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The Greatest Centures – 12th and 13th


The Statue of the Virgin and Child Notre Dame de Paris Picture via Wikipedia

The Statue of the Virgin and Child
Notre Dame de Paris
Picture via Wikipedia

The people of France, a Catholic nation at the time, built 80 cathedrals and 500 large churches during the 12th and 13th centuries.  Raised up with much effort and amazing skill, all these cathedrals had the title “Notre Dame” (Our Lady).  Added to this title was the name of the town or city where the cathedral was constructed.  All these Massive Houses of God were dedicated to Mary, the Mother of Christ.

In my visits to France my favorite cathedral came to be Notre Dame de Paris.  During my time in Paris I made the Cathedral the center of my day’s activities.  Its massive stone pillars, soaring ceiling and stained glass windows made prayer easy and pleasurable.  The statue of Mary stands on a pedestal next to the main altar.  With care and love, Mary looks over those kneeling before her.

Now comes the sad news.  Secularism, a God-less culture, has taken over Western Europe and affected the French people.  In 2013, less than 10% of French Catholics attended weekend Mass on a regular basis.  Tourists fill the cathedrals, while the local people ignore their beauty and inspiration.  For the sake of tourism, the French government keeps the Cathedrals in excellent condition and provides financial support.

I pray now more than I ever have in my life.  Why?  Because I see secularism raising its ugly head in many ways.  Many things about our present culture – movies, laws of the government, the breakdown of marriage ideals and family life – can cause lukewarm Catholics to forget God and His ideals.

A modern theologian once wrote that Jesus of Nazareth comes as an arsonist, to set afire the love of God in our hearts.  For this to happen we have to welcome Christ into our hearts and make him the center of our lives.  Daily payer, conversation with the Lord, can bring this about.  In prayer we share our thoughts and daily happenings with him.  We are to see Jesus of Nazareth as a vibrant, living Person, not as a prophet who died 2000 years ago.

Our devout attendance at weekend Mass and the reception of the Holy Eucharist can make us strong hearted Catholics, in love with Christ and His Church.  My advice: arrive 15 minutes before Mass, sit close to the altar and read the Scriptures for the day.  Ask yourself, “What is God saying to me today in His Sacred Word?”  Then listen for His answer.

Every day, not just now and then but every day, we should keep peace and joy in our hearts.  In this way we will attract others to our Faith.  Alleluia!!

                        Fr. George Mc Kenna

February 1, 2014 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. Hi Fr. George! Thank you for the wonderful reminder of the importance of daily prayer. I know from my own experiences that the more time that I devoted to prayer, the more prayerful I felt. Now, I don’t ever miss my daily prayers – they are a part of my day. I’ve just recently been walking the dogs (one at a time, they are too strong to take together!) and I say my Rosary as I walk – very relaxing and with being outdoors while saying it, I find that I am able to focus much better on the mysteries.

    I didn’t know about the history of France with the large number of churches built during the 12th and 13th centuries. I also didn’t know about the statistic of the number of practicing Catholics. I’m hoping that Pope Francis might bring a resurgence of attendance to mass – he is very dynamic and says great things.

    Tim and I are going to France in May! We are going to be flying into Nice and then make our way up to Paris eventually – going to the Alps region and small towns along the way. I’m hoping to either go to Lourdes or Liseiux, depending on our itinerary. I will stop in and say a prayer at many churches and cathedrals along the way.

    I’m thinking of the upcoming Super Bowl tomorrow. Of course, with the Seattle Seahawks in it, the TV coverage here is constant. It makes me think of all the ‘devoted’ fans – and of those fans, how many never give Jesus a thought. Really sad….

    Love you, Fr. George!! Have a great weekend!!

    Comment by nancywest22 | February 1, 2014 | Reply

  2. Father George, again thank you for your words of wisdom, such a soldier of Christ you are! It is sad that so many don’t allow the embryo of Christ to be born within them, and those that do, do not take the time to allow it to mature, the greatest gift from God left unattended, but with people like you many more may see the light. 14,847 hits at this time on your blog!!! That’s AWESOME! Keep up the great work, with love Debra Hurley

    Comment by Anonymous | February 1, 2014 | Reply

  3. Our time with Him is vital to this life and eternity…thank you Fr. George for instructing us in faith, love and hope…our fervent prayers joined with others…have great impact on our broken world…we can never stop loving and praying…God’s Blessings, Love & Grace to you, Marianne

    Comment by mcs | February 4, 2014 | Reply


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