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quaerere Deum - seeking God

artykul w tym temacie w jez. polskim Very interesting speech of pope Benedict XVI during his visit to France last week. He was addressing the 'World of culture", trying to show the path for the Western civilization to emerge again as a society having answers to the essential and central questions of the purposes for humanity. The whole text is here, and below some excerpts:

Their goal was: quaerere Deum. Amid the confusion of the times, in which nothing seemed permanent, they wanted to do the essential – to make an effort to find what was perennially valid and lasting, life itself. They were searching for God. They wanted to go from the inessential to the essential, to the only truly important and reliable thing there is. It is sometimes said that they were “eschatologically” oriented. But this is not to be understood in a temporal sense, as if they were looking ahead to the end of the world or to their own death, but in an existential sense: they were seeking the definitive behind the provisional.

For prayer that issues from the word of God, speech is not enough: music is required.

“The monks had to find melodies which translate into music the acceptance by redeemed man of the mysteries that he celebrates. The few surviving capitula from Cluny thus show the Christological symbols of the individual modes”

For Benedict, the words of the Psalm: coram angelis psallam Tibi, Domine – in the presence of the angels, I will sing your praise (cf. 138:1) – are the decisive rule governing the prayer and chant of the monks. What this expresses is the awareness that in communal prayer one is singing in the presence of the entire heavenly court, and is thereby measured according to the very highest standards: that one is praying and singing in such a way as to harmonize with the music of the noble spirits who were considered the originators of the harmony of the cosmos, the music of the spheres.

It shows that the culture of singing is also the culture of being, and that the monks have to pray and sing in a manner commensurate with the grandeur of the word handed down to them, with its claim on true beauty. This intrinsic requirement of speaking with God and singing of him with words he himself has given, is what gave rise to the great tradition of Western music. It was not a form of private “creativity”, in which the individual leaves a memorial to himself and makes self-representation his essential criterion. Rather it is about vigilantly recognizing with the “ears of the heart” the inner laws of the music of creation, the archetypes of music that the Creator built into his world and into men, and thus discovering music that is worthy of God, and at the same time truly worthy of man, music whose worthiness resounds in purity.

By becoming a monk, a man set out on a broad and noble path, but he had already found the direction he needed: the word of the Bible, in which he heard God himself speaking. Now he had to try to understand him, so as to be able to approach him. So the monastic journey is indeed a journey into the inner world of the received word, even if an infinite distance is involved. Within the monks’ seeking there is already contained, in some respects, a finding. Therefore, if such seeking is to be possible at all, there has to be an initial spur, which not only arouses the will to seek, but also makes it possible to believe that the way is concealed within this word, or rather: that in this word, God himself has set out towards men, and hence men can come to God through it. To put it another way: there must be proclamation, which speaks to man and so creates conviction, which in turn can become life.

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Posted on April 2nd, 21.37

Exactly 3 years ago John Paul 2 died. My whole country froze for a while. People went out on the streets to pray and cry together. This is the "JP2 generation". This is the generation that has seen political independence for the first time after WWII, and John Paul was one of the main reasons they did. In 1979 he visited Poland for the first time. Still communistic oppression.

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This is how the stores looked. kolejka.jpeg

This is how the lines looked to buy anything. (I remember during my vacation time I had to stand in a line twice a week at 5 am till they opened the store, at about 10 am, just in case something was delivered).

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An then we had a Polish pope who came to visit. The governmental, regime TV(we only had 2 channels, showing only about 8 h of programs on each) was showing the main parts of His pilgrimage, but the directions for the Media crew filming the meetings was strict: do not show the masses of people, only the close ups. The militia was everywhere.

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John Paul landed in Warsaw and this afternoon He preached about the Holy Spirit on the Victory Square in Warsaw. 1 mln people showed up.

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There he spoke words that changed the world in consequence.

I wołam ja, syn polskiej ziemi, a zarazem ja - Jan Paweł II, papież, wołam z całej głębi tego tysiąclecia, wołam w przeddzień Święta Zesłania, wołam wraz z wami wszystkimi: Niech zstąpi Duch Twój! Niech zstąpi Duch Twój! I odnowi oblicze ziemi. Tej Ziemi!” (Jan Paweł II, Warszawa, 2 czerwca 1979 r.)

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And I, the son of Polish land, and at the same time I - John Paul II, the pope, I am crying out from the depths of this millennium, I am crying at the dawn of Pentecost, I am crying with all of you:

May Your Spirit come!

May Your Spirit Come!

And change the outlook of land,

This land!

If you would ask people who were present there or those who watched TV what happened there, a lot of them would respond that that was the day their hope for freedom returned.

I watched Pope's visit then on TV. I remember that when He landed on Polish soil I knelt down (in front of TV, 13 years old) and prayed. Something happened then. It was like an awakening moment. I did not know how to describe that then. Even today I am not sure. Sense of worth, courage, hope, patriotism, a new beginning.

One year later "Solidarity" movement in Poland started. This was the beginning of the end for Communism as we knew it.

There is so much more I can share about this man...

His last words were: Let me go to the House of the Father. When He died, people were crying and clapping hands, missing Him and giving thanks to God for His life.

In Polish language "saint" and "holy" are one and the same word "swiety" (sh'vyeen-tee). So God is "swiety" and the saints are "swiety".During His memorial service, before it even began, people were carrying signs with the words: SUBITO SANTO, which is: SAINT NOW. Swiety juz teraz.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9F5GYIt1hYE&hl=en]

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