Monday, July 16, 2012

"O to enter that bright portal . . ."

Monday greetings from Chicago, where the temperatures will be nearing 100 both today and tomorrow.

Did you listen carefully to yesterday's collect? I sure did, and I will be sharing my own experience tomorrow, as I hope you do, too.

At Mass yesterday, we sang Sing with All the Saints in Glory as the opening hymn. Nothing like a little Beethoven to start the day.

Verse four is my favorite:

4. Life eternal! O what wonders
crowd on faith; what joy unknown,
when, amidst earth's closing thunders,
saints shall stand before the throne!
O to enter that bright portal,
see that glowing firmament;
know, with you, O God Immortal,
"Jesus Christ whom you have sent!"

As I sang those words, I was immediately reminded about our Catholic understanding that the celebration of Mass affords us a small glimpse, a tiny foretaste of the heavenly banquet and the life to come. There was just something about singing the words "O to enter that bright portal, see that glowing firmament" that just set me on the right path for Mass yesterday.

And our deacon preached a magnificent homily. He quoted Saint Francis de Sales as he reminded us of ways we are called to be prophets in our own time and place: "Lord, I am nothing but a block of wood: set fire to it!" It was quite stirring, weaving the scripture beautifully; this homily challenged us.

Our closing song was Leon Patillo's Go. "Go, ye therefore, and teach all nations, go, go go . . ." It was a Mass that really fired me up for the week.

We are completing final preparations for next week's NPM (National Association of Pastoral Musicians) annual convention in Pittsburgh, so it looks like a very busy few weeks here at WLP.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

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