When I first walked into Notre Dame cathedral what struck me most was the tremendous aura of spirituality it bore—greater than any other place I’ve ever been. I knelt to pray on the stone floor, worn smooth by a millennium of those who had come before and done the same.
It survived the Revolution; it survived World Wars I and II and who knows how many other wars and other catastrophes. The building may be rebuilt. Can that aura be rebuilt?
I seek to find something good in this terrible loss. I hope it moves a rebirth of the spirit of the French people.
Áve María, grátia pléna,
Benedícta tū in muliéribus,
et benedíctus frúctus véntris túi, Iésus.
Sáncta María, Máter Déi,
óra pro nóbis peccatóribus,
nunc et in hóra mórtis nóstrae. Ámen.