In speaking to the newest group of Cardinals, Pope Francis reminds them … and us… of an often-ignored passage from the Acts of the Apostles.

… the Acts of the Apostles makes us reflect that, before being “apostles”, before being priests, Bishops, Cardinals, we are “Parthians, Medes, Elamites”, et cetera, et cetera.

The Apostles were “all Galileans” (cf. v. 7), while the people who gathered were “from every nation under heaven” (v. 5). Yet, each understood!

The faith has been transmitted to us in all of our dialects

We, too, come from many nations and speak a language different from the Jews of that of that day. Yet we understand

Pope Francis continues …

“And this (mystery ) came to us “in our language”,  from the lips and the gestures of our grandparents and our parents, of catechists, priests, and religious…

“Every one of us can remember concrete voices and faces. The faith is transmitted “in dialect”. Don’t forget this: the faith is transmitted in dialect, by mothers and grandmothers.

Pope Francis situates everyone in the metaphor of a symphony

Pope Francis writes

“A symphony thrives on the skillful composition of the timbres of different instruments: each one makes its contribution, sometimes alone, sometimes united with someone else, sometimes with the whole ensemble.”

“Diversity is necessary; it is indispensable. However, each sound must contribute to the common design. This is why mutual listening is essential: each musician must listen to the others.”

“If one listens only to himself, however sublime his sound may be, it will not benefit the symphony; and the same would be the case if one section of the orchestra did not listen to the others, but played as if it were alone, as if it were the whole. “

The conductor of the orchestra service of this kind of miracle that is each performance of a symphony. The conductor has to listen more than anyone else, and at the same time his job is to help each person and the whole orchestra develop the greatest creative fidelity: fidelity to the work being performed, but also creative, able to give a soul to the score, to make it resonate in the here and now in a unique way.

The Synod is a time for us to pray!

Pope Francis has announced his October prayer intention.

“Through prayer and discernment, the Holy Spirit helps us carry out the “apostolate of the ear,” that is, listening with God’s ears in order to speak with the word of God,”

Pope Francis also says

“This voice reveals to us that the heart of mission is to reach out to everyone, to seek everyone, to welcome everyone, to involve everyone, without excluding anyone” and inviting all believers to pray for the Church during the Synod “that she may adopt listening and dialogue as a style of life at every level, allowing herself to be guided by the Holy Spirit towards the world’s peripheries.”

Every session of the Second Vatican Council began with the prayer Adsumus Sancte Spiritus, “We stand before You, Holy Spirit”.

It has been historically used at Councils, Synods, and other Church gatherings for hundreds of years.

We stand before You, Holy Spirit, as we gather together in Your name.

With You alone to guide us, make Yourself at home in our hearts; Teach us the way we must go and how we are to pursue it.

We are weak and sinful; do not let us promote disorder.  Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path nor partiality influence our actions.

Let us find in You our unity so that we may journey together to eternal life and not stray from the way of truth and what is right.

All this we ask of You, who are at work in every place and time, in the communion of the Father and the Son, forever and ever.  Amen.

Will you pray that EACH member of God’s Symphony develop our “apostolate of the ear?”