The Mystery of Tomorrow

A dear sister in Christ, a nun in a Greek monastery, recommended Mother Gavrilia’s book to me a month ago, to study again, and draw inspiration and courage and faith in my poor, little missionary endeavours, by that Missionary and Unmercenary Giant. I am so grateful for this Holy Mother and her book. I have had it for many years and read it many times. Each time it goes deeper, deeper. I am reading this again after many years of traveling and the book was packed away. She always, through the message of the Holy Spirit-alive in her, has a word or two about my/your struggles. Especially now. I feel her so close to my side. Mother Gavrilia is such a role model in her fearlessness, her humility and obedience to God’s Will, her dedication to the service of all mankind, her Faith! May we have her blessing!

 

A poem in the book touched my heart so deeply: 

 

THOU HAST made me known to friends

whom I knew not.

Thou hast given me seats in homes not my own.

 

Thou hast brought the distant near

and made a brother of the stranger.

I am uneasy at heart

when I have to leave my accustomed shelter;

I forget that there abides the old in the new,

and that there also thou abidest.

 

Through birth and death,

in this world or in others,

wherever thou leadest me, it is thou the same,

the one companion of my endless life,

who ever linkest my heart

with bonds of joy to the unfamiliar.

 

When one knows thee,

then alien there is none,

then no door is shut.

 

Oh, grant me my prayer

that I may never lose the bliss

of the touch of the one

in the play of the many.

 

 [R. Tagore, Gitanjali, LXIII]

This poem, dated March 24, 1964, exactly ten years after she was “reborn”, was found among her papers. On the top of that page, she made the sign of the Cross

ic xc ni ka

and added:

24-3-1954

Athens-Israel-Cyprus-Lebanon-Jordan-Syria-Iraq-Iran-Pakistan-INDIA

24-3-1964

Jordan-Greece-Turkey-France-Switzerland-USA-France-Belgium-Danemark-Sweden-Germany-Greece-Lebanon-INDIA

 

Arvo Pärt – And then came the evening and the morning (1990)

 

 Mother gavrilia orthodox pilgrim missionary

“God is Love” … and Mother Gavrilia‘s entire life, which was a hymn to the Lord, became thanks to Him, a burnt offering, a holocaust to His Love.

 

mother-gavrilia orthodox pilgrim missionary

 

“Only one thing do I know that I have always, and it is not pride, nor fantasy, but that which I have day and night, wherever I find myself–three things: first, Faith; second, Faith; third, Faith. That’s all! Nothing else can I say to you. It has directed all my life.”

 

 

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Celestial Cadences

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Mystical, monk-like, reclusive — those are a few words often used to describe Arvo Pärt. His music gets labeled as timeless, spiritual and meditative. The Estonian composer, born 80 years ago today, is perhaps all of these things … and maybe none of them.

Recently, Pärt allowed a film crew follow him for a year. The result is a new documentary by Günter Atteln called The Lost Paradise, an excerpt of which the producers at Accentus Music are sharing prior to its fall release. The excerpt here finds the composer at his piano, at a rehearsal of his music with his wife and musing about a healthy kind of pain in art.

Whether you are an Arvo Pärt first-timer or a fanatic, here’s a short list of things to know about this singularly fascinating artist.

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He may be the most performed living composer

If you accept Bachtrack, the online database tabulating classical music events worldwide, Pärt is popular. For the fourth consecutive year he’s been named the world’s most-performed contemporary composer. Why? It may have to do with the amount of appealing vocal music he’s written. And when you consider that there are an estimated 42.6 million adults and children who sing in choirs in the U.S. alone, that can lead to many Pärt performances. Also, his slow-moving music seems to soothe an increasingly frenzied world.

His reputation as a recluse is not quite true

While he likes his private moments for composing and his walks in the Estonian forests, Pärt let these documentary filmmakers trail him for an entire year. He’s also been an eager participant in recording sessions and rehearsals of his music. And, on a more personal note, when the composer visited Washington, D.C. last year, he didn’t hesitate to invite me to his hotel for an interview.

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His music, since the mid-1970s, is inspired by bells

Pärt found his current compositional voice after a period of struggle and silence. In 1968, he turned away from the complex, atonal music he was writing and nearly stopped composing for eight years. He returned with something completely different— music based on triads of notes, the simplest building blocks of Western music. The result was music of slow, spacious grace, with hints of Gregorian chant. He called his new style “tintinnabuli,” a reference to the ringing of bells.

His music isn’t always meditative and spiritual

Pärt sometimes gets labeled, along with John Tavener and Henryk Górecki, as a part of the “God Squad,” the so-called “holy minimalists” whose music is simply too simple for some tastes. But Pärt’s music wasn’t always ethereal and slow-paced. His early works were in a neo-classical style, and then came a period of atonal and serial worksthat was followed in 1971 by the compelling Symphony No. 3, a bridge between Pärt’s old and new styles.

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He’s often called mystic, but that’s not how he sees himself 

True, Pärt is a devout Eastern Orthodox Christian who writes a lot of spiritual music. And when he talks, his deep thoughts tend to come out as maxims for living a meaningful life. When asked about the silence in his music he told me: “Silence is like fertile soil, which, as it were, awaits our creative act, our seed.” Still, he doesn’t see himself as any kind of prophet. “A mystic!?” he said. “Well, that is the last thing I want to be.”

Source:http://www.npr.org/sections/deceptivecadence/2015/09/11/439247120/get-to-know-one-of-the-most-performed-living-composers

For a glimpse into this rare person, who strikes at my core each time, a true rarity in this world, a composer who captures people always because he radiates with light and no one can resist that,  watch the following mini-documentaries at:
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For a taste of his celestial music, listen to
 
Or Silencio, a meditative collection of 20th-century works for string orchestra, including works by Arvo Pärt, Philip Glass, and Vladimir Martynov, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_GnWMH5MAQ
Or watch the mesmerising Homemade music video for Salve Regina https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1CNNf9iU9Y
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