Look7777777 – Culture Watch – 2008.06.29

Nie trzeba okaleczać człowieka, aby wytłumaczyć Wcielenie; należy tylko zrozumieć dynamizm istoty ludzkiej, która realizuje się, wychodząc z siebie; tylko w Bogu odnajdujemy samych siebie, naszą pełnię i skończoność. Tak widzimy, że nie ten, kto zamyka się w sobie, jest człowiekiem pełnym, lecz ten, kto otwiera się, który wychodzi od samego siebie, staje się kompletny i odnajduje samego siebie właśnie w Synu Bożym, odnajduje swoje prawdziwe człowieczeństwo.

Dla św. Maksyma wizja ta nie pozostaje spekulacją filozoficzną; jej realizację widzi on w konkretnym życiu Jezusa, przede wszystkim w dramacie Getsemani. W tym dramacie konania Jezusa, w lęku przed śmiercią, w przeciwstawieniu ludzkiej woli, by nie umierać, Bożej woli ofiarowania się aż do śmierci, w tym dramacie Getsemani spełnia się cały dramat ludzki, dramat naszego odkupienia. Św. Maksym powiada nam, a my wiemy, że to prawda: Adam (a Adamem jesteśmy my sami) myślał, że „nie” jest szczytem wolności. Tylko ten, kto może powiedzieć „nie”, będzie prawdziwie wolny; aby prawdziwie urzeczywistnić swoją wolność, człowiek musi mówić Bogu „nie”; tylko w ten sposób myśli, że stał się wreszcie sobą, że osiągnął szczyt wolności. Tendencję tę zawierała także ludzka natura Chrystusa, ale przezwyciężyła ją, ponieważ Jezus zobaczył, że nie negacja jest uwieńczeniem wolności. Szczytem wolności jest „tak”, zgodność z wolą Bożą. Tylko w „tak” człowiek staje się rzeczywiście sobą; tylko w wielkim otwarciu „tak”, w zjednoczeniu swej woli z wolą Bożą człowiek staje się niezmiernie otwarty, staje się „boski”. Być jak Bóg było pragnieniem Adama, to znaczy być całkowicie wolnym. Jednakże nie jest boski, nie jest w pełni wolnym człowiek, który zamyka się w sobie; jest nim, gdy wychodzi z siebie, w „tak” staje się wolny; a to jest dramat Getsemani: nie Moja wola, lecz Twoja. Tak, przemieniając wolę ludzką w wolę Bożą, rodzi się prawdziwy człowiek, w ten sposób jesteśmy odkupieni.

Benedykt XVI, Audiencja generalna: O św. Maksymie Wyznawcy oraz o prawdziwym znaczeniu tolerancji, wolności i dialogu, http://info.wiara.pl/wydruk.php?grupa=4&art=1214418849


Of course I know that the Enemy [God] also wants to detach men from themselves, but in a different way. Remember always, that He really likes the little vermin, and sets an absurd value on the distinctness of every one of them. When He talks of their losing their selves, He only means abandoning the clamour of self-will; once they have done that, He really gives them back all their personality, and boasts (I am afraid, sincerely) that when they are wholly His they will be more themselves than ever.

Fragment of a letter from Screwtape to Wormwood. From C.S. Lewis, Screwtape Letters, 1942. Letter XIII.


[Sherlock Holmes said:] “Thank you. I have no doubt I can get details from Forbes. The authorities are excellent at amassing facts, though they do not always use them to advantage. What a lovely thing a rose is!”

He walked past the couch to the open window and held up the drooping stalk of a moss-rose, looking down at the dainty blend of crimson and green. It was a new phase of his character to me, for I had never before seen him show any keen interest in natural objects.

“There is nothing in which deduction is so necessary as in religion,” said he, leaning with his back against the shutters. “It can be built up as an exact science by the reasoner. Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its colour are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers.”


I knew that high school was going to be a bit more rigorous than my education had previously been. I was going to delve deeper into science, into history, into theology, into philosophy. I was a little nervous about the challenges that would be presented, but I was scared stiff of losing the wonder.

I guess as Chesterton fans, we all have this passion for wonder. Like Chesterton, we see that the world is suffering not from 'lack of wonders, but from lack of wonder.' And I was afraid that digging into these subjects, turning them over, and analyzing them would make me lose my sense of wonder.

I've gone from being a timid little freshman to a smug senior, and I see how wrong I was. My education took away none of the excitement, none of the enthusiasm, none of the wonder. It increased it.

Just as Innocent Smith in Manalive courts and marries his wife again and again so he can rediscover his joy in her, his love for her; just as he robs his house so he can rediscover that his possessions are his; and just as he travels around the world to rediscover the immense beauty of going home again... I too rediscovered.

And the real joy is that there is so much more. College is somewhere in the near future, and though perhaps I'll be a bit of a timid freshman, adjusting to a new environment and place, not sure if I'm up to the challenge of such rigorous study... I know I won't be afraid of learning. Rather, I'm anxious for it.

I want to rediscover everything again and again, the way Innocent Smith did. And the more I rediscover everything, the more I rediscover God.

"Behold," He says, "I make all things new."

Mamselle Duroc, Rediscovery, http://chesterteens.blogspot.com/2008/06/rediscovery.html


After celebrating Mass facing the Lord I can report these favorable effects from the priest's point of view:
  1. I don't have to worry about where to look
  2. I don't have to worry about what my face looks like
  3. I can weep at the beauty and wonder of it all without concern
  4. I can worship more freely and fully
  5. I feel more at one with the people of God
  6. I am on a journey to God with the people
  7. I am not the focus of attention
  8. The elevation of the host and the Ecce Agnus Dei have become more of a focus
  9. I feel more part of the great tradition
  10. I can't see who's not paying attention and feel I have to do something to get their attention back.
Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Good Things from Facing the Lord, http://gkupsidedown.blogspot.com/2008/04/good-things-from-facing-lord.html


Dad continued to talk to the small girl, he engaged her in conversation on a constant basis. She was never bored and she clearly felt safe, loved, and important.

I never learned Dad’s name but his daughter was named Angela. I know because he used her name when talking to her. And everything she did was attentive teaching on his part. Not in a didactic way but in a supportive, nurturing way.

She was playing with a plastic animal. He showed how the tail on the animal allowed it to stand up on the table. It was gorilla like creature which stood on two legs. But with just two legs it was unstable. The tail allowed Angela to stand it up. Dad showed her how the leg gave the toy “stability.” “See, it’s stable now,” he explained.

The figure had two fingers held up in some way that I couldn’t really see from where I was. Dad asked Angela how many fingers the animal was holding up. She didn’t answer. He just explained that it had two fingers up. “Two is a number,” he said. “What is your number?” Angela said “four”. Dad said: “Four is how old you are. What is your number?” She again said “four”. No worries, Dad was patient. He repeated and Angela said something I couldn’t hear. I think she repeated her phone number. He smiled and told her that she was right.

Throughout this Angela cuddled up next to her father. Not once did he ignore her. Not once did he ask her to stop talking. It was total and complete attention.

I looked at the other family. The kids sat in the middle. They too played with toys but the adults with them paid them no mind. There was no conversation, no interaction, no touching. They were just people in the same room.

So many children today have parents who have not learned to be parents. Many still act like children themselves. To them children are not a blessing but a burden, an obligation. They want as little to do with them as possible -- they get in the way. They send them off to government prison camps for children, known as schools, where kids are warehoused more than educated. After school they pay as little attention as possible. They often have no idea where the kids are or what they are doing. And they don’t want to know.

There are parents who think that cash will be a good substitute for love, that a cell phone is a replacement for parental concern, the state schools can replace parental teaching. They think the television is ample “adult” supervision.

They don’t teach. They rarely love. They don’t talk to their children and when their children talk they don’t listen. They don’t ask questions as much as bark orders. Of course so many of these parents eventually ask themselves why their children are so messed up. The reality is that many kinds have a biological father and mother present but they don’t have parents.

Angela is different. She is a very lucky four-year-old. I find it hard to even list all the messages that she got from her father in the few minutes I witnessed them together.

She learned that she is important and loved. She learned things about stability and numbers and names of animals. She learned that she can accomplish things if she keeps trying. She learned that cleanliness is good. She got respect and thus learned respect. She got love and thus learned to love. Another thing she got, is something she won’t use for many years yet. She learned how to be parent herself.

CLS, Angela is a lucky girl, http://freestudents.blogspot.com/2008/06/angela-is-lucky-girl.html


We all dislike abject poverty; but it might be another business if we began to discuss independent and dignified poverty. We all disapprove of prostitution; but we do not all approve of purity. The only way to discuss the social evil is to get at once to the social ideal. We can all see the national madness; but what is national sanity? I have called this book "What Is Wrong with the World?" and the upshot of the title can be easily and clearly stated. What is wrong is that we do not ask what is right.

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