Coming to Terms with God
DOI link for Coming to Terms with God
Coming to Terms with God book
This 'new light' brings with it fear; what gave pleasure before only stirs up scruples. Confusion and disorder set in as one vanity after another, one solid object after another from the soul's previous state, slips away. What had seemed so solid - 'the sky, the earth, one's mind, one's body, parents, friends, enemies ... ' - fades into nothingness. Wondering how one could have lived so long in the blindness before conversion, and astounded that so many persons still content themselves with perishable goods, the soul 'enters into a holy confusion and a state of astonishment which bring about a salubrious turmoil.' Humility banishes the soul's pride, making the convert realize that he should love only what cannot be taken away from him. 'This elevation is so eminent and transcendent' that it can only come to a halt at 'God's throne.' Divine grace inspires penitence, prayers, and a resolution never to return to the state of the former self. Pascal compares getting to know God better to a lost traveller asking for directions. What is most striking about Pascal's self-image in this document is that he is totally alone, searching directly for God. No mention is made of the Church, let alone the intercession of the saints, or the other two persons of the Trinity, or the Virgin Mary. If
this were the only description that Pascal left us of his conversion one could only assume that he had been converted to Unitarianism before it was founded.