Sunday, March 10, 2013


The present pope, we know, is a man of many talents. We usually think of these talents as primarily intellectual, even his taste in music is classical. No one ever told us that he was a marksman, albeit mediocre, or that he could yodel. The idea of yodeling the hymn ‘Andachtsjodler’ would go over big oncountry and western stations of the old school, no doubt. Google has many sung versions of this quite beautiful hymn that anyone can listen to. After listening to it, I can see why the pope added “if we can” as the music is quite lovely. On August 3, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich arranged at the Pope’s Villa at Castel Gandolfo for an evening of music and friendliness in theHoly Father’s honor. In his remarks, the Pope said that he was truly dahoam, which means in German to be “at home.” He kidded Cardinal Marx a bit over the word: “I must compliment Cardinal Marx because he always pronounces the word (dahoam) so well.” The Holy Father took the occasion to recall his homeland. Bavarian culture is “a joyful culture.” It is not “rowdy” but it is “full of fun.” Anyone who has been to an Oktober Fest in Munich will have a suspicion of what this means.  Of the Bavarians, Benedict says, “we are not a boorish people.” He does not mean “amusement,” that they merely amuse themselves. The people are “joyful.” Benedict then reflects on why this joyful characteristic might be present in Bavaria.  “The joyfulness of the Bavarian culture is based on the fact that we are in tune with Creation.” That is an expression mindful of the English title of one of Josef Pieper’s books: A Theory of Festivity: In Tune with the WorldThe good is ultimately “a person.” This is where true joy can only be located. For the Bavarians, Benedict adds, there is joy that God gave them a very beautiful land.  In such a place, it is easier to recognize the grandeur and goodness of God. But God did not just give the Bavarians a naturally beautiful land. Following the admonition of Genesis, He expected them to make it more beautiful. Benedict puts it this way: “Through the culture of the people, through their faith, their joy, their songs, their music and art it has become beautiful because the Creator did not want to make it beautiful by himself, but also with the help of men and women.”
Link (here) to the full article by Fr. James Schall, S.J. entitled Pope Benedict XVI, the "Mediocre" Marksman


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