"The thanksgiving to God expressed in the Mozart Mass [in C Minor, K.427] 'is not a superficial gratitude given lightly,' the pope said, but is wholehearted and reflects Mozart's 'interior struggle, his search for forgiveness, the mercy of God and, then, from these depths, his joy in God shines more brightly than ever,'" reports Catholic News Service [via Thoughts from an Oasis in French Catholicism], quoting from a recent Vatican Radio broadcast:
In the presence of the choir, orchestra and guests, the pope told his brother, "The 85 years of your life were not always easy."
The pope said his parents had lost all their savings in the 1930s, then a new economic crisis enveloped the world, then the Nazis came to power and World War II broke out.
But the brothers found "hope and joy" after the war as they returned to the seminary and were ordained to the priesthood together in 1951 …Pope Benedict said his brother discovered almost from the beginning the fact that God was calling him to exercise his priestly ministry while using his musical talents.
Tiny strikes a soulful pose atop the dining room table this morning, thinking, perhaps, of her own brother, whose loss has left an empty place in our hearts.
"He loves cats, he plays Mozart on the piano before he goes to bed at night and the dictatorial relativist Left is apoplectic. Hallelujah!" we wrote in "The cats are invading the Holy See" back in April of 2005, one of the earliest of our Pope Blogging posts, now numbering over 75 and counting. A random excerpt from the first of those dozens that pops up in a google search for "sisu benedict," "Mugged by Pope Benedict XVI":
Take-home quotation [from the pope's White House South Lawn speech last April]:
Freedom is not only a gift, but also a summons to personal responsibility. Americans know this from experience -- almost every town in this country has its monuments honouring those who sacrificed their lives in defence of freedom, both at home and abroad.
He quotes his predecessor:
In reflecting on the spiritual victory of freedom over totalitarianism in his native Poland and in eastern Europe, [John Paul II] reminded us that history shows, time and again, that "in a world without truth, freedom loses its foundation," and a democracy without values can lose its very soul.
No wonder the great man has won our heart and soul. Listen to the Kyrie of the Great Mass here. Sing along with virtual sheet music here. Our own favorite version, featuring Kiri Te Kanawa and the Academy and Chorus of St. Martin in the Fields under the direction of Sir Neville Marriner CD available for purchase here. Fun fact: Sir Neville was conductor for the soundtrack of "Amadeus."
Update: Bird Dog hears the music.