Ready for something beautiful today? Sure you are. I'm so disappointed that YouTube would not let me embed this video, but I can offer you a link:
Just sit back, listen, and let the majestic pipe organ at St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC wash over you. I know if I were in that cathedral listening to this in person, I would think I had died and gone to Heaven!
I remember visiting the cathedral when I was sixteen with my parents on my one and only trip to NYC. On the airplane as we descended, I could not get over the size of the massive city. A young man, a native New Yorker, was sitting next to me, enjoying my reaction as I stared out the window.
"First time to New York?"
The midwestern girl slowly nodded in awe. I couldn't take my eyes off of the city below.
"Maybe I'll be back one day and live here!" I said excitedly. "I'm going to be a journalist after college."
"Is that so?" he asked. We chatted during the descent about my plans for a future in the newspaper industry. "I happen to know someone who works at the New York Times. I bet he'd show you around the paper."
My jaw dropped. "Do you think so?"
He scribbled a name and a number on a piece of paper and handed it to me. "Call him and tell him that I talked to you on the plane."
I carried that name and number around in my purse, but was too chicken to call it. I'm so mad at myself! But when we saw the building in person while sightseeing, I felt dizzy with excitement. I still feel that way whenever I see a newspaper building.
I guess it's in my blood.
What's that got to do with St. Patrick's Cathedral? Well, I was thrilled and awestruck by that building, too. It is a beautiful, incredible house of God. When we peeked in, a wedding was going on. I stared at the gorgeous bride with her long train and thought she looked just like a princess. Being in that magnificent cathedral was so holy and lovely. It is where, in 1979, Archbishop Fulton Sheen met Pope John Paul II and embraced him to thunderous applause. The pope quietly told Sheen that he had been a loyal son to the Church. Sheen was immensely pleased to hear this and died two months later in front of the Blessed Sacrament in his private chapel. That's exactly the place I want to be when it's my time to go!
A long, long time ago, a Protestant asked me if I'd ever consider leaving the Catholic Church.
"Never," I said. "It would be like cutting off one of my arms. It's too much a part of me."
I guess that it, too, is in my blood and always will be.
Now promise me you'll click on the link, crank up the volume, and watch Stephen Tharp rock this grand pipe organ at St. Patrick's Cathedral.
And tell me it's not in your blood, too.