Monday, April 28, 2008

Pope Benedict on Music

~A beautiful discourse on music and hope, the soul that is enraptured by the beauty of God. This is from his address following a concert given by the Giuseppi Verdi Orchestra and Chorus in honor of the third anniversary of Pope Benedict's pontificate. Translation via Papa Ratzinger Forum
This leads us to consider the spiritual value of the musical art, which is called upon, in a singular manner, to instill hope in the human spirit that is so affected and often hurt by our earthly condition.

There is a mysterious and profound kinship between music and hope, between song and eternal life: There is a reason that Christian tradition depicts the blessed spirits in the act of singing together, rapt and ecstatic at the beauty of God.

But authentic art, like prayer, does not alienate us from the reality of every day, but rather enables us to return to our routine in order to 'irrigate' it and make it sprout to bear fruits of goodness and pace.

The masterful itnterpretations which we have just heard also remind us of the value and universal importance of the artistic patrimony. I think especially of the younger generations, who by coming close to such patrimony, may always draw new inspiration to construct a world of justice and solidarity, by appreciating, in the service of mankind, the multiform expressions of world culture.

I am also thinking of the importance that education must give to authentic beauty in the formation of young people. Art in its entirety contributes to refine their spirit and to orient them towards building a society that is open to the ideals of the spirit.

Italy, with its exceptional artistic patrimony, can play, in this respect, an important role in the world: the quantity and quality of the monuments and works of art that it possesses make it, in fact, the universal 'messenger' of all those values that art expresses and promotes at the same time.

Moreover, the festiveness of song and music is in itself a constant invitation to believers and men of good will to commit themselves in order to give mankind a future rich with hope.

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