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Music For All Ages

Chopin’s Grave in Paris Picture via Wikipedia

Chopin’s Grave in Paris
Picture via Wikipedia

In Paris, France, the Pere Chaise Cemetery holds the remains of many of France’s most famous heroes. One dark, somber All Souls’ Day some years ago, I visited this old burial ground.  Pere (Father) Chaise, a Jesuit priest, served as confessor for King Louis in the 18th Century.

As I walked along the wet pathways, littered with fallen leaves, I read on the tombstones and the walls of the mausoleums the names of statesmen and women, military heroes, writers, scientists and outstanding people from all walks of life. No one stood at their graves.  Silence filled the grounds of the dead.  Suddenly, at a bend in the roadway, I saw a crowd of people gathered around one grave.  Fresh flowers (the French are devoted to flowers) and many lighted candles completely covered the burial place of Frederick Chopin, the Polish born genius, the composer of piano music.

Chopin left behind music that will live as long as people will inhabit the earth. Bystanders told me that these gatherings of Chopin’s admirers, complete with bouquets of flowers and lighted candles, go on all year long at his grave.  In this way, his devotees honor him for the inspiring music he left behind.

What will we give to the world in the way of music? We may not leave a new composition of notes and melodies as Chopin did, but rather the music of words of kindness and actions.  Our thoughtful consideration for the feeling of others creates a certain kind of music, maybe even more inspiring than Chopin’s.

Show me a person who consistently practices kindness and I will show you a true musician of the heart. Each one of us can enrich the world by our daily efforts to bolster the morale of others by our pleasant and helpful treatment of them.

No need to envy Chopin. We, too, can create superb music in the world.

Fr. George Mc Kenna

November 1, 2014 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Hi Fr. George! Sorry so late to leave a comment on this post. As I mentioned I have been sick most of November. Hoping I am turning the corner now! When I read this back when it came out, of course, I was drawn to the story since it was set in Paris! I love all things Parisian and really think that I could live there one day. And yes, that is so true, how the French are devoted to flowers. They are everywhere! Makes for a beautiful city in so many ways. I did not know that Chopin was buried there – funny that he wasn’t buried in Poland. His music is beautiful – amazing how those notes just come together so easily. As someone who has only barely dabbled with piano lessons, I am always greatly impressed by anyone who can play or write music! But, at the end of your post this time, that really does say it all – creating ‘music’ with our kind acts and words – again, Fr. George, you apply any situation or setting such as this – a cemetery grave marker of Chopin – and show us how to apply it for the greater good of our fellow human beings. You are a BEAUTIFUL person, Fr. George… I love you and love following this blog!

    Will call you soon and we can have a nice chat!

    Comment by nancywest22 | November 30, 2014 | Reply

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