Just after 8 each weekday morning the NZ Concert Program features a few minutes highlighted as the day’s “Beauty Spot”.
These minutes regularly include some of the most beautiful music of all time, chosen I suspect to entice people who have yet to know the pleasure of the classics of the music world.
This morning’s beauty spot was the Et Incarnatus Est from Mozart’s Mass in C Minor. When this brief beautiful piece finished the announcer commented that this was one of Pope Francis’ favourite pieces of music quoting the pope saying: “Among musicians I love Mozart, of course, the ‘Et incarnatus est’ from his Mass in C minor is matchless; it lifts you to God! … Mozart fulfills me. But I cannot think about his music; I have to listen to it.”
The text is from the heart of the Creed we pray in the liturgy, “And by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.” This physical action of God brings a physical response in us as we are invited to bow as we pray these words.
As Fr Luigi Giussani reflects:
“This spectacular work by Mozart, which culminates in the song Et incarnatus est (And was made flesh), is the most powerful and convincing, the simplest and greatest expression of a man who recognizes Christ. Salvation is a Presence: this is the wellspring of the joy and the wellspring of the affectivity of Mozart’s Catholic heart, of his heart that loved Christ.
“Et incarnatus est is singing at its purest, when all man’s straining melts in the original clarity, the absolute purity of the gaze that sees and recognizes. Et incarnatus est is contemplation and entreaty at the same time, a stream of peace and joy welling up from the heart’s wonder at being placed before the arrival of what it has been waiting for, the miracle of the fulfillment of its quest.
Take 8 minutes on your drive to or from work to savour this piece. Don’t try to follow it or to listen to it or understand it, just savour it gently, appreciating the reminder that Jesus the Word has become flesh, and dwells among us.