Easter Blessings A Priest’s reflection on the Notre Dame Cathedral fire*
Today, I can do no better than cite three reflections I found on Facebook regarding the tragic Notre Dame fire:
First, what survived from the fire? The cross, the altar, the Crown of Thorns. Consider this for your own life – when our lives will be burned up and everything turned to ash, what will survive? Will it be the Crosses that made you holy, the altar where you offered yourself to God as a living sacrifice, the Crown of Thorns in humility you wore, that you may be worthy to wear a glorious crown of gold?
Second, the outside of the church looked completely destroyed, while the inside remained intact, though damaged. A fitting metaphor for the universal Church. To the rest of the world, it looks as if the Church will be completely destroyed. But to those on the inside, we know that, while damaged, it can never be destroyed!
Finally, the fire at Notre Dame is a powerful symbol of what is happening to Christianity in Europe – and elsewhere. The flames of secularism seem intent on destroying it. Will a new generation rise up to save, not their cultural heritage, but their very Faith itself?
Fr. Joseph Gill
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, to Thee I consecrate and offer up my person and my life, my actions, trials, and sufferings, that my entire being may henceforth only be employed in loving, honoring and glorifying Thee. This is my irrevocable will, to belong entirely to Thee, and to do all for Thy love, renouncing with my whole heart all that can displease Thee.
I take Thee, O Sacred Heart, for the sole object of my love, the protection of my life, the pledge of my salvation, the remedy of my frailty and inconstancy, the reparation for all the defects of my life, and my secure refuge at the hour of my death. Be Thou, O Most Merciful Heart, my justification before God Thy Father, and screen me from His anger which I have so justly merited. I fear all from my own weakness and malice, but placing my entire confidence in Thee, O Heart of Love, I hope all from Thine infinite Goodness. Annihilate in me all that can displease or resist Thee. Imprint Thy pure love so deeply in my heart that I may never forget Thee or be separated from Thee.
I beseech Thee, through Thine infinite Goodness, grant that my name be engraved upon Thy Heart, for in this I place all my happiness and all my glory, to live and to die as one of Thy devoted servants.
. — St. Margaret Mary Alacoque