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Lessons from Music History

Lesson 4- Frederic Chopin (1810-1849)

~ Served with bold red wine and a baguette


Chopin Opens his Heart.

“I believe.”
“But God errs not.
He punishes me, and I bless him therefore.
Oh, How good is God to punish me here below!
Oh, How good God is!”
“God shows man a rare favor
When he reveals to him
The moment of the approach of death;
This grace he shows me. Do not disturb me.”


These are the words of the great Polish composer, known for his brilliant, poignant piano compositions.

His lifestyle in Parisian salons is well known in music history classes. Not so much, are his words preceding his untimely death.

“After spending much time with Chopin, the composer told the Abbe that he had not confessed for many years, but that he would do so now. When the confession was over and the last words of absolution spoken, Chopin embraced the confessor with both arms and exclaimed: ‘Thanks! Thanks!’”

Abbe Jelowicki remembered: “I held out to Chopin the image of the crucified Savior, pressing it firmly in his two hands without saying a word.  Then fell from his eyes big tears.
‘Do you believe?’ I asked him.
‘I believe.’
‘Do you believe as your mother taught you?’
‘As my mother taught me.’”

A lesson for us

When we play or listen to the music of Frederic Chopin, ponder his words as he asked God for forgiveness and opened his heart to the Savior Jesus Christ.

Excerpt from The Spiritual Lives of the Great Composers by Patrick Kavanaugh


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