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Neither Angel nor Beast by Francis X.J. Coleman

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9

GOD’S CHAMPION

Written sometime between May and September 1660, the ‘Prière pour demander à Dieu le bon usage des maladies’ – ‘Prayer to Ask God for the Right Use of Sickness’ – is one of the most fervent and spiritual meditations ever written. Towards the end of his life, Pascal suffered again from many ailments which are difficult to diagnose from the impressionistic evidence that remains. But from his sufferings emerged the ‘Prière’ which is both a prayer, a dialogue between Pascal and God, and an introspective homily to anyone suffering from a terminal disease. The ‘Prière’ was first published in a collection of devotional works in 1666 entitled Divers traîtés de piété, edited in the formal ‘you’ – vous – instead of the familiar form, ...

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