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Quotes by Blaise Pascal

1

The ultimate purpose of reason is to bring us to the place where we can see that there is a limit to reason.

2

The greatest single distinguishing feature of the omnipotence of God is that our imagination gets lost thinking about it.

3

All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. The will never takes the least step but to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man, even to those who hang themselves.

4

I ask You neither for health nor for sickness, for life nor for death; but that You may dispose of my health and my sickness, my life and my death, for Your glory… You alone know what is expedient for me; You are the sovereign master, do with me according to Your will. Give to me, or take away from me, only conform my will to Yours. I know but one thing, Lord, that it is good to follow You, and bad to offend You. Apart from that, I know not what is good or bad in anything. I know not which is most profitable to me, health or sickness, wealth or poverty, nor anything else in the world. That discernment is beyond the power of men or angels, and is hidden among the secrets of Your providence, which I adore, but so not seek to fathom.

5

Let it not be imagined that the life of a good Christian must be a life of melancholy and gloominess; for he only resigns some pleasures to enjoy others infinitely better.

6

There are only two kinds of men: the righteous, who believe themselves sinners; the rest, sinners who believe themselves righteous.

7

Year of grace 1654, Monday 23 November, feast of St. Clement…from about half past ten at night to about half an hour after midnight, FIRE. God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of philosophers and scholars. Certitude, heartfelt joy, peace. God of Jesus Christ. God of Jesus Christ. "My God and your God."…  Joy, Joy, Joy, tears of joy… Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ. May I never be separated from Him.

8

If man is not made for God, why is he happy only in God?

9

The serene, silent beauty of a holy life is the most powerful influence in the world, next to the might of God.

10

You always admire what you really don’t understand.

11

Truly it is evil to be full of faults, but it is a still greater evil to be full of them, and to be unwilling to recognize them.

12

Faith is different from proof; the latter is human, the former is a gift from God.

13

All great amusements are dangerous to the Christian life; but among all those which the world has invented there is none more to be feared than the theatre.

14

Jesus Christ came to blind those who saw clearly, and to give sight to the blind; to heal the sick, and leave the healthy to die; to call to repentance and to justify sinners, and to leave the righteous in their sins; to fill the needy, and leave the rich empty.

15

The virtue of a man ought to be measured, not by his extra-ordinary exertions, but by his everyday conduct.

16

I hold it to be a fact, that if all persons knew what each said of the other, there would not be four friends in the world.

17

We are so little and vain that the esteem of five or six persons about us is enough to content and amuse us.

18

The gospel to me is simply irresistible.

19

Earnestness is enthusiasm tempered by reason.

20

No man ever believes with a true and saving faith unless God inclines his heart; and no man when God does incline his heart can refrain from believing.

21

Kind words produce their own image in men’s souls; and a beautiful image it is. They soothe and quiet and comfort the hearer. They shame him out of his sour, morose, unkind feelings. We have not yet begun to use kind words in such abundance as they ought to be used.

22

I lay it down as a fact of life that if all men knew what others say of them, there would not be four friends in the world.

23

Cold words freeze people, and hot words scorch them, and bitter words make them bitter, and wrathful words make them wrathful. Kind words also produce their image on men’s souls; and a beautiful image it is. They smooth, and quiet, and comfort the hearer.

24

Human things must be known to be loved; but Divine things must be loved to be known.

25

People are usually more convinced by reasons they discovered themselves than by those found by others.

26

There is nothing so abominable in the eyes of God and of men as idolatry, whereby men render to the creature that honor which is due only to the Creator

27

St. Augustine teaches us that there is in each man a Serpent, an Eve, and an Adam. Our senses and natural propensities are the Serpent; the excitable desire is the Eve; and reason is the Adam. Our nature tempts us perpetually; criminal desire is often excited; but sin is not completed till reason consents.

28

The strength of a man’s virtue should not be measured by his special exertions, but by his habitual acts.

29

There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.

30

Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it.

31

Belief is a wise wager.  Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false?  If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing.  Wager , then, without hesitation, that God exists.

32

Nothing gives rest but the sincere search for truth.

33

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.

34

Grace is indeed required to turn a man into a saint; and he who doubts this does not know what either a man or a saint is.

35

God is none other than the Savior of our wretchedness. So we can only know God well by knowing our iniquities… Those who have known God without knowing their wretchedness have not glorified Him, but have glorified themselves.

36

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.

37

Knowing God without knowing our own wretchedness makes for pride. Knowing our own wretchedness without knowing God makes for despair. Knowing Jesus Christ strikes the balance because He shows us both God and our own wretchedness.

38

The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.