Pope: Let Thoughts of Heaven Bring Light to Today's Burdens

Says Bruckner’s Music Is an Invitation to Open Horizons

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 24, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is offering a reminder to think about eternal life — not as an escape from today’s problems, but to bring into our daily reality «a little light, hope and love.»

The Pope made this invitation Saturday night after a concert in his honor.

The program included Anton Bruckner’s 9th Symphony and his «Te Deum,» interpreted by the Bavarian State Orchestra and the Audi Youth Choir Academy, conducted respectively by Kent Nagano and Martin Steidler.

The Holy Father proposed that listening to Bruckner is like «finding oneself in a great cathedral, surrounded by its imposing structures, which arouse emotion and lift us to the heights.»

He also reflected that at the foundations of Bruckner’s music is the «simple, solid, genuine faith he conserved throughout his life.»

«The great conductor Bruno Walter used to say that ‘Mahler always sought after God, while Bruckner had found him,'» the Pope noted. «The symphony we have just heard has a very specific title: ‘Dem lieben Gott’ (To the Beloved God), almost as if he wished to dedicate and entrust the last and most mature fruit of his art to the One in whom he had always believed, the One who had become his only true interlocutor in the last stage of his life.

«Bruckner asked this beloved God to let him enter his mystery, … to let him praise the Lord in heaven as he had on earth with his music. ‘Te Deum laudamus, Te Dominum confitemur’; this great work we have just heard — written at one sitting then reworked over 15 years as if reconsidering how better to thank and praise God — sums up the faith of this great musician.»

Benedict XVI proposed that the music is «also a reminder for us to open our horizons and think of eternal life, not so as to escape the present, though burdened with problems and difficulties, but to experience it more intensely, bringing a little light, hope and love into the reality in which we live.»

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