Monday, April 11, 2016

Pascal: seeking Him

Monday, April 11, 2016
    Commemoration of George Augustus Selwyn, first Bishop of New Zealand, 1878
    [Jesus] told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that,
    ”‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving,
        and ever hearing but never understanding;
    otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’”
    —Mark 4:11-12 (NIV)
    God wanted to redeem men and open the way of salvation to those who seek Him. But men make themselves so unworthy of it that it is only just that God should refuse to some, because of the hardness of heart, what He gives to others from a compassion that they do not deserve. If He had wanted to overcome the obstinacy of the most hardened, He could have done so by revealing Himself to them so obviously that they could not have doubted the truth of His Being—just as He will appear at the last day with such a clap of thunder and such an upheaval of nature that the dead will revive and the blindest will see.
    It is not in this way, however, that He willed to appear at His gentle coming: because so many men had made themselves unworthy of His mercy, He willed to leave them deprived of the good which they did not desire. And so it would not have been fair for Him to have appeared in an obviously divine manner, absolutely capable of convincing all men. But also it would not have been fair for Him to appear in a manner so hidden that even those who were sincerely seeking Him should not be able to recognize Him... So He has tempered His knowledge, by giving marks of Himself which were visible to those who seek Him, and not to those who seek Him not.
    ... Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Pensées (Thoughts) [1660], P.F. Collier & Son, 1910, #430, p. 143-144 (see the book)
    See also Mark 4:11-12; Ex. 33:19; Isa. 6:9-10; Matt. 7:7; 11:25; 13:11-12; Luke 8:10; 10:21; Rom. 9:15-16; Jas. 1:16-18
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, I pray that the blindness be lifted from ____ and ____, that they may see Your truth.
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