Why do you like to sing
ADDRESS FROM POPE FRANCIS
TO THE INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION
THE PUERI CANTORES
Thursday December 31, 2015
First question: How do you like our singing? Do you like to sing?
Pope Francis repeated the question: »How do you like our singing? Do you like to sing?" and then answered: I would like to hear you sing more! I only heard one song; I hope you guys sing some more ... I like to hear singing, but if I sing I would sound like a donkey because I can't sing. I can't even speak well because I have a speech impediment, in phonetics ... But I really enjoy listening to singing. And I'll tell you an anecdote. As children - we are five siblings - as children, our mother gathered in front of the radio on Saturdays at two o'clock in the afternoon to listen. And what did we hear? An opera was broadcast every Saturday. And our mother taught us about this opera. She explained to us: "Listen how that sounds ..." And as a child I enjoyed hearing singing. But I never could sing. On the other hand, one of my grandfathers, who was a carpenter, always, always sang at work. I enjoyed hearing singing as a child. I like music and singing very much. And how do I find your singing? I hope to hear another song. I Agree? Is that possible? I tell you something: Singing shapes the soul, singing is good for the soul. For example, if the mother wants to bring her child to sleep, then she does not say to him: "One, two, three, four ..." She sings him a lullaby ... she sings it ... and it is good for his soul, the child becomes calm and falls asleep. St. Augustine says something very beautiful. Each of you must learn in your own language. When he talks about the Christian life, about the joy of the Christian life, he says: "Sing and walk." The Christian life is a path, but it is not a sad path, it is a joyful path. And therefore you should sing. Sing and hike, don't forget that! Everyone should say it in their own language: Set off singing! [You repeat: "Set off singing!"] I didn't hear well ... ["Set off singing!"] That's how it is. Remember: Set off singing. And so your soul will be able to enjoy the joy of the gospel more.
Second question: How can you always be so good, do you never get angry? What are your new year's resolutions?
Pope Francis: Once a young man came to Jesus and said something similar to what you said to him. He said, "Jesus, good master." And Jesus looked at him and said to him: "No, only God is good." Jesus said, only God is good. And we? Are we angry? No, half and half, we have a little bit of everything ... We always carry that wound of original sin within us that leads us not to be so good all the time ... But always remember: God alone is good and if you find goodness want, then go to the Lord; he is all goodness, all love, all mercy. And do you know how I do it to be a little better? I go to the Lord. And I ask the Lord: “Lord, don't let me be such a sinner, don't be so angry, don't let me hurt anyone, don't let me be jealous, don't be jealous; admit that I do not interfere in rope groups, of which there are many ... "
And all of these things. Asking for grace to be good because God alone is good. You have to learn that too. Do we all want to say it together? Each in his own language: "Only God is good." [You repeat: "Only God is good."] Once again. ["God alone is good."] Do you remember the advice of St. Augustine, which you all repeated together, what was it? [They answer: »Sing and wander! «]. God alone is good. Remember it well.
However, there are good people, yes, who are close to the Lord, the saints! Many saints who are hidden in daily life, in our lives, many people who suffer and offer suffering for the conversion of sinners. Many, many people who are very close to the goodness of God: these are the saints. But who alone is good? [They answer: "God".] God alone is good.
The other question: "Don't you ever get angry?" Yes, I get angry, but I don't bite! Sometimes I get angry when someone does something that is wrong, then a little anger rises in me ... But it helps me stop and think about the times when I made others angry. And I think and ask myself: did I make someone else angry? Well, very often. Then you have no right to be angry. But he has done this and that ... Yes, but if he has done something that is bad, that is not good, then call him to you and speak to him as brother, speak as brother and as sister, speak, speak. But without getting angry, because anger is poisonous, it poisons your soul. I have often seen frightened children and young people. Why? Because they are scolded by their parents or at school. And if someone is angry and scolds, he acts badly, he hurts: Scolding another means, as it were, stabbing the soul in the back; that's not good. Do you understand well?
Yes, I get angry sometimes, but it helps me think about the times when I made others angry. That calms me down a bit, it makes me a bit calmer. When you get angry, you don't just hurt the other person: It hurts yourself, it poisons yourself. And there are people you surely know who have a bitter soul, always full of bitterness, who live angry. They seem to brush their teeth with vinegar every morning, that's how angry they are! People who are like that ...: It's a disease. Of course, if I don't like something, then I get a little angry. But the habit of getting angry, the habit of screaming, the habit of scolding others, it's poison! I ask you, and may each answer in their own language: What was the soul of Jesus like, meek or bitter? [They answer: "Gentle!"] Why was she gentle? When he got angry, it didn't get into his soul: he just rebuked and then peace returned.
“What are your new year's resolutions?” I made a resolution during those days when I took some time to have a spiritual retreat: to pray more. Because I have noticed that the bishops and the priests - I am a bishop - must support the people of God above all through prayer; it is the first service. I am telling you a story. In the early days of Christianity there was a lot of work because many people were converted and the apostles did not have time. And some came and complained that they were not taking good care of the widows and orphans. That was true, but they didn't have time to do everything. And they held a council among themselves and decided to appoint some men to serve the people. This is the moment when the deacons were created. This is how the deacons came into being. You can see that in the book of Acts.
And what does Peter say, St. Peter, the first Pope? What does he say? "You are supposed to do that, and we, the apostles, only do two things: prayer and the proclamation of the gospel, the sermon." So the first task for a bishop is prayer, the first task: one cannot be a bishop in the Church be without the prayer in the first place. And then the proclamation of the gospel. These days - to answer your question - I thought that would be a good New Year's resolution: to pray a little more. I Agree? I also ask you: do you think that would be a good resolution for you? [They answer: "Yes!"]. Pray a little more. For the Church goes forward through the prayer of the saints. Pray for the Church!
Third question: When you were little, what did you want to be? When I watch TV with my family in the evening, I see many sad and dramatic stories: Will the world always be this way, even when I grow up?
Pope Francis: If I answered the first question truthfully, you would laugh ... But I will tell the truth. The question was: "When you were little, what did you want to be?" As a child, I often went to the market with my grandmother and also with my mother to go shopping. Back then there were no supermarkets, there was no television, there was nothing ... The market was on the street and there were stalls with vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, and you could buy everything.
One day at the table I was asked: What would you like to be when you grow up? Do you know what I said? "Butcher." Why? Because the butcher in the market - there were three or four meat stalls - took the knife, cut everything in pieces ... It's an art and I liked to see it, like to watch. Now, of course, I've changed my mind; but - to answer your question - when I was little I thought of becoming a butcher. I would have liked that.
Then the second question - it's a serious question! -: "When I sit at dinner with my family and watch TV, I always hear sad and dramatic news ... Will the world still be like this when I grow up?" It is true what you say. There are many suffering people in the world today. There are wars. How many wars are there? Just think how many wars there are in Africa. In the Middle East, where Jesus was born, everything is at war. In Ukraine - war. At many places. There are wars in Latin America. That is bad!
And what are the wars leading to? They lead to poverty, they lead to pain, they hurt. Just sad things ... Think about the children. You young people, you girls and boys, have the gift of God to be able to sing, to be happy, to live the Christian life as St. Augustine said - what did St. Augustine say again? [They answer: "Sing and wander!"] However, there are children in the world who have nothing to eat; there are children who cannot go to school; there are children who, when they get sick, do not have the opportunity to go to the hospital. Pray for these children. Pray Will the world always be like this? The world can get better.
However, there is something that one does not like to talk about, but that one has to talk about: In the world there is the struggle between good and evil - this is what the philosophers say - the struggle between the devil and God. That still exists. If any of us feel like doing some wickedness, that little wickedness is an inspiration from the devil who brings you to do it through the weakness that original sin has left in us. Evil is done in both small and large things; in wars as well as - for example - when a boy or a girl lies: It is a war against the truth of God, against the truth of life, against joy. The Bible says this battle between the devil and God will go on until the end. That's clear, isn't it? Did you understand that? It's clear. We all have a battlefield within us. One fights between good and bad, we all. We experience graces and temptations, and we have to speak to the pastor, to the catechist about these things, in order to know them well. This is the first. The second, there are many good things in the world, and I wonder: why aren't these good things made public? Because it seems that people prefer to see bad things or hear bad news.
Let us think of Africa: so many bad things, so many wars - as I have already said - but there are also the missionaries, priests, religious who have lived there all their lives preaching the Gospel in poverty ... When I was in When I went to Africa last month, I met religious sisters there ... I think of someone who is 83 years old.
She is Italian and she said to me: "I have been here since I was 26 years old." And there are many holy families, many parents who bring up their children well. Why don't you see a family on television that brings up well, that brings up a child well? You don't see that! Because there is this pull of evil: It seems that you would rather see bad things than good things, great things. The devil does his part - that's true - but God also does his part: many holy people! Not just in the missions, but in the world, at work, in families; many parents, many grandfathers and grandmothers coping with illnesses and problems; and you don't see that on TV.
Why? Because it doesn't generate audience ratings or advertising. Here in Italy I have discovered many associations, men and women who give part of their time to care for sick people, to help them, to care for them. It's good. But you don't see that in advertising. Is that true or not? If you want a high circulation or audience rating - in journalism, on television, or wherever you want - then only show the bad things; people get bored with good things. Or they cannot portray and do things well - show the good things in a good way.
If you [he turns to the girl who asked the question] at home, then remember these two things: there is a struggle in the world between good and evil, there are many children who suffer, there are wars, there are evil things because there is a struggle between God and the devil.
But also think of the many people, the holy people, the many people who give their lives to help others, to pray for others. Why don't you see the closed nuns on TV who spend their lives praying for everyone? People don't care ... Maybe they are more interested in the jewelry of an important brand that can be seen with ... the things that satisfy vanity. Let's not be fooled! There are bad, bad, bad things in the world and that is the work of the devil against God. However, there are also holy things, holy things, great things that are the work of God. There are hidden saints. We must not forget this word: the hidden saints - those we do not see. I Agree?
I thank you for everything. But I want to hear one more song to say whether I like or dislike your singing ... And one more thing: I want to hear again what St. Augustine said the Christian life was like? How should one be
[They answer: "Sing and wander."]. Sing and wander! The second: who is good? ["God alone is good."] It is so. And now I'm expecting a nice song ... Thank you! [singing] Now I can answer: You sing very well! Thanks! I give you the blessing and also express my best wishes for the new year. And tomorrow we'll see you in St. Peter's Basilica, it will be a pleasure. Let us pray to the Blessed Mother, each in his own language.
[Greetings, Maria…; Apostolic Blessing of the Pope Blessing]
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