let me never be separated from him.
He is only kept securely by the ways taught in the Gospel:
Renunciation, total and sweet.
Complete submission to Jesus Christ and to my director.
Eternally in joy for a day’s exercise on the earth.
May I not forget your words. Amen.
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