LENT: The Mystery Of Jesus, by Blaise Pascal

The Mystery Of Jesus Blaise Pascal

From: Pensées

Jesus suffers in his passion the torments inflicted upon him by men, but in his agony he suffers the torments which he inflicts on himself.  He was troubled.  This punishment is inflicted by no human, but an almighty hand, and only he that is almighty can bear it.

Jesus seeks some comfort at least from his three dearest friends, and they sleep: he asks them to bear with him a while, and they abandon him with complete indifference, and with so little pity that it did not keep them awake even for a single moment.  And so Jesus was abandoned to face the wrath of God alone.

Jesus is alone on Earth, not merely with no one to feel and share his agony, but with no one even to know of it.  Heaven and he are the only ones to know.

Jesus is in a garden, not of delight, like the first Adam, who there fell and took with him all mankind, but of agony, where he has saved himself and all mankind.

He suffers this anguish and abandonment in the horror of the night.

I believe that this is the only occasion on which Jesus ever complained.  But then he complained as though he could no longer contain his overflowing grief: My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.

Jesus seeks companionship and solace from men.

It seems to me that this is unique in his whole life, but he finds none, for his disciples are asleep.

Jesus will be in agony until the end of the world.  There must be no sleeping during that time.

Jesus, totally abandoned, even by the friends he had chosen to watch with him, is vexed when he finds them asleep because of the dangers to which they are exposing not him but themselves, and he warns them for their own safety and their own good, with warm affection in the face of their ingratitude.  And warns them: The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

Jesus, finding them asleep again, undeterred by consideration either for him or for themselves, is kind enough not to wake them up and instead lets them take their rest.

Jesus prays, uncertain of the will of the Father, and is afraid of death.  But once he knows what it is, he goes to meet it and offer himself up.  “Let us be going.” He went forth.

Jesus asked of men and was not heard.

Jesus brought about the salvation of his disciples while they slept.  He has done this for each of the righteous while they slept, in nothingness before their birth and in their sins after their birth.

He prays only once that the cup might pass from him, even then submitting himself to God’s will, and twice that it should come if it must be so.

Jesus, weary at heart.

Jesus, seeing all his friends asleep and all his enemies watchful, commends himself utterly to his Father.

Jesus disregards the enmity of Judas, and sees only in him God’s will, which he loves; so much so that he calls him friend.

Jesus tears himself away from his disciples to enter upon his agony: we must tear ourselves away from those who are nearest and dearest to us in order to imitate him.

While Jesus remains in agony and cruelest distress, let us pray longer.

We implore God’s mercy, not so that he shall leave us in peace with our vices, but so that he may deliver us from them.

Take comfort; you would not seek me if you had not found me.

I thought of you in my agony: I shed those drops of blood for you.

It is tempting me rather than testing yourself to wonder if you would do right in the absence of this or that protection.  I will accomplish righteousness in you if hardship comes.

Let yourself be guided by my rules.  See how well I guided the Virgin and the saints who let me work in them.

The Father loves all I do.

Do you want it always to cost me the blood of my humanity while you do not even shed a tear?

I am present with you through my word in scripture, my spirit in the church, through inspiration, and my prayer among the faithful.

Physicians will not heal you, for you will die in the end, but it is I who will heal you and make your body immortal.

Endure the chains and bondage of the body.  For the present I am delivering you from spiritual bondage.

I am a better friend to you than this man or that, for I have done more for you than they, and they would never endure what I have endured from you, and they would never die for you, while you were being faithless and cruel, as I did, and as I am ready to do, and still do in my elect, and in the Blessed Sacrament.

If you knew your sins, you would lost heart. | In that case I shall lose heart, Lord, for I believe in their wickedness on the strength of your assurance. | No, for I who tell you this can heal you, and the fact that I tell you is a sign that I want to heal you.  As you expiate them you will come to know them, and you will be told: “Behold, thy sins are forgiven thee.”

Repent then of your secret sins and the hidden evil of those you know.

Lord, I give you all.

I love you more ardently than you have loved your foulness.

May mine be the glory, not thine, worm and clay.

Pilate’s false justice only causes Jesus Christ to suffer.  For he has him scourged in the name of “justice,” then put to death.  It would have been better to put him to death at once.  The falsely righteous are like that.  They do both good works and bad in order to please the world and in so doing they are not wholly Christ’s, for they are ashamed to be.  Finally, when it comes to great temptations and opportunities, they put him to death.

I see the depths of my pride, curiosity, concupiscence.  There is no link between me and God or Jesus Christ the righteous.  But he was made sin for me.  All your scourges fell upon him.  He is more abominable than I, and, far from loathing me, feels honored that I go to him and help him.  But he healed himself and will heal me all the more surely.  I must add my wounds to his, and join myself to him, and he will save me in saving himself.  But no wounds must be added for the future.

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