Dear artists and future artists, one of the inundations (in the Focolare Movement) that we have begun, is in the field of art. In it, the wisdom of God encounters an external expression, which is art that is conveyed in many different forms: music, paintings, and so on. For me, art is a problem, and I will tell you why.
It’s because when I go and see an exhibit – for example, in Switzerland they have wonderful exhibits with very beautiful paintings – I realize that in these works, as in many others, there is something that goes beyond human capability. They are works of art that will last forever because they have “something more.” And I ask myself: where does this “something more” come from?
According to me, there must be an inspiration of God at work, an intervention of God’s grace on that person who then creates something that expresses something greater than him or herself and that lasts for eternity, because it will never die out as long as that work of art exists.
So then, I think of what I have said in the past – that those closest
to the saints are artists, even unconsciously. This is because the saints allow themselves to be guided in life only by the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. They don’t act on human inspiration, they do not remain on a human level, and instead everything they do is the result of God who urges them to do it.
Who then does things like this? The artist, the real artist.
You can examine your work and ask yourself if what you do with music, for example, or in any other medium, is truly of such caliber that it will last even after your death, or if it would endure forever, if that work of art were preserved.
Considering this, I would say that an artist has a duty, the duty to be grateful, to be grateful to God for what he is doing through you, without you even being aware of it, perhaps without you even knowing God, without you even perhaps believing in him.
Because there is something greater, higher involved in your artwork. This goes without saying! There is something greater that leaves you amazed that makes you wonder, that makes you feel grateful to God for what is coming to life. This is the only thing I wanted to share with you.
So this means that you have to live in harmony with him and allow yourselves to be his instruments so that he can speak of eternity to the world. Because, as we know, life does not end here, there is another life, there is eternal life. We don’t know what it will be like, but it will be wonderful! I do know that in the next life there will be dancing and poetry and music, and so on.
But who tells people about eternity? Certainly, the priest at the altar can tell us about death, judgment, heaven and hell. And those who believe in God will believe him, but in our world today, very few people believe in these things, because, as you know, the place of religion in our society is really on the decline in many parts of the world. Therefore, you need to be the ones who say to the world: yes, after this life there will be another life, which is not as short as this one that will not end, because it is eternal.
I give you my very best wishes so that you will reach this point – your artistic works give us great joy. At this point in the Movement…, we cannot plan anything anymore without an artistic element to it. Perhaps this is because our Movement has a special link with Mary who is the all beautiful, tota pulchra est, who is the all beautiful one…This is just to tell you that it has become part of our patrimony…. We can no longer present ourselves to the world without the art forms that provide moments of rest and entertainment. Naturally, in order to arrive at what I said earlier, we have to present very fine artistic expressions.
My wish for you is that you become instruments of God in this sense, that you bring God back to the world through art, because he is beauty. He is goodness and truth, but he is also beauty…