Bells are meant to remind us that God alone is good, that we belong to him, that we are not living for this world.
They break in upon our cares in order to remind us that all things pass away and that our preoccupations are not important.
They speak to us of our freedom, which responsibilities and transient cares make us forget.
They are the voice of our alliance with the God of heaven.
They tell us that we are His true temple. They call us to peace with Him within ourselves.
The bells say: business does not matter. Rest in God and rejoice, for this world is only the figure and promise of a world to come, and only those who are dtached from transient things can possess the substance of eternal promise.
The bells say: we have spoken for centuries from the towers of the great churches. We have spoken to the saints, your fathers, in their land. We called them, as we call you, to sanctity.
~ Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
When I read these words from Merton today I couldn't help but think about the beautiful little New England town center that I am blessed to be able to walk through a few times each week just a half mile from my home. It seems everytime I pass by the huge, white Congregational church it's bells are always ringing beautifully. What great words to meditate on while hearing church bells ringing!