Pope at Castel GandolfoSunday, July 15th, 2012
The Pope has spoken of peace and harmony at a special concert in the courtyard of his summer residence at Castel Gandolfo.
"Music is harmony of differences, as happens every time a concert begins with the ritual of tuning. From the variety of timbres of different instruments, a symphony can be achieved. But this does not happen magically or automatically! It is achieved only through the efforts of the Director and each musician. A patient, laborious, time consuming and demanding commitment, in an effort to listen to each other, avoiding excessive desire to be the centre of attention and giving priority to the best overall outcome," he said.
The concert, on the feast of St. Benedict the Abbot, featured the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra conducted by Daniel Barenboim. The Pope welcomed the Orchestra and said that music brings people together, “beyond every division."
He went on to explain that, "The mind turns to the great symphony of peace between peoples, which is never fully accomplished. My generation, as well as Maestro Barenboim's parents, experienced the tragedies of World War II and the Holocaust.”
He said it was very significant that after reaching the highest goals for a musician, Maestro Barenboim gave life to the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, a group in which Israeli, Palestinian and other Countries Arab, people of Jewish religion, Muslim and Christian musicians play together.
Benedict XVI concluded, “To achieve peace one has to strive, leaving aside violence and weapons, commit oneself with the personal and communal conversion, through dialogue with the patient research of possible understanding."
Earlier in the week the Holy Father visited the "Ad Gentes" Centre of the Missionaries of the Divine Word (Society of the Divine Word, SVD) from Castel Gandolfo. There, from March 29 to April 3 1965, the work of the Commission on Missions took place.
Pope Benedict, then a young theologian expert, was part of this commission and recalled, “I am really grateful for the chance of revisiting the centre in Nemi after 47 years, perhaps the most memorable time of the entire Vatican Council.”
He said that it was wonderful to be in the company of great theologians, and recalled former SVD General Father Schütte, who had suffered in China, had been condemned, then expelled. Also Fulton Sheen had fascinated all present, and Father Congar and the great missiologists of Leuven.
Benedict XVI also expressed his satisfaction with the growth and spread of the Society of Divine Word in many countries.
"Clearly the missionary dynamism lives, and lives only if there is the joy of the Gospel, if we experience the good that comes from God and that must and wants to communicate."
by Ann Marie Foley