A story with a happy ending

When he was a boy, Franz Liszt wanted to be a priest, but his parents forbade it. Instead he set out on a path of fame and fornication. However, if the point of life is learning to love God, then maybe it still turned out well.

With the death of his own children before him, Liszt’s own death took on a new immediacy. He composed his last will and testament, expressing a desire to return to the light of wholeness he had seen in his childhood, and he committed to excising the self-obsessed part of his soul. “In spite of the numerous transgressions and errors that I have committed, and for which I feel sincere repentance and contrition, the divine light of the Holy Cross has never entirely been withdrawn from me. At times, indeed, it has overflowed my entire soul with its glory,” he wrote, “the glowing and mysterious feeling that has pierced my entire life, as with a sacred wound. Yes, Jesus Christ Crucified, this was ever my true vocation.”

In 1865, Liszt would fulfill his boyhood dream, don the priestly cassock, and become a member of the clergy with minor orders…But Father Liszt was, of course, still Liszt: he loved to eat and drink wine and smoke cigars and he loved, most of all, to make music and help others make music. He was still just as impressive on the keyboard…

He did not have to abandon what was good in the young Liszt to become holy; indeed, he could not, if to become holy is really to become whole. His talents as a musician were now lifted up into service. He used them to teach young people at no cost, to raise money for the poor, and to calm the distress of patients at the mental hospital. People who knew him at this time of his life began to speak of an essential generosity and goodness that guided his action.


2 thoughts on “A story with a happy ending

  1. All true. And yet now much easier and smoother it was after his having achieved an impressive notch count.

    Compare and contrast present sorry ecclesiastical crop.

    Yuja Wang joins the Carmelites. News at Ten.

  2. Pingback: Sunday Morning Coffee 05/01/2021 – A Mari Usque Ad Mare


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.