As I grow in age, some questions pose themselves to my mind with increasing frequency.
On listening to a composer, or on reading an author of the past, the questions now almost automatically arises: “did he avoid hell?”.
The question is, at times, painful; because, for example, some of the writers I love most were actually Jews (Franz Kafka, Giorgio Bassani) or bad Christians, if any (Herrman Hesse) and, to my knowledge, died in their error. May the Lord in His Mercy have found ways to lead them to Truth unknown to the world, or – which seems less probable – decreed their ignorance invincible.
In other cases, however, the pleasure of listening is enhanced by the pleasure of knowing that the person in question died with the Sacraments, and it is more than reasonable to assume that they did, in fact, achieve that supreme goal without achieving which nothing we have ever ever done, or loved, or fought for will be of any significance to us.
Today I would like to present to you some snippets of the work of one of those I have loved since childhood; one who, in my eyes, represents the very best of what our wonderful Christian Civilisation has achieved. And one who died, still so young, at peace with the Lord, as clearly stated by contemporary sources.
Enjoy these little examples of his astonishing talent; and, if his work gives you pleasure, say a prayer or three for the repose of his eternal soul.