The correct quote of Blaise Pascal

“What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace?

This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself”

[This is from page 75 of Blaise Pascal’s Pensees (New York; Penguin Books, 1966).]

Way back in February of 2006, I shared the quote that is commonly assumed to come from Pascal, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person, and it can never be filled by any created thing.  It can only be filled by God, made known through Jesus Christ.” However, as I found out through comments and checking up on it, that that was not a correct quote. And since many people are searching for Pascal’s quote, I thought it would be wise to post the correct one in bold letters!

I love the real quote even better!!

Let’s be reminded to each day fill our lives to overflowing with our Savior. Let’s remember to love on those who are around us who are trying in vain to fill their emptiness. We are have what they need, and they need to see a difference in us.

Good night! 🙂

God bless you!

29 thoughts on “The correct quote of Blaise Pascal

  1. Thanks for being diligent on this quote. I have heard the original statement so many times, I had come to believe it was the actual quote and not a paraphrase. The real quote is more eloquent, which we would expect from Pascal.


    “this desire and this inability proclaim to us, that there was once in man a true happiness of which there now remain to him only the mark and empty trace, which he in vain tries to fill from all his surroundings, seeking from things absent the help he does not obtain in things present? But these are all inadequate, because the infinite abyss can only be filled by an infinite and immutable object, that is to say, only by God Himself. He only is our true good, and since we have forsaken him, it is a strange thing that there is nothing in nature which has not been serviceable in taking His place; the stars, the heavens, earth, the elements, plants, cabbages, leeks, animals, insects, calves, serpents, fever, pestilence, war, famine, vices, adultery, incest.” Page 113

  3. That was very good. I loved it and I agree. I’ll definitely use this. I agree with what you say. It is sound truth. God bless and keep the faith and keep up the good fight.

  4. Thank you for sharing this! I read today`s devotional and it had the quote “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person which can`t be filled by any created thing but only by the creator.” by Blaise Pascal. I found it so true which is why I wanted to share it. I`ll share the correct quote instead. May God bless you!

  5. I have pondering over this verse in the Amplified Bible for some time Eccl. 3:11 hoping to write a track based on it. I was reminded of Pascal’s quote because, he seems to touch it directly. “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds ( a divinely implanted purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy), yet so that men cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” Eccl. 3:11. My mother loved to speak from her own experience when sharing the gospel, about the ” Empty Hallo” as she called it within man. That spot that nothing else but God could fill, I too could relate to it . So, hear is this truth in the word, God has put something into every human, we all have it, when we look at others out side of Christ, we can see there all vessels to be filled with Him, the eternal God.We can pray for them to be filled instead of judging them. I would appreciate any help you all might have in putting this verse into a track.

  6. Thank you for your diligence in doing justice to this very beautiful quote!!! Thank you for your sharing and exhortation!

    God bless you!!!🤗🙏🏽

  7. “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person, and it can never be filled by any created thing. It can only be filled by God, made known through Jesus Christ.” may not be an accurate quote of Pascal, but I still like it. It is not a terrible paraphrase.

  8. What I like about the paraphrase is that it more precisely defines the identity of the “God” that fills this vacuum! It is the God of scripture, the one who has revealed Himself in the person of Christ! Hebrews 1:1-4 explains:
    “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…”

  9. Whether Pascal knew this or not, the thought comes originally from the 14th century English mystic, Richard Rolle, in his book The Fire of Love, chapter 11: “Since the human soul is capable of receiving God alone, nothing less than God can fill it; which explains why lovers of earthly things are never satisfied”

  10. Wow. I’m so glad you did this! Thank you. And I agree: The accurate quotation is far richer and deeper than the summation. I think accuracy is paramount for the Christian (part of what it means to tell truth), and for the writer. As an author, myself, I place a high value on it, and do all I can to assure it! Thank you, again.
    Lynn Morrissey

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