God’s Spirit will not always strive with man.
In one of his cryptic notes, Pascal writes: “the motions of grace; the hardness of heart; external circumstances.” Pascal is referring to the fact that men who are conscious of the call of God (“the motions of grace”) nevertheless resist because of “hardness of heart” and “external circumstances.”
Lord Clark has just published the second volume of his autobiography entitled The Other Half: A Self-Portrait. Sir Kenneth Clark (as he then was) became a household name around the world in connection with the highly successful televised series, “Civilization.” Lord Clark does not profess to be anything other than a liberal, secular humanist; but (as his documentaries reveal) he is not indifferent to the role of religion in the history of Western civilization.
There is an arresting passage in his autobiography in which he writes:
“I had a religious experience. It took place in the Church of San Lorenzo, but did not seem to be connected with the harmonious beauty of the architecture. I can only say that for a few minutes my whole being was irradiated by a kind of heavenly joy, far more intense than anything I had known before. This state of mind lasted for several minutes, and, wonderful though it was, posed an awkward problem in terms of action. My life was far from blameless: I would have to reform. My family would think I was going mad, and perhaps after all, it was a delusion for I was in every way unworthy of receiving such a flood of grace. Gradually the effect wore off and I made no effort to retain it. I think I was right: I was too deeply embedded in the world to change course. But that I had ‘felt the finger of God’ I am quite sure and, although the memory of this experience has ...1
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