Sunday, July 3, 2011

The bells are ringing! The bells are ringing!

A couple days ago, I was praying in the chapel, before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. As I was praying, the Lord lifted the veil from my eyes for just about a half a second, and showed me His glory.

When you have few experiences of certain things, you tend to remember each event quite clearly. When you have more experiences, then you remember each of them less and less. When I was discerning the Lord’s call for me to His holy Catholic Church, I remember the first several Masses quite clearly; now I can only picture a handful in my mind.

Let me tell you about the first time I went to St. Mary Cathedral in Austin.

This Mass was important to me in several ways.

This was the first Mass I went to in Austin.

This Mass was the first Mass I went to, with full knowledge that I wanted to be in full communion with the Catholic Church.

This was the first Mass where I heard sacred Church music in the context of the Church.

This Mass, was just on an ordinary Sunday. No feast day, no solemnity. Yet, it was most profound to me. During the Consecration of the species to become the Body and Blood of Christ, there were these bells that were ringing. And I don’t mean just the bells the altar servers shake in the sanctuary. I mean the belfry, the bell tower roared to life! Ding-dong! Ding-dong! Over and over again, across downtown you can hear it! And I was there, as if I was taken up to the third heaven, in the presence of God and His holy Angels.

The bells, the smells, the sights and sounds. The prayers, the songs lifted up my human soul to the depths of God. Although, at the time I could not describe it, now I can adequately describe what happened that day.

Can you imagine it? The bells were there to announce the Kingdom of Heaven! They tell us, “Alleluia! For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth! The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever!”

I wonder people outside must think we’re crazy. Why are they ringing the bells at 12:51pm? They must have their clocks off!

Such an image reminds me of a scene in the Lord of the Rings. When Aragorn King rode with his knights and men into Mordor, the trumpets sounded and the Lords announced, “The Lords of Gondor is come! Let all leave this land or yield them up!”

Yes, the Lord is come. Let sin leave this land. Let death and darkness leave this land. Let the Lord reign.

Sing, o city of Austin. Sing, all ye people living in the slavery of sin. The Lord is come, at last! The King comes to you! Lowly and humble, hidden in majesty!

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Spirit. Amen.