The last time I walked into Notre Dame I just stood there looking around while my eyes adjusted and this massive building came to life. I took it in, all of it at a glance: the space, the art, and the incredible majesty of this cathedral.
As I entered the sanctity of Notre Dame and walked around taking in the beauty of the chapels, a priest approached the smaller alter in the choir. A chill went through me. Mass was starting. I made the sign of the cross and took a seat.
What brought me to tears was the realization that I was in the same place, in the same spot opening my heart in the same way that people had done for centuries before me. The connection I felt to my history, to my country, and to the eight hundred and fifty years of French history that filled this building was as humbling as it was empowering. I felt at home.
There are no words that can express the shock and sadness at the sight of La Cathedral de Notre Dame de Paris burning. The images were horrifying and we—people around the globe—succumbed to the devastation of the inimitable sorrow we were experiencing. The thought that this venerated building and its history could be lost was and is unimaginable.
Since those images of the flames that besieged the building, I find myself hopeful and incredibly grateful for:
The extraordinary expertise and dedication of the battalion of fire fighters as well as the fire department chaplain who were able to save as much of the Cathedral, the art and the artifacts as they did.
The photograph, above, taken of the inside of the smoldering Cathedral with the cross still standing in all its beauty and majesty, telling us not to lose hope.
The remarkable sight of the crowd singing “Ave Maria” as they watch, with tears in their hearts, the blaze destroying a part of who they are.
The quote “Time is the architect, but the people are the masons.” by Victor Hugo, author of The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Emmanuel Macron’s words to the French people: "I am sad to be watching this part of us burn tonight.”
As of now, one billion dollars has been raised to rebuild Notre Dame.
Here is what we need to remember: we are all blessed, especially during those times when we feel the most forsaken.
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We were invited to join our good friends Pierre and Ellie to renew their wedding vows. Our instructions were to arrive at dawn. We approached the building through a heavy fog, that sat low to the ground making it hard to see where going. Out of that fog, we heard a voice: “Birds, birds, it’s this way.” We spotted a fanciful silhouette, a man wearing a cloak and a hat . . .
2020 is going to be a good year! Of course, I don’t really know that; it’s just a feeling. But I have a choice: I can be optimistic or pessimistic and I don’t see any reason to start off with negative thoughts. “Choose to be optimistic it feels better.” Dalai Lama For years I’ve started the New Year by setting goals... But last year was different! . . .