Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ode to Joy

The Holy Father reflects on Beethoven.

Benedict XVI [said], "This overwhelming sentiment of joy is not something light and superficial; it is a sensation achieved through struggle" because "silent solitude [...] had taught Beethoven a new way of listening that went well beyond a simple capacity to experience in his imagination the sound of notes read or written." This was akin to "the perceptivity given as a gift by God to people who obtain the grace of interior or exterior liberation."

The Pope recalled how in 1989, when the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir had played Beethoven's Ninth Symphony for the fall of the Berlin Wall, they altered the text from "Ode to Joy" to "Freedom, Spark of God," thus expressing "more than the simple sensation of a historic moment. True joy is rooted in the freedom that only God can give."

"God -- sometimes through periods of interior emptiness and isolation -- wishes to make us attentive and capable of 'feeling' his silent presence, not only 'over the canopy of stars' but also in the most intimate recesses of our soul," the Holy Father affirmed. "There burns the spark of divine love that can free us to be what we truly are."

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3 comments:

alaughland said...

Yes, if we manage to clear the clutter away and let it come through. Therein lies the struggle.

elena maria vidal said...

Yes, that is why prayer and joy go together.

Linda said...

Thank you for this post. I have passed it on to friends. Very beautiful.