In 1985, I traveled all over Europe studying abroad with my college. Our first big city we visited was Paris. We walked up and down cobble stone streets, into museums and to other famous tourist sites, to the point of being overwhelmed and exhausted. When we turned a corner and arrived at Notre Dame, I was speechless at the view before me. The overall massive size of the place just took your breath away. The historic artifacts and massive rose windows gave you a sense of grandeur and the power of faith.
My close friend and I entered the cathedral, and though it was filled with thousands of tourist, there was a quiet peace and respect for this holy place. Believing in God is my identity, so I felt truly at home in this sacred space. I came back everyday, of our 4 days in Paris, to reflect and thank God for the peace and rest in the midst of a very fast paced city.
These last few days I have mourned for the city of Paris and its iconic cathedral. I am reminded that in this chaotic world that Christ is the same Yesterday, Today and Forever. It’s the trials and tribulations of life that make us draw close to God and it is where we find comfort and hope.
So, we may be saying a temporary, “Au revoir”, to Notre Dame but we look ahead to its new birth and transformation.