Pope Francis says "This is the important thing: that all peoples sing together, that there is peace....peace is the harmony of differences." to Childrens' Choirs
ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE SMALL CHOIR OF THE ANTONIAN OF BOLOGNA
AND TO THE CHOIRS OF THE GALAXY OF THE ANTONIAN
Paul VI Hall
Saturday, 19 March 2022
Dear boys and girls, boys and girls, and dear not so much boys and girls and not so much boys and girls, good morning everyone!
And happy feast of St. Joseph to all! I am happy to celebrate it with you, with your songs that give hope, even in difficult moments, like this one we are experiencing now because of the war. It is a difficult time. You know that some children who are wounded by the war have already arrived in Rome, at the "Child Jesus". We pray for them. We, here in Rome, help them to heal. They are admitted to the "Infant Jesus". Pray for them. I would like to dedicate this meeting of ours to the children and young people of Ukraine, okay?
And there is a particular reason why I want to thank you, and not just you, but all those who have sung in the Piccolo Coro dell'Antoniano since it has existed. Thanks to you, you are good! I thank you because you unite the generations. Do you understand what I mean?
It means that your songs appeal to young and old alike, especially grandparents. Mom and dad sing them together, grandparents and grandchildren. Yes, it is! Some songs of the "Zecchino d'Oro" unite the generations. And this is very beautiful and important! There is a need to link the different generations; in particular to encourage dialogue between the elderly and the youngest, between grandparents and grandchildren. This is important: talk to grandparents, listen to grandparents. This dialogue of grandchildren with grandparents, of young people with the elderly is so beautiful. Overriding parents - no problem - but always talk to grandparents. It's important. And you do it, with your singing.
And I hope you do it also in your daily life, by going to visit your grandparents… Do you do it or don't you do it? [Yes!] Do you or don't you? [Yes!] And who says no? All "yes". Go and visit your grandparents. Good. And now I ask you something a little more difficult: when you go to your grandparents - listen carefully - do you know how to listen to grandparents when they tell you the stories of that time, what was life like at that time? Do you listen to grandparents? [Yes!] And do you like listening to grandparents [Yes!] Or are they boring? [No!] I asked two questions: do you like to listen or are grandparents boring? ... When you go to your grandparents, you don't always talk; talk a little, but let the grandparents do the talking to listen to them. Or do you always talk? Or maybe, even worse, are you watching television or mobile phones without listening? This is bad! I give you some advice: ask your grandfather or grandmother to tell you something about their life in those times. Ask them questions, listen to them. You will discover treasures! Yes, treasures hidden in their memory, in their heart. They are memories, but not only that, they are also thoughts of wisdom, sometimes of faith, that they have matured on the journey of life; and they are precious, especially to you who are growing up.
This is called: having good roots! That is, listening to grandparents is having good roots. You are like sprouts, you are throwing out the first leaves, you are blossoming into life. But, without roots, the plant does not grow! Today is the feast of San Giuseppe. Joseph of Nazareth, the spouse of the Virgin Mary, was the man who bound Jesus to his people, the people that God had chosen to bring the blessing to all humanity. Jesus did not come out of nowhere; he did not come from heaven as an extraterrestrial, no, Jesus was born of a woman of God's people. What was the name of Jesus' mother? [Maria!] And she had a dad here on earth, what was her name? [Joseph! And this father educated him according to the law of the Lord, he gave him an example of what it means to do God's will. And the Gospel, of Joseph, says only one thing, beautiful: he was a just man, a good one. That's beautiful!
Dear friends, I am happy that this meeting of ours took place precisely on the feast of St. Joseph, because he teaches us that none of us are an island, none, but we are part of a people, the people of God. And, thanks to Jesus, to his immense love that he has given us on the Cross, this people welcomes men and women of all languages, of all nations, of all cultures. Like a great, great choir! You have this beautiful experience of singing together, of creating harmony with the variety of your voices. Think: if your voices were all the same, all identical, but what chorus would it be? It would be very boring, even ugly. What music would that come out of? Anything. There would be no harmony, but only a single boring sound ... Instead we are all different and from this diversity we can form a symphony of voices. To form a symphony of peoples. This is the important thing: that all peoples sing together, that there is peace. And this is peace. Listen carefully to this: peace does not flatten differences, no, peace is the harmony of differences. Let's repeat this last part together: peace is the harmony of differences. Together: peace is the harmony of differences. Did you understand what this means? Let's say it again: peace is the harmony of differences.
Thanks again for coming! I bless all of you and your loved ones at home. And I give you a task: talk to grandparents and pray for me, don't forget!