Hail Mary

Happy Feast Day to all of my Marian namesakes!

This beautiful  Grotto of the Blessed Virgin , behind  Saint Joan of Arc Chapel  on the Marquette University campus, was dedicated earlier this year to honor  Our Lady of Lourdes . The sacred space reminds us that our Blessed Mother always hears our prayers.

This beautiful Grotto of the Blessed Virgin, behind Saint Joan of Arc Chapel on the Marquette University campus, was dedicated earlier this year to honor Our Lady of Lourdes. The sacred space reminds us that our Blessed Mother always hears our prayers.

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Notre Dame de Paris

« Notre-Dame est aujourd'hui déserte, inanimée, morte. On sent qu'il y a quelque chose de disparu. Ce corps immense est vide; c'est un squelette; l'esprit l'a quitté, on en voit la place, et voilà tout. » Victor Hugo, Notre-Dame de Paris (1831).

I have marveled at her breathtaking architecture and climbed her bell tower to take in the stunning views. I have worshiped here during Advent and Lent, during Holy Week and on Easter Sunday, and even just because the bells summoned me to light a candle for my mom, dad, and grandma. And each time I visit, I stand upon Point Zéro knowing that I will return to her again.  Yet, one hundred eighty-eight years after the publication of Notre Dame de Paris, Victor Hugo’s ominous words feel eerily true again tonight. Today, as I watched the Cathedral burn, the Gothic spire fall, and the medieval roof collapse, I cried for the destruction of history, art, and sacred space. Today, as I answered concerned texts, phone calls, emails, and social media messages from friends and former students near and far, my heart swelled with love and appreciation. Tonight, as I watched the news that the structure and much of the artwork of the Cathedral has been saved and that, once again, just as in the time of Victor Hugo, the faithful of the world will unite to restore this spiritual and cultural treasure, I am hopeful.

I have marveled at her breathtaking architecture and climbed her bell tower to take in the stunning views. I have worshiped here during Advent and Lent, during Holy Week and on Easter Sunday, and even just because the bells summoned me to light a candle for my mom, dad, and grandma. And each time I visit, I stand upon Point Zéro knowing that I will return to her again.

Yet, one hundred eighty-eight years after the publication of Notre Dame de Paris, Victor Hugo’s ominous words feel eerily true again tonight. Today, as I watched the Cathedral burn, the Gothic spire fall, and the medieval roof collapse, I cried for the destruction of history, art, and sacred space. Today, as I answered concerned texts, phone calls, emails, and social media messages from friends and former students near and far, my heart swelled with love and appreciation. Tonight, as I watched the news that the structure and much of the artwork of the Cathedral has been saved and that, once again, just as in the time of Victor Hugo, the faithful of the world will unite to restore this spiritual and cultural treasure, I am hopeful.

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This photo was taken 6 weeks ago. You can see the scaffolding of the restauration project that may have been the cause of the fire.

This photo was taken 6 weeks ago. You can see the scaffolding of the restauration project that may have been the cause of the fire.

The roof and spire that collapsed today

The roof and spire that collapsed today

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French Friday: La Paix

(341/365) « Insistons sur l'amour, la gentillesse, la compréhension, la paix. Le reste nous sera offert. » - Mère Teresa

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Tomorrow, the Eiffel Tower and several museums, restaurants, and shops around Paris will be closed. Throughout France since November 17th, increasingly violent demonstrations have occurred every weekend by the group known as the Gilet Jaunes | Yellow Vests. The situation is deeply troubling and I pray that it will soon be peacefully resolved. I do understand the Gilets Jaunes’ motivation to protest planned tax increases on France's already exorbitant fuel prices; yet, I certainly do not agree with their methods which have escalated to violence, injuries, and damage to both private property and historical treasures. Last weekend, a riot at the Arc de Triomphe resulted in the destruction of Le départ des volontaires de 1792, aka La Marseillaise -- depicting Marianne, the embodiment of the French Republic.

Am I concerned about traveling to Paris in February? Yes and no. Yes, I am cautious about safety issues, but then I always am when I travel. Despite what we see on the news, not all of Paris is in crisis, not all Parisiens are protesting. Tourists are not the target of these protests, but they aren't inherently protected from them either. I want my fellow travelers to fall in love with Paris like I did the first time I visited (and indeed every time I return). Ultimately, I do believe that bad things can and do happen everywhere, and that we can't be ruled by fear or what-ifs. Nonetheless, I will be extra diligent as I plan our trip.

A Place in My Heart

(329/365)

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“When you leave a beautiful place, you carry it with you wherever you go.” - Alexandra Stoddard

SJA Bench

Exalt

(322/365)

Holy Hill - November

"Exalt the Lord our God and worship at His holy hill" (Psalm 99:9)

Rocks + Water

(304/365)

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“Rocks and waters are words of God.” - John Muir

Basilica of St. Josephat

September 30, 2018 (273/365) #domke #doorsopenmilwaukee

"If you keep your faith, you keep your trust, you keep the right attitude, 

if you're grateful, you'll see God open up new doors." - Joel Osteen

Apples

September 5, 2018 (248/365) "Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed." - Robert H. Schuller

French Friday: La Fête

le 15 août 2018 [posté le 17 août] (229/365) • La Fête de Sainte-Marie

Je vous salue, Marie pleine de grâce; le Seigneur est avec vous. Vous êtes bénie entre toutes les femmes et Jésus, le fruit de vos entrailles, est béni. Sainte Marie, Mère de Dieu, priez pour nous pauvres pécheurs,  maintenant et à l’heure de notre mort.

Le 15 août c’est la Fête de la Sainte-Marie, la Mère de Jésus. Bonne Fête to my fellow Marian namesakes!

Bisous, Melinda Marie

Sunday Morning

August 5, 2018 (217/365) "When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love."

-  Marcus Aurelius