Just a thought… A church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints. [Pauline Phillips]
Oh, I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend and that the Easter Bunny was good to you. Me? I decided (rather unwisely) to answer the question: which are better, Cadbury Mini Eggs or Hershey Eggies? I’m not sure I’ve come up with an answer, but I will leave my sugar-coated body to science and let them work it out!
Actually, yesterday, Rob, our friends Charles and Nancy and I volunteered to serve meals to the homeless in downtown Victoria. It’s the first time I’ve done this (as we were always away or cottage cocooning on long weekends in the past) and the experience is still settling in. Maybe I’ll write about it in the future; maybe I won’t. We’ll see.
Ah, but the international news was tragic yesterday and our hearts ache for those who’ve suffered so horrendously on a South Asian island named by Lonely Planet as the country to visit in 2019. As of this writing, 290 innocent people have died and over 500 were injured in numerous Easter Sunday explosions blamed on religious extremists, but for which no one has yet taken responsibility. So much sadness, pain and loss.
Before the news headlines yesterday were darkened with the horrific toll out of Sri Lanka, my thoughts were with another church that has also been on front pages and at the top of websites for the past week now.
Rob and I have been fortunate enough to visit the City of Lights a few times; our favourite spot is the Musée D’Orsay, a former train station that was converted into an incredible art gallery, set on the shores of the Seine. It also affords a stunning view of another famous gallery, the Louvre, across the river.
But it was a venture to Paris that we shared in April of 2005 that will always stay in my mind now, especially in light of the awful conflagration that hit the beloved Unesco World Heritage site, landmark and place of worship and admiration, Notre-Dame de Paris, one week ago today.
You see, we visited in the days just after the passing of one of history’s most beloved popes, John Paul II. Rob and I were just two of the some 30-50,000 visitors to Notre-Dame that day (as there were every day) and I just had to capture the image of these massive banners.
And now, we wait and watch as the rebuilding begins and the inventory of what musical, artistic, historic and religious treasures were saved, and which have been lost to the inferno.
I came across this story about the timeline of the firefighters’ efforts to save the treasures inside Notre-Dame. One of those is this tunic, from the 13th century, worn by Saint/King Louis IX (who is purported to have brought the precious Crown of Thorns – which also survived the fire – to Paris).
And safely ensconced in this elaborate display is the relic of the Cross of St. Claude. Just imagine the pieces that were hidden in the massive vaults below the cathedral.
I was amazed to read of a robot that was doing some of the salvage work in those incredibly tense hours during and after which the flames blazed. Of course, at the top of the list of heroes and heroines, though, are the firefighters who lugged immensely heavy equipment up the narrow steps of the Cathedral to fight the flames with careful urgency. No doubt their efforts saved the bell towers and give the city hope of rebuilding this massive and majestic piece of history once again.
Have a gentle day and I’ll be back here tomorrow with a salute to a former competitor who welcomed me like a sister.