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Fire

Notes & Transcripts

Blaise Pascal had a kind of born again experience the night of November 23, 1654. A brilliant scientist and intellectual, Pascal met God, as it were, face to face, and wrote what he saw and felt, as it was happening to him. He recorded on a piece of parchment, “From about half past ten in the evening until half past midnight.” A scientist would want to remember the exact time. The piece of parchment was sewn in his coat and found after his death. It seems that he carried it with him continually. The first word he used to describe the experience was simply “fire.” That alone set the personal God he met apart from the impersonal god of mere intellect and ideas. The next sentence is more telling: “God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of philosophers and scholars” (italics mine). His experience is a model of what it means to pray to the personal God of the Bible. His prayer is not Scripture, but it is scriptural in its stream-of-consciousness fervor.

Certainty, certainty,

heartfelt, joy, peace.

of Jesus Christ.

God of Jesus Christ.

My God and your God.

“Thy God shall be my God.”

The world forgotten,

and everything except God.

He can only be found by ways

taught in the Gospels.

Greatness of the human soul.

“O righteous Father,

the world has not known thee,

but I have known thee.”

Joy, joy, joy, tears of joy.

I have cut myself off from him.

They have forsaken me,

the fountain of living waters.

My God, wilt thou forsake me?

Let me not be cut off from him forever!

“And this is life eternal,

that they may know thee,

the only true God,

and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.”

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ

I have cut myself off from him,

shunned him, denied him, crucified him.

Let me never be cut off from him!

He can only be kept

by the ways taught in the Gospel.

Sweet and total renunciation.

Total submission to Jesus Christ

and my director.

Everlasting joy

in return for one day’s effort

on earth.

I will not forget thy word.

Amen.

We all long to meet an awesome and personal God like that in prayer.

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