It's a family joke & I can't for the life of me remember how it started. But flying buttresses earned a lot of laughs and giggles with my sisters growing up. So I was more excited about seeing the real ones in person at Notre Dame than I was of actually going into the church.
It was awesome seeing so much of what I studied years ago in person. The stone carvings. The super ornate stained glass. The pieta. The tapestries. But the buttresses took the cake. Hey - we all have our quirks. Just don't laugh at my continued immaturity.
Before you visit, read up on some of the symbolism and meaning behind the sculptures that grace the doorways of this beautiful building. The level of detail is just incredible. My favorite was seeing how St Denis, the patron saint of Paris (who was beheaded) was immortalized in the statures surrounding the main door.
And don't forget to see the maker of the center of Paris from which every distance in France is measured.
But I just love that as crazy as it is to imagine medival men building this mammoth building over years and years of toiling, that God isn't contained in that place. That He is here with me while I'm writing. He's with you while you read on your phone standing in line. Wherever you are, He is there. Notre Dame is just one of many places set aside to take time out to worship with fellow believers. But our worship isn't limited to inside those stone walls or the doors of the movie theater where your church meets or even a huge sanctuary. Walking through that most famous of churches, I couldn't help but think about what a lifestyle of worship should look like. And how I know I don't want to become old and fossilized like that building. Worshipping only in a place set aside for that purpose. I want to rejoice and praise Him for each day, for strengthening me in my weaknesses. Because he is bigger than any building. He's the one to be praised. Not the building.
Take a walk with me in pictures through the halls of Notre Dame and soak in some history on this Friday morning. Don't forget to catch a glimpse of the Siene on your way there.