Benedict XVI Notes How Life Becomes a Song

Reflects on the Human Being’s Most Beautiful Art

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 4, 2010 ( Benedict XVI says that life itself becomes a song when the human person creates his greatest masterpiece: each act of love, from the smallest daily acts to the extreme sacrifice.

The Pope made this reflection on Friday when he was presented with an orchestral and choral concert in Paul VI Hall.

The concert was sponsored by the Italian company ENI, which restored the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica for the Great Jubilee in 2000, and is now working on the lateral facades.

The Holy Father congratulated their efforts and said that the marble already restored looks «like we’ve never seen it, soft and velvet-like.» He also quipped that the concert was perhaps to «compensate for the noise that these works inevitably cause.»

Then congratulating the National Academy of St. Cecilia’s orchestra and choir, the Pontiff proposed a reflection on the role of faith.

He drew from the concert’s joining of works by Beethoven, Haydn, and a modern composer, Arvo Part. The latter, who was at the concert and personally greeted the Pope, composed a piece on St. Cecilia, which was part of the program. 

«The text of the saint’s martyrdom and the particular style that interprets it in a musical key, seems to represent the place and task of faith in the universe,» the Holy Father reflected. «In the midst of the vital forces of nature, which are around man and also within him, faith is a different force, which responds to a profound word, ‘arising from the silence,’ as St. Ignatius of Antioch would say.»

Hearing this word requires «great interior silence, to hear and obey a voice that goes beyond the visible and tangible,» he added.

The Pope reflected that this voice also speaks through nature, «because it is the power that has created and governs the universe; but to recognize it, a humble and obedient heart is necessary — as the saint teaches, whose memorial we celebrate today: Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus.»

«Faith,» he said, «follows this profound voice where art on its own cannot reach: It follows it on the path of witness, of selfless giving of oneself out of love, as Cecilia did. Then the most beautiful work of art, the masterpiece of the human being is his every act of genuine love, from the smallest — in the daily martyrdom — to the extreme sacrifice. 

«Here life itself becomes a song: an anticipation of this symphony that we will sing together in Paradise.»

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