Pascal's Pensées: Week 7, The Great Mending


To make a man a saint, grace is certainly needed, and anyone who doubts this does not know what a saint, or a man, really is.


I lament here the gender-specific language of "man." I couldn't figure out a way to make it more inclusive without it sounding a bit off.

Regardless, by "man" we mean "human being." It takes grace to be a human being. 

I can't recall who once shared shared this with me, but I was speaking at a church and visiting with my host in his kitchen. He was talking about his relationship with his father. That relationship hadn't been very good in the early years. But late in life, in his final years, the father had undergone a change. He'd softened. Become more vulnerable. More gentle. Kinder. 

And in describing this, my host shared, "It takes a lifetime to become a human being."

I've never forgotten that line. It takes a lifetime to become a human being. 

Doesn't it? And even then, many of us don't get very far on this journey. 

Much of this journey, in my estimation, goes to what Pascal notes above, the role of grace. Our need to give grace, to ourselves and others, and how we can't become human without relying upon grace. Grace is the only power that humbles us, breaks us, heals us, and reconciles us. Grace is the Great Mending of all that we've broken and torn.

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