“From about half-past ten in the evening, until about half-past midnight. Fire. The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob. Not of the philosophers and intellectuals. Certitude, certitude, feeling, joy, peace. The God of Jesus Christ.“O just Father, the world has not known you, but I have known you. Joy, joy, joy, tears of joy. This is eternal life, that they know you the one true God and J.C. whom you have sent. May I never be separated from him. One preserves oneself only by way of the lessons taught in the gospel. Renunciation total and sweet. Your God will be my God.”
“I see several inconsistent religions, all of which except one are false. Each one wishes to be believed on the basis of its own authority and threatens unbelievers. I therefore do not believe them for that reason..." He asserted that outside of the Catholic Church "I am fully convinced there is no salvation.”
"...we assert, that by an eternal and immutable counsel, God has once for all determined, both whom he would admit to salvation, and whom he would condemn to destruction."
"A dispute about predestination should be avoided entirely... I forget everything about Christ and God when I come upon these thoughts and actually get to the point to imagining that God is a rogue. We must stay in the word, in which God is revealed to us and salvation is offered, if we believe him. But in thinking about predestination, we forget God . . However, in Christ are hid all the treasures (Col. 2:3); outside him all are locked up. Therefore, we should simply refuse to argue about election."
"Human beings, by their own nature, always have the power to sin and to resist grace, and since the time of their corruption they always have an unfortunate depth of concupiscence which infinitely increases this power of resistance. Nevertheless, when it pleases God to touch them with his mercy, He makes them do what he wants them to do and in the manner in which he wishes them to act, without this infallibility of God's operation destroying in any way the natural freedom of human beings … That is how God disposes the free will of human beings without imposing any necessity on them, and how free will, which can always resist grace but does not always wish to do so, directs itself both freely and infallibly towards God." (Provincial Letters: I, 800, 801)
“How do we learn the truth about facts? That will be from our eyes… which are the appropriate judges of fact, as reason is of natural and intelligible things, and the faith is of things that are supernatural and revealed.”
Faith is the principle source of knowledge for Pascal but he also allows experience and reason as means to know the natural world. He acclaims Montaigne for his refusal to believe that science provides unshakeable truths. However the author insists that factual matters can be proved authoritatively by using the senses and declares that even the Pope can be mistaken about this, though not about revealed truths. He applies this to Galileo's house arrest over the heliocentric dispute :
"That is not what will prove that the earth does not move; and if one had unchanging observations that proved that the earth revolves, all the men in the world could not stop it moving.” (Provincial Letters: I, 813).
“There are undoubtedly natural laws, but our fine corrupted reason has corrupted everything.”
God provided moral direction to humans before the Fall and some dim remains of this are still present in fallen nature.
“...we are obliged by justice to give alms from our surplus, to alleviate even the common necessities of the poor… those who are rich are merely stewards of their surplus, in order to give it to whomever they select from among those who are in need.”
“Justice is what is established; thus all our established laws will necessarily be accepted as just without being examined, because they are established.”
“The Church … has always taught her children not to render evil for evil … to obey magistrates and superiors, even those who are unjust, because we must always respect in them the power of God who has set them over us.”
“Cromwell would have ravaged the whole of Christendom; the royal family was lost, and his own family was about to become all-powerful, except for a little grain of sand that lodged in his bladder. Even Rome was about to tremble beneath him. Once this little piece of stone became lodged there, he died, his family was disgraced, peace was established all round, and the king was restored.”
“It is not in space that I should search for my dignity, but in the control of my thoughts … The universe comprehends me by space and engulfs me like a point; by means of thought, I comprehend it.”
“The greatness of human beings consists in their ability to know their wretchedness.”