Tormented and edified by faith

The path ahead. © Charles Thibo

Franz Schubert noted in 1825 that he never would force himself to devotion and never compose hymns or prayers, unless devotion would overwhelm him in a natural way. For Anton Bruckner this was an every-day experience. He was a pious Catholic, imbued with an unwavering faith. The devil – if he exists – must have had a hard time to tempt Bruckner. Not that he wouldn’t have tried. An unwavering faith Bruckner had, but this was the result of a conscious effort, of a life-long struggle. Religious questions tormented him and edified him at the same time. This tension – that must be the true expression of faith. Believing despite metaphysical misgivings.

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