Let Freedom Ring
Upon reflecting on the 4th of July celebrations this past weekend, I began thinking about a very interesting element of our faith; The ringing of bells. What is the purpose of ringing bells? Why do we have the expression, “Let Freedom Ring”?
Firstly, there is a very practical answer, bells are loud and announce prayer is beginning. However, there is a deeper spiritual dimension. The ringing of bells is an exterior indicator of our interior freedom. Loud bells reflect our confidence to worship God without fear of retaliation.
On the other hand, persecuted 20th century Catholics, while Nazis and Communists occupied their countries, wisely did not chime any bells from their underground chapels. This brings us to the heart of this brief reflection, even when we are prevented from chiming our bells, are we still free? Yes.
Never forget that all of our exterior practices reflect our inward realities. Our freedom in Christ is something that can never be threatened, coerced, or stolen from us.
As St. Paul, in his letter to the Romans, so beautifully describes for us, “I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons … nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”(Rm. 8:38)
Consider death for a moment, the most extreme deprivation of our freedoms. Our soulless and lifeless body, with no ability to think or move, is placed in a small box and confined to a prison of dampness and darkness in the dust of the Earth. Yet even in this most stark and eerie expression of our freedom being taken away, as a Child of God in a State of Sanctifying Grace, we remain in perpetual and eternal freedom.
The Truth of Christ, risen from the dead, has set us completely free from slavery to sin, death, and the power of the Devil. We can certainly Let Freedom Ring, both in our bell towers and in our heartfelt prayers to God our Father.