The Festival of Weeks was always a "week of weeks" (i.e., 7 weeks) after Passover. It is best known to us as Pentecost - from the Greek meaning "fiftieth". Pentecost (or Whitsunday, to give it another English name) is 23rd May this year - seven weeks after Easter.
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), known in his day and ours as a mathematician and scientist, was also a spiritual writer. One unforgettable night in 1654 he had an encounter with God which can only be described as a conversion experience. A scrap of paper headed Mémorial was found in the lining of his coat after his death, for he carried this reminder about with him always. Here is an English translation by Elizabeth T Knuth.
The year of grace 1654,
Monday, 23 November, feast of St. Clement, pope and martyr and others in the martyrology.
Vigil of St. Chrysogonus, martyr, and others.
From about half past ten at night until about half past midnight,
GOD of Abraham, GOD of Isaac, GOD of Jacob
not of the philosophers and of the learned.
Certitude. Certitude. Feeling. Joy. Peace.
GOD of Jesus Christ.
My God and your God.
Your GOD will be my God.
Forgetfulness of the world and of everything, except GOD.
He is only found by the ways taught in the Gospel.
Grandeur of the human soul.
Righteous Father, the world has not known you, but I have known you.
Joy, joy, joy, tears of joy.
I have departed from him:
They have forsaken me, the fount of living water.
My God, will you leave me?
Let me not be separated from him forever.
This is eternal life, that they know you, the one true God, and the one that you sent, Jesus Christ.
I left him; I fled him, renounced, crucified.
Let me never be separated from him.
He is only kept securely by the ways taught in the Gospel:
Renunciation, total and sweet.
Complete submission to Jesus Christ and to my director.
Eternally in joy for a day's exercise on the earth.
May I not forget your words. Amen.
© Peter J. Blackburn, Buderim Notes & News, May 1999