Pope to participants of Christmas Contest: Use talents for the cause of peace
By Sophie Peeters
Pope Francis on Friday met with participants of the upcoming Christmas Contest, a concert organized by the Pontifical Foundation Gravissimum Educationis that aims to “gives a voice to young people by inviting them to create new songs inspired by Christmas and its values.”
At the beginning of his speech, the Pope welcomed the participants and thanked the organizers for “giving a voice to young people, enhancing their creativity.”
Awe and simplicity of Christmas
In his address, Pope Francis challenged the musicians not to follow the flashy and cliché fads so commonly found during the Christmas season, but rather to use this time to be original and creative.
Rooted in the awe-inspiring event of Christmas itself, the Pope said, it is important to reflect on the fact that God came through a “helpless baby, born of a Virgin, in a cave.”
Reflecting on this miraculous event, the Pope continued, can help the musicians place heart and depth in their music.
Another key ingredient, the Pope added, is simplicity. However, Pope Francis stressed that it is important to not confuse simplicity with triviality: “The Nativity is simple, but it is not trivial.”
Simplicity can serve rather as a way to move us, to be authentic, and “to nourish the faith of God’s people.”
Contributing to the cause of peace
Amidst the growing threats of war in Europe and in the world, the Pope encouraged the musicians to make active contributions “to the cause of peace” through their music: “Let us continue to dream of peace and work for peace, sowing seeds of fraternity and social friendship.”
Music can be a tool for achieving peace and fraternity as it is a “universal language” that crosses borders and barriers, the Pope noted.
In a world that holds many difficulties and uncertainties, music can humanize and educate people.
Pope Francis concluded his speech by thanking the musicians, wishing them all the best in the competition and “in your artistic journey.”