Faith & Reason ... a mystery

Monday, February 11, 2013

Blaise Pascal Greatness and Wretchedness: Dr. Jeckel and Mr. Hyde

I have always admired Pascal for his contributions to math. It humbles me to think that one of the world's foremost brains on math was so dedicated to living a life filled with virtue. I am touched by the teaching on a "duel" nature. It is better for me to state that my study on the "Holiness Tradition" has also knocked me down a peg or two. There is a stark reality in these classic masters of Spiritual Formation teach on living "virtue."

Pascal states, "Our greatness and wretchedness are so evident that the true religion must necessarily teach us that there is in us some great principle of greatness and some great principle of wretchedness." I totally agree there are two elements in myself that bring great contradictions that roar in my head, heart, and strength. To what degree is this a nature, I am not sure...but I do know that both of these elements exist in my personality. I am more inclined to stated that I am a fallen creature because of my sinful heart that desires to think only of itself. It is the call of my creator that reminds me of the greatness that he created within me and that God's call is what motivates me to be more like him. It is also his call that lifts me up and heightens my awareness of what he has created me to be.

"It is vain that you seek within yourselves the cure for your miseries" was a another statement that resonated in my heart as I traveled this chapter. God has willingly united himself to me so as to bring me out of my sinful nature into a life restored to my creator. In God's willingness I experience his favor. I experience grace, while my heart is humbled and in turn he grants me a cure for my miseries. I do not have to beat myself up or denigrate my emotions because the reality is that I am unable to redeem myself. My redemption comes through Jesus Christ. He is the one the has paid my debt and I surrender my all (the great and the wretched) so that he can lift me and demonstrate where my help comes from. It is in this new relationship that I can fully experience life as one united with God by grace and not by my nature.

Therefore, I seek to find the light that Pascal refers to by the grace that God has demonstrated in uniting with me. Thus, I declare to all I meet that Jesus is the means by which we are saved. I am granted courage and strength to stand for justice, fight for those who are unable to fight for themselves, and live a generous life as he has so generously given to me because my nature (great and wretched) has taken the back set and his grace and truth is guiding me.

Learning to live with more virtue...you know I love ya, Don

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