December 4, 2012 by mattfradd
The late French Philosopher and Mathematician, Blaise Pascal, said there are three types of people in the world.
First Group: Those who seek God and find him. These he says are wise because they knew to seek and happy because they have now found.
Second Type: Those who are seeking God but have not yet found him. These he says are wise because they know to seek but not yet happy because they have not yet found.
Third Type: Those who neither seek nor find. Of those in this group Pascal writes, “I have no words to describe so silly a creature” (Pensees 194).
Pascal proceeds to demonstrate the reasoning process of this silly creature:
“I know not who put me into the world, nor what the world is, nor what I myself am. I am in terrible ignorance of everything.
I know not what my body is, nor my senses, nor my soul, not even that part of me which thinks what I say, which reflects on all and on itself, and knows itself no more than the rest.
I see those frightful spaces of the universe which surround me, and I find myself tied to one corner of this vast expanse, without knowing why I am put in this place rather than in another, nor why the short time which is given me to live is assigned to me at this point rather than at another of the whole eternity which was before me or which shall come after me.
I see nothing but infinites on all sides, which surround me as an atom, and as a shadow which endures only for an instant and returns no more. All I know is that I must soon die, but what I know least is this very death which I cannot escape.
“As I know not whence I come, so I know not whither I go. I know only that, in leaving this world, I fall for ever either into annihilation or into the hands of an angry God, without knowing to which of these two states I shall be for ever assigned. Such is my state, full of weakness and uncertainty.
And from all this I conclude that I ought to spend all the days of my life without caring to inquire into what must happen to me.
Perhaps I might find some solution to my doubts, but I will not take the trouble, nor take a step to seek it; and after treating with scorn those who are concerned with this care, I will go without foresight and without fear to try the great event, and let myself be led carelessly to death, uncertain of the eternity of my future state.” (Pensees 194).
Regardless of what group you may find yourself in, let us take heed of Blessed John Paul II’s words:
“Do not be afraid. Do not be satisfied with mediocrity. Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”