Another Mother

8 May

Lise is 6 years-old and from Paris. This is her drawing of Notre Dame.

In honor of Mothers’ Day, I thought I’d write about Notre Dame or Our Lady.  There are many Notre Dame cathedrals.  There are even very nice schools with this name with killer rugby teams but I’m talking about the cathedral in Paris.  We plan to visit it when we are in France and I was just doing some reading on it today.

You see, when we were there before Dad had us light candles and say a prayer.  At the time I thought that it was a very powerful ritual and I think that Dad may have smuggled the stub out of the cathedral as a souvenir.  But since that’s probably very wrong, I’m sure that he didn’t.  I like to make things up, keeps life interesting.

Anyway, I really wanted to light a candle for Mom when we are there.  I’m now about 20 years older and a little more sensitive to other people’s faith.  I started thinking that it might be offensive for Catholics if I’m just prancing into their church to light a candle without belonging to their faith.  I’m relieved to read at different Catholic web sites that the prancing is not called for, it pretty much isn’t anywhere, but lighting a candle by a non-believer is totally welcomed.

The tradition of lighting candles is believed to have begun when candles were left near graves in the crypts.  This connected those in the crypts with those above.  Lighting a candle in current times is believed to be a way to aid in the transmission of a prayer to a saint or to God.  I respect that and think that it must give someone a lot of peace to have some kind of tangible way to feel involved in prayer.  I know it’s not exactly like asking for a signed receipt by Him.  Still, it helps to feel like you have some input in your life.

Instead of praying I’m going to try and memorize a bit of Emily Dickinson.  Mom really enjoyed her poetry and I’m guessing that I’ll be able to find something appropriate.  I’m just going to recite it in my head, to myself.  And I believe that this will help connect me to Mom.  Sometimes it’s just good to believe.  It’s almost as good as prancing.


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