VATICAN CITY, JUNE 20, 2001 ( What are the conditions necessary for man to find God? John Paul II dedicated today´s general audience to answering this question.

The Pontiff began by positing three conditions: purity of life and heart, purity of religion and worship, justice and rectitude.

Addressing more than 10,000 faithful gathered in St. Peter´s Square, the Pope quoted the Bible and asked the question posed by every person who seeks God: "Who can climb the mountain of the Lord, and who can stand in his holy place?"

These are two questions posed in Psalm 23, a moving poetic passage that is part of the Liturgy of the Hours.

The Psalm responds by "listing the conditions to be able to accede to communion with the Lord in worship," the Pope explained. "This is not about merely ritualistic and external norms to be observed, but about moral and existential commitments to be practiced."

First of all, one must have "innocent hands and a pure heart."

"Hands and heart evoke action and intention, that is, the whole being of man, which must be radically turned toward God and his law," the Pontiff explained.

"The second requirement is ´not to tell lies,´ which, in biblical language, not only refers to sincerity, but especially to the struggle against idolatry, because idols are false gods, that is, lies," he said. "Thus, the purity of religion and worship, the first commandment of the Decalogue, is confirmed."

Finally, to find God, the Psalm requires that one "not swear deceitfully." The Pope explained this requirement thus: "As is known, in an oral civilization like ancient Israel´s, the word could not be an instrument of deceit but, on the contrary, was a symbol of social relations inspired by justice and rectitude."

With these conditions, the heart of man prepares for the meeting with the infinite God who, as Psalm 23 demonstrates, despite being "omnipotent and eternal, adapts to the human creature, comes near to her, to meet her, listen to her, and enter into communion with her."

"And the liturgy is the expression of this meeting in faith, dialogue and love," John Paul II concluded.