Thoughts from Pascal

The greatness of intellectual people is not visible to kings, rich men, captains, who are all great in a carnal sense… Archimedes in obscurity would still be revered. He fought no battles visible to the eyes, but enriched every mind with his discoveries. How splendidly he shone in the minds of men!

Jesus without wealth or any outward show  of knowledge has his own order of holiness. He made no discoveries, he did not reign, but he was humble, patient, thrice holy to God, terrible to devils and without sin. With what great pomp and marvellously magnificent array he came in the eyes of the heart, which perceive wisdom!

It would have been pointless for Archimedes to play the prince in his mathematical books, prince though he was.

It would have been pointless for our Lord Jesus Christ to come as a king with splendour in his reign of holiness, but he truly came in splendour in his own order.

All bodies, the firmament, the stars, the earth and its kingdoms are not worth the least of minds, for it knows them all and itself too, while bodies know nothing.

All bodies together and all minds together and all their products are not worth the least impulse of charity. This is of an infinitely superior order.

Out of all bodies together we could not succeed in creating one little thought. It is impossible, and of a different order. Out of all bodies and all minds we cannot extract one impulse of true charity. It is impossible, and of a different, supernatural, order.

Pensee 308, transl. A. J. Krailsheimer.

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