I think it is a great privilege, but also a definite duty, for all of us, to testify joyfully and actively the Christian message, spreading it as much as possible through the example, as well as through the possibility of sharing it.

I think that music is potentially a powerful tool of faith (as any fruit of human mind can be). Voice of the spirit, it moves on paths that penetrate the most intimate spheres of our psyche, without being affected by any conditioning. Leibniz described music as “a hidden arithmetic exercise of the soul which does not know that it is counting”. And, long before, Aristotle had remarked its potential to “change the moral character of the soul”. Well, I think that good music carries a strong message of peace and brotherhood, thus being able to educate us to beauty, and open our heart and mind.

Performing as well as listening to the sacred repertoire, in my opinion, can be an intense form of prayer. And such potential finds a precious opportunity for full expression, a real “blooming”, if listening is accompanied and elevated by moments of reflection, given by the words of priests, the ministers of divine mercy, the Pastors of God’s family.

The family is the basic building block of society, but it is also – for us who believe– an essential tool to build up the people of God. I believe strongly in this institution and in the values it brings. Every day, I live its crucial importance on my skin, on a personal level and in civil society. The family, ratified by the sacrament of marriage, gives completeness and sense to our existence, even more when it repeats the miracle of life through the birth of children. And children, should always represent the first purpose in life for their parents, the first priority, having the absolute precedence on whatever affection or commitment.

I am glad to evoke a word pertaining also to the field of music, which represents the essential element for a peaceful life, within a family: “harmony”. Harmony created every day, choosing – in every action – the path towards good, trying to put into practice the values that, in my case, my parents have taught me and that I try to pass on to my children.

Naturally the family can be evoked, encouraged and supported anywhere, as it is the irreplaceable site for affection, it is an institution crucial for the expression and transmission of Christian values. The church, however, remains the place par excellence, because it is the house of God and the sweetest shelter for our souls, that here can meet united in fraternity and prayer. It is within the church (and therefore through the teachings of the One who inspired it), that we can deepen together, and better understand, the extraordinary power of love between man and woman, and consequently of the family. Family that, not by chance, the Second Vatican Council calls “Ecclesia domestica”.

Andrea Bocelli